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All about: Esomeprazole magnesium

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Generic name: Esomeprazole magnesium
Brand names: Nexium

Why is Esomeprazole magnesium prescribed?

Nexium relieves heartburn and other symptoms caused by the backflow of stomach acid into the canal to the stomach (the esophagus)--a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is also prescribed to heal the damage (erosive esophagitis) that reflux disease can cause.

Prescribed in combination with the antibiotics Biaxin and Amoxil, Nexium is also used to treat the infection that causes most duodenal ulcers (ulcers occurring just beyond the exit from the stomach).

Like its sister drug Prilosec, Nexium works by reducing the production of stomach acid.

Most important fact about Esomeprazole magnesium

Nexium comes in delayed-release capsules that should be swallowed whole. Be sure to avoid crushing or chewing the capsules.

How should you take Esomeprazole magnesium?

Take Nexium at least one hour before meals. Be careful to swallow it whole. If you have trouble swallowing capsules, you can open the capsule and carefully pour the pellets onto one tablespoon of applesauce. The applesauce should not be hot. Mix in the pellets, then swallow the applesauce immediately, without chewing.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Nexium.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache

Why should Esomeprazole magnesium not be prescribed?

If Nexium gives you an allergic reaction, or you've ever had an allergic reaction to Prilosec, you will not be able to use Esomeprazole magnesium.

Special warnings about Esomeprazole magnesium

The antibiotics prescribed in conjunction with Nexium for the treatment of ulcers have occasionally been known to cause severe side effects and life-threatening allergic reactions. If you've been prescribed this combination, be sure to check the entries on Amoxil and Biaxin for more information.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Esomeprazole magnesium

If Nexium is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Nexium with the following:

Diazepam (Valium)
Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Iron salts (Ferro-Sequels)
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
Warfarin (Coumadin)

There's no problem, however, with combining antacids and Nexium; no unwanted interaction will result.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Nexium during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, check with your doctor.

Because Nexium is likely to appear in breast milk and could harm a nursing infant, you'll need to choose between taking Nexium or breastfeeding your baby.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

For relief of symptoms, the usual dosage is one 20-milligram capsule daily for 4 weeks. If symptoms persist, your doctor may prescribe an additional 4 weeks of therapy.

Erosive Esophagitis

To heal damage, the dosage is 20 or 40 milligrams of Nexium once daily for 4 to 8 weeks. If you haven't fully healed after 8 weeks, your doctor may prescribe an additional 4 to 8 weeks of therapy. To maintain healing, the dosage is 20 milligrams once daily.

Duodenal Ulcers

As part of a three-drug treatment to rid the body of ulcer-causing H. Pylori bacteria, Nexium is prescribed at a dosage of 40 milligrams once daily for 10 days.

If you have severe liver problems, you should take no more than 20 milligrams of Nexium per day.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. There have been some reports of Nexium overdoses. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Nexium overdose may include:
    Blurred vision, confusion, drowsiness, dry mouth flushing headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, sweating

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