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Nexium (esomeprazole)

What is Nexium (esomeprazole)?

Nexium and the generic version esomeprazole contain the active ingredient esomeprazole, in a strength of either 20mg or 40mg per tablet.

Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor that works by reducing the amount of acid that your stomach produces.

It is mainly used to treat heartburn and the other symptoms of Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and stomach ulcers and to stop certain medicines (NSAIDs) from causing stomach ulcers.

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Esomeprazole 20mg Tablets Esomeprazole 20mg Tablets £0.19 per tablet Prescription only Select
Esomeprazole 40mg Tablets Esomeprazole 40mg Tablets £0.24 per tablet Prescription only Select
Nexium 20mg Tablets Nexium 20mg Tablets £0.83 per tablet Prescription only Select
Nexium 40mg Tablets Nexium 40mg Tablets £1.12 per tablet Prescription only Select

What are the key benefits of Nexium (esomeprazole)?

Nexium (esomeprazole) starts to work one hour after taking the tablet. When taken every day the effectiveness builds up so that after 5 days the average peak acid output is reduced by 90%. As a result the pH of the stomach was maintained at above pH 4 for over 12 hours after taking the tablet. This shows the acidity of the stomach is significantly reduced, and so the effects of any leakage into the gullet are diminished.

How does Nexium (esomeprazole) work?

Nexium (esomeprazole) is converted in the highly acidic cells of the stomach to its active form where it inhibits the enzymatic acid pump there. It inhibits both the baseline production of acid and the production of acid that happens in response to eating.

How to take Nexium (esomeprazole)?

It’s important to read the enclosed leaflet carefully before using Nexium (esomeprazole).

To treat heartburn caused by Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, the normal dose is one tablet, to be taken once a day. Swallow your tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not chew or crush the tablets. This is because the tablets contain coated pellets which stop the medicine from being broken down by the acid in your stomach. It is important not to damage the pellets.

Nexium (esomeprazole) can be taken before or after food and at any time of the day, but try to keep to the same time each day. Sometimes the doctor may recommend that you take one tablet as and when you need it (but no more than one tablet a day).

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the doctor might recommend the 20mg tablets or the 40mg tablets.

Is Nexium (esomeprazole) suitable for me?

During your consultation, it is important to tell us if you are taking any other medicines, either from your doctor or purchased from a pharmacy without a prescription. Nexium (esomeprazole) can cause problems if taken with certain other medicines, including some medicines for HIV treatment (nelfinavir and Atazanavir ), some medicines to treat blood clots or to thin your blood (Clopidogrel and warfarin), medicines to treat fungal infections (Ketoconazole, itraconazole or voriconazole), Erlotinib and methotrexate (used to treat cancer), some medicines to treat depression (Citalopram, imipramine or clomipramine and St. John’s wort) some medicines to treat epilepsy or anxiety (diazepam, phenytoin), Cilostazol (used to treat intermittent claudication), Cisapride (used for indigestion and heartburn), Digoxin (used for heart problems), Tacrolimus (organ transplantation) and Rifampicin (used for treatment of tuberculosis).

Do not take Nexium if you are taking a medicine containing nelfinavir (used to treat HIV infection).

It’s very important to give a full picture of your general health in the consultation, to make sure the doctor has all the information required to assess the suitability of Nexium (esomeprazole) for you. Taking a proton pump inhibitor like Nexium, especially over a period of more than one year, may slightly increase your risk of fracture in the hip, wrist or spine. Tell your doctor if you have osteoporosis or if you are taking corticosteroids (which can increase the risk of osteoporosis).

What are the side effects of Nexium (esomeprazole)?

Like all medicines, Nexium (esomeprazole) can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

If you notice any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Nexium and contact a doctor immediately:

  • Sudden wheezing
  • Swelling of your lips, tongue and throat or body
  • Rash, fainting or difficulties in swallowing (severe allergic reaction)
  • Reddening of the skin with blisters or peeling. There may also be severe blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose and genitals. This could be ‘Stevens-Johnson syndrome’ or ‘toxic epidermal necrolysis’.
  • Yellow skin, dark urine and tiredness which can be symptoms of liver problems

These effects are rare, and may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people.

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea, stomach pain, constipation, wind (flatulence)
  • Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting).

For a full list of potential side effects and other important information, please read the patient information leaflet provided in the pack before starting any course of treatment. The leaflet can also be viewed online here.