Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium)
General information about Nexium
Nexium, with active ingredient esomeprazole, is used for treating diseases caused by excess acid in the stomach such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and gastric ulcer. The drug belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors. The drug works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. However, the drug is not prescribed for treating heartburn or other common gastric symptoms.
Precautions/side effects of Nexium
Nexium contains active ingredient esomeprazole. Patients allergic to esomeprazole or albendazole, mebendazole etc. should refrain from taking this drug. An allergic reaction to the drug can cause rashes, hives, redness of the skin etc. Patients with liver diseases or low magnesium levels should also refrain from taking this drug.
The drug is also known to react with certain other medicines such as blood thinners like warfarin, diuretics, digoxin, iron supplements, ketoconazole etc. Patients on any of these drugs should inform the physician accordingly before taking Nexium.
Apart from that, Nexium is a category B pregnancy drug. The drug can have an adverse effect on the fetus as well as the newborn child. Thus, pregnant women as well as women who are breastfeeding should take this drug only after due consultation with a doctor.
The drug is also known to have certain side effects such as dizziness, dry mouth, diarrhea and constipation. However, in certain cases, the drug is known to have serious side effects such as uneven heart beat, muscle cramps, constant cough, seizures etc. If any of these symptoms show up after taking the drug, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Some important safety information
- Nexium is believed to increase the chances of fracture. Patients above the age of 50 years and those with osteoporosis or osteopenia should inform the doctor before taking this drug.
- Nexium can cause minor heartburn. However, if the heartburn persists accompanied with pain in the neck or arms, a physician should be consulted immediately.
- Nexium may result in improvement of symptoms before the course of medicine is completed. However, it is necessary to complete the full course of this drug.
Dosage of Nexium
Nexium is available as 20 mg and 40 mg capsules. The usual prescribed dose for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease is a 20 mg capsule daily once a day for 4 weeks. However, the actual prescription may vary depending on the response of the patient. For treating damage to the esophagus because of excess acid in the stomach, 20-40 mg capsule once daily is prescribed for a period of 4-8 weeks. The usual dosage for treating duodenal ulcers is 40 mg tablet once daily for 10 days. However, for patients with liver problems, a 20 mg dose may be prescribed.
The drug should be taken at least an hour before a meal. It is to be taken with water. The capsule should not be chewed or crushed and should be swallowed as a whole. The capsule can also be opened and the mixture injected in the body with the help of a syringe in case swallowing is difficult.
Overdose of the drug should be avoided at all costs. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. However, it should not be clubbed with the next dose. Overdose of the drug can cause serious complications which need immediate medical attention. Some complications arising out of overdose of Nexium include headache, nausea, blurred vision and sweating.
Storage of Nexium
Nexium should be stored in a cool and dry place away from the reach of children and pets. It should be stored at room temperature not exceeding 30 degree Celsius.