Nexium is used to treat gastro-esophageal reflux disease, which is caused by stomach acid escaping into the esophagus, causing heartburn and eventual damage to the tube. This medication will treat the symptoms of this disorder so that the esophagus can heal and prevent further damage from being done. It may take a few weeks before you begin to experience positive results with Nexium, so it is important to stick with a regular schedule an take your medication regularly to increase the effectiveness of your prescription. This medication is not known to cause adverse reactions very often, but it is always important to take your medication as prescribed to ensure that your condition is treated properly.
Indications and Usage
Nexium is the brand name for esomeprazole, a drug that is used to treat gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). This drug may also be sold in the combination drug Vimovo. These drugs may also be used to prevent the development of stomach ulcers in some patients, and may assist in the treatment of conditions like Zollinger-Ellison syndrome which occur when the body is producing an excessive amount of stomach acid. This medication is available in a delayed-release capsule that can be taken orally or through a feeding tube. You may also be told to open the capsule and mix the contents with water or applesauce.
Nexium is to be taken once a day at least 1 hour before you consume a meal. In some cases where the body is producing an excessive amount of acid you will need to take your prescription twice a day. Even if you are taking the contents of your Nexium capsule in applesauce, you should not chew the pills as this can cause the mixture to be broken down too quickly, which may cause an adverse reaction. In some cases, you may be told to eliminate agitating foods from your diet to help your esophagus heal more effectively, but this is only necessary in cases where you are given direct medical instructions to do so.
Dosage will depend on the severity of the damage done to the esophagus and the level of stomach acid in your system. The minimum effective dose for Nexium is 20 mg daily for 4-8 weeks. This may go as high as 40 mg for severe conditions or conditions which require healing of erosive esophagitis. If you are taking Nexium to cure an infection in the intestines, you may receive doses alongside 500-1000 mg of clarithromycin or amoxicillin for up to 10 days.
Children between the ages of 1 and 11 can take between 10-20 mg per day for up to 8 weeks to help treat symptoms of GERD or to assist in the healing of erosive esophagitis. Children between one month and one year old are limited to 2.5-10 mg for up to six weeks. Dosing size will be dependent on their body weight, so you will likely need to update your records before you begin a prescription to ensure that your child has the proper dosage.
Dosing of Nexium is not intended for long term use. If your symptoms are not healed by the end of your prescription period, talk with your doctor about how to proceed. Do not continue to take over the counter medications for your condition without the knowledge and consent of your doctor. Those with hypersensitivity to proton pump inhibitors may not be able to take Nexium. Take with your doctor about your condition to determine whether or not it is safe to use this medication at its full dose.
Nexium Side Effects
Side effects to Nexium are not common and typically occur in less than 1 percent of users. The most common side effects to this medication include headache, nausea, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and dry mouth. These side effects are usually mild and typically dissipate as your body becomes used to the medication. If your side effects do not go away or they become worse, then contact your doctor for advice on how to proceed. An adjustment in your prescription may be necessary to eliminate these reactions.
Other side effects that have been reported are back pain, chest pain, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, indigestion, difficulty swallowing, anemia, bloody nose, changes in weight that are unexplained, earache, ringing of the ears, fibromyalgia, acne, unexplained rash or taste loss. These symptoms may be a sign of an adverse reaction to the medication. You should contact your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur. If your symptoms appear to be life threatening, contact emergency medical services for help.
Nexium is known for increasing the patient's risk of developing bone fractures or low blood magnesium. If you are at risk for these conditions already or you are taking medications to help avoid these conditions, talk with your doctor about the potential risk before you start using Nexium. You may need to adjust your dose to help ensure that a negative reaction does not occur.
If you begin to suffer from confusion, blurred vision, drowsiness, fast heartbeat, nausea, sweating, flushing, headache, or dry mouth you may be suffering from an overdose of your medication. Call emergency medical services immediately, especially if you feel as though you may lose consciousness or you feel as though you are having trouble breathing.
Medications known to affect how your body absorbs and uses Nexium include atazanavir, nelfinavir, medications used to treat HIV/AIDS, blood thinners, diuretics, cilostazol, clopidogrel, digoxin, diazepam, ketoconazole, saquinavir or supplements including iron. Talk with your doctor about any supplements or other medications you are taking before you start using Nexium so your doctor can make the appropriate adjustments to your prescriptions to avoid these effects. You may also be asked to alter the food and beverages you consume or the type of activities you partake in on a daily basis while on Nexium. Changes such as these are to help assist in the healing of your esophagus and to help prevent excessive amounts of acid from developing and causing additional discomfort.