Nexium decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions involving excessive stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It is also used to promote healing of erosive esophagitis (damage to your esophagus caused by stomach acid). It may also be given to prevent gastric ulcer caused by infection with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or by the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Esomeprazole magnesium is the active ingredient in Nexium. Esomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor sold under different brand names and Nexium is a popular drug. This drug is produced and marketed by AstraZeneca for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, dyspepsia and Zollinger – Ellison syndrome. The medication brings down acid secretion by way of inhibiting ATPase in gastric parietal cells. This thereby prevents gastric acid formation. Nexium can provide a day’s relief from the symptoms of acid reflux disease. It can heal erosions caused on the esophagus and therefore it is called the Healing Purple Pill.
Nexium should not be kept within the reach of children. Keep the lid of bottle tightly secured after each use. Do not change the original package of the medicine and keep it away from moisture and sunlight. Nexium should be stored at room temperature. You should take this medication only as prescribed by your doctor. Multiple daily doses and dosages for an extended period of time can result in harmful effects such as bone fractures.
Conditions treated by Nexium
Nexium is basically used to heal erosive esophagitis where it is indicated for treating symptomatic and healing resolution of clinically confirmed erosive esophagitis (EE). It is also used for maintaining healing and resolution of EE. Erosive Esophagitis is a potentially serious condition that refers to damage of the esophagus. This happens largely due to damage caused by stomach acid eating away esophageal lining. GERD and associated symptoms such as heartburns and others are treated using Nexium. Symptoms of this acid reflux disease include consistent heartburn for two or more days in a week in spite of dietary changes and treatment. The medication is also used in pediatric use for treating kids and adolescents in the age group of 1 and 17 years. However, in infants below 1 year of age, no studies have proven effectiveness of the drug. Safety in administering Nexium to babies is also not established.
Typical Dosage Recommendations
Nexium is available in the United States as delayed release capsules and in Australia and Canada as delayed release tablets. These contain esomeprazole magnesium in strengths of 40 mg and 20mg. Esomeprazole sodium is used for intravenous infusion or injection. Preparations meant for oral use are enteric coated because the drug rapidly degrades in your stomach due to acidic conditions. Nexium is generally taken at least one hour before you take your meals. The drug is usually administered for about 4 to 8 weeks only. Thereafter, your doctor will decide whether a second course is needed or not. Four to eight weeks is the time required to heal and maintain.
Every dose of Nexium should be taken with one full glass of water. Patients suffering from GERD in the case of healing of erosive esophagitis should take a 20mg or 40mg dose every day for a period of 4 to 8 weeks as prescribed. In cases of healing esophagitis maintenance, 20mg dose can be taken daily. 20mg every day for 4 weeks is the recommended dosage for treating symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disorder. Short term treatments for GERD in pediatric patients (12 to 17 year olds), 20mg or 40mg of the drug is administered for up to 8 weeks and in 1 to 11 year olds, 10mg is given once every day for 8 weeks. The medicine in the capsule can be taken out and swallowed without chewing. It can also be administered through a nasogastric feeding tube.
Missing a Dose
If you have missed to take Nexium, take it the next time you remember. But if it is already time for your next dose, skip the missed one. Taking extra medicine to compensate for the missed ones should be avoided.
If you think you have been overdosed by Nexium, contact Poison Helpline or get emergency medical attention to avert possible side effects. Symptoms of overdosing can include convulsions, co-ordination loss, tremors, shortness of breath, flushing, sweating, dry mouth, nausea, rapid heartbeats, blurred vision, drowsiness, headache and confusion.
If you find yourself allergic to esomeprazole or benzimidazole drugs such as mebendazole or albendazole, avoid taking Nexium. If you suffer from a severe liver disease, special tests or Nexium dose adjustments may be needed. Nexium has an ability to amplify your chances of a bone fracture in the spine, wrist or hip. Such issues have occurred in individuals who have taken the drug for an extended period of time or in high doses or are 50 years or older. If you have low bone mineral density and suffer from osteopenia or osteoporosis, inform your doctor before taking Nexium. Nexium has not been known to cause any harm to unborn babies. However, if you have conceived or are planning to conceive, inform your doctor prior to taking the medication. Similarly, breast feeding mothers should consult their doctors before taking Nexium although no studies have proved the effect of the drug on babies through breast milk.
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