Nexium

Nexium is a medication which treats heartburn and acid reflux. We offer a prescription with quick home delivery without needing to see a doctor.

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20 mg28 tablets35.99
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About

What is Nexium?

Nexium is a type of medicine called a proton pump inhibitor which treats acid reflux, heartburn, stomach ulcers and gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD). The generic name of the drug is Esomeprazole.

How does Nexium work?

Nexium works by blocking the enzymes lining the wall of the stomach and preventing excess production of stomach acid in order to relieve acid reflux.  

How long does Nexium take to work?

Nexium will start to work within 2-3 days but it can take up to 4 weeks to have full effect while your stomach heals.

Is Nexium safe for long term use?

Long term use of Nexium for three months or more can cause adverse effects such as:

  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Confusion
  • Shaking
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle twitching

After one year of use there is an increased risk of experiencing:

  • Fractured bones
  • Gut infections
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

Long term use of Nexium should be monitored by a doctor.

Are acid reflux and heartburn the same thing?

Acid reflux causes a number of symptoms, the main one being heartburn. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach produces excess acid, causing it to travel back up the food pipe. It feels like an uncomfortable, burning pain in the middle of your chest. If this happens more than twice a week it's known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Nexium is Esomeprazole.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients in Nexium are glycerol monostearate 40-55, hyprolose, hypromellose, iron oxide (20 mg reddish-brown, yellow, 40 mg reddish brown) (E172), magnesium stearate, methacrylic acid ethyl acrylate copolymer (1:1) dispersion 30 per cent, microcrystalline cellulose, synthetic paraffin, macrogol, polysorbate 80, crospovidone, sodium stearyl fumarate, sugar spheres (sucrose and maize starch), talc, titanium dioxide (E171), triethyl citrate.

Dosage

How to take Nexium

Nexium is usually taken once a day and it can be taken with or without food. You should swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water, or dissolve it carefully in water if you have trouble swallowing tablets. How much to take will depend on why you are taking it so it's important to always follow the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist.

How long can I take Nexium for?

How long you take Nexium for will depend on why it has been prescribed to you. Many treatments will be prescribed for a duration of 2-8 weeks and after this you can use Nexium as and when needed.

What should I do if I forget to take Nexium?

If you forget to take Nexium take it as soon as you remember unless it is less than 12 hours until you are due to take your next dose. In this case, just leave the missed one. The same applies if you are taking Nexium twice daily and it is less than four hours until your next dose is due.

What should I do if I take too much Nexium?

If you take too much Nexium by mistake it is unlikely to cause problems. However, if you experience any of the following adverse effects see your doctor:

  • Increased sweating
  • Sleepiness
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Blurred vision

What food and drink should I avoid while taking Nexium?

It's recommended to avoid food and drinks which commonly trigger acid reflux and heartburn. These are:

  • Spicy foods
  • Fatty foods
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Onions
  • Citrus fruits
  • Mint
  • Fizzy drinks

Dosage

Always take the dose that has been prescribed to you. This will depend on your condition and symptoms.  

  • For heartburn caused by GERD with damage to the food pipe the recommended dose is 40mg once a day for a minimum of 4 weeks. This will eventually be reduced to 20mg a day
  • If there is no damaged to the food pipe the daily dose is 20mg until your condition has improved
  • For stomach ulcers caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria the recommended dose is 20mg twice a day alongside antibiotics for one week
  • For stomach ulcers caused by anti-inflammatory drugs the recommended dose is 20mg once daily for 4-8 weeks  

Side Effects

Side Effects

Common side effects after taking Nexium may include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Flatulence
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting

Uncommon side effects can include:

  • Swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Vertigo
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Fractures of the hip, wrist or spine after high dose, long term use

Rare side effects can include:

  • A reduction in the white blood cells
  • A lowered level of sodium in the blood
  • Feeling agitated or confused
  • Feeling depressed
  • Changes to taste buds
  • Blurred vision
  • Breathlessness and wheezing
  • Inflammation inside the mouth
  • Thrush
  • Hair loss
  • Photosensitivity
  • Pain in the muscles or joints
  • Lack of energy and feeling unwell

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Swelling in the lips, tongue or throat
  • Wheezing and having difficulty breathing  
  • Skin rash
  • Fainting
  • Jaundice

If you experience any of these symptoms seek medical attention right away.

Taking Nexium may mask signs of other diseases. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms while taking Nexium:

  • Sudden weight loss which is unexpected
  • Having difficulty swallowing
  • Stomach pain and indigestion
  • Vomiting food or blood
  • Passing black stools

Contraindications

Do not take Nexium if:

  • You have experienced an allergic reaction to any other types of proton pump inhibitors
  • You are taking medication which contains Nelfinavir to treat HIV

Extra care should be taken if:

  • You have severe liver or kidney problems
  • You have experienced a skin reaction in the past after taking medication to control stomach acid
  • You are due to have a blood test

Treatment Options

Alternatives to Nexium

Other types of proton pump inhibitors include Lansoprazole, Pantoprazole, Omeprazole and Rabeprazole. Antacids are readily available to relieve the symptoms of heartburn but they are not suitable for long-term use. These include medicines such as Gaviscon, Alka-Seltzer and Milk of Magnesia.

Can I take Nexium with antacids?

Antacids are suitable to take alongside Nexium. You should leave at least two hours before or after taking each type of medicine.

Can I take Nexium with painkillers?

Painkillers such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are safe to take alongside Nexium. Ibuprofen is best taken after a meal to prevent stomach discomfort.

Can lifestyle changes help?

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce acid reflux. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing stress
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals
  • Avoiding spicy and fatty foods
  • Cutting down on caffeine and alcohol
  • Eat at least 2-3 hours before going to bed

What causes acid reflux?

There are several common factors which can cause acid reflux. These include:

  • Spicy and fatty foods
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications
  • Being overweight
  • A Hiatus hernia

How can I treat acid reflux naturally?

There are several changes you can make to prevent acid reflux and heartburn. These include:

  • Stopping smoking
  • Avoiding foods which are known to trigger it
  • Elevating your head and chest while you are sleeping
  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
  • Don't lie down after eating
  • Eat small to moderate portions
  • Avoid eating raw onion
  • Avoid consuming mint

Q&A

Can I drink alcohol while taking Nexium?

Drinking alcohol while taking Nexium is not recommended as it can irritate the stomach lining and make your symptoms worse.

Nexium and pregnancy

Consult a doctor before taking Nexium during pregnancy. You should refrain from using this medicine while breastfeeding as it is not known whether or not Nexium is passed into breastmilk.

Will Nexium affect my contraception?

Nexium will not affect the contraceptive pill but it can reduce the effectiveness of the ellaOne emergency contraceptive pill. If you are taking Nexium and need to take the morning after pill, Levonelle can be taken instead.

Sources

NHS> Esomeprazole https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/esomeprazole/

NHS> Acid Reflux drugs linked to increased stomach cancer risk https://www.nhs.uk/news/cancer/acid-reflux-drugs-linked-increased-stomach-cancer-risk/

NHS> Heartburn and acid reflux https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heartburn-and-acid-reflux/

Web MD> What lifestyle changes help manage heartburn? https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/lifestyle-changes-heartburn

Patient Information leaflet https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/4658/pil

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