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Updated March 06, 2008

Generic Name:

  • Esomeprazole
Brand Name:
  • Nexium
This medication is available by prescription only.

Why is Nexium prescribed?

Nexium is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the esophagus (food pipe between the mouth and stomach). It is also used with other medications to prevent stomach ulcers. It works by decreasing the amount of acid made in the stomach.

Special precautions to follow when taking Nexium

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking.

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Aciphex, or any other medications.

  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking Nexium, call your doctor.

  • If you feel you also need an antacid, ask your doctor to recommend one and to tell you when and how to take it.

What if you forget a dose?

Consult your physician before taking a missed dose. Your doctor will be able to determine if it is safe to do so, or if you should wait until your next scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Possible side effects of Nexium

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
  • Hives
  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarseness



"Nexium." 620514-04 9346604 Rev. 02/03. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 11 Mar 2007 <http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/SAFETY/2003/03Feb_PI/Nexium_PI.pdf>

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