esomeprazole (Nexium, Nexium 24HR, Nexium IV) (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

PRESCRIBED FOR: Esomeprazole is approved for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and in combination with amoxicillin and clarithromycin (Biaxin) for the treatment of patients with ulcers and H. pylori infection. It also is used for reducing the risk of gastric ulcers associated with NSAIDs and the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Esomeprazole also is approved for short term use in children ages 1-11 for GERD. Over-the counter (OTC) esomeprazole is used for treatment of frequent heartburn.

SIDE EFFECTS: Esomeprazole, like other PPIs, is well-tolerated. The most common side effects are

Nervousness, abnormal heartbeat, muscle pain, weakness, leg cramps, and water retention occur infrequently.

Proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection. High doses and long-term use (1 year or longer) may increase the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. Prolonged use also reduces absorption of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).

Long-term use of PPIs has also been associated with low levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia). Analysis of patients taking PPIs for long periods of time showed an increased risk of heart attacks.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2015


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