GERD, acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease and excessive secretion of stomach acid are treated with various medications and combination of medications. This includes Nexium, the brand name of esomeprazole. The medication is known to reduce the risk of ulcers that are attributed to NSAIDS, in addition to treating conditions from hypersecretion of gastric acid. It is also used for treating H.pylori, in addition to the above use cases. Like all medications, it comes with its share of undesirable effects. Here is an in-depth look at the side effects of Nexium and practical tips to reduce and manage the unwanted effects of the medication.

Overview and side effects of Nexium

A better understanding of the medication will help in fully grasping the side effects of Nexium. Belonging to the category of proton pump inhibitors, the medication offers gastric protection which helps in the prevention of stomach ulcer. This is particularly effective when gastric ulcer is a result of use, overuse or abuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The medication is also used for treating conditions such as Zollinger Ellison syndrome that is due to pathological hypersecretion. It offers outcomes that are similar to outcomes from medications such as omeprazole pantoprazole and rabeprazole, etc.

It works by inhibiting acid secretion, which helps in healing of erosive esophagitis, and other conditions including GERD. The mechanism of action also results in desired outcomes treating and managing peptic ulcer, apart from duodenal ulcers. It works in combination with certain antibiotics to treat ulcers that are attributed to the H.pylori bacteria.

Available forms of the medication

Before we look at the side effects of Nexium, here is a quick look at the available forms of the medication. By virtue of its use, and its mechanism of action it is available as an OTC medication and on prescription, as tablets, capsules and in packets. The tablets and capsules are available in delayed release formulations for delivering extended action. The ideal method of taking the medication is to take it one hour before a meal, and the medication is to be continued for the prescribed or recommended period. In most instances, the individual is likely to experience significant results in the first few days of starting the medication. However, best results and outcomes will be achieved when the medication is taken for the desired period.

Tips on proper use and dosage to prevent side effects of Nexium

Side effects of Nexium and other medications are often the result of incorrect dosage and improper use. It is best to follow the recommendations of the specialist to prevent side effects. For instance, when the medication is taken as a combination with other antibiotics, the timing of taking the medication daily has to be followed diligently. Similarly, the capsule is intended to be swallowed fully and not to be crushed or powdered. In the event that the capsules are opened and the granules are mixed with other liquid, it is important to take the granules fully, without powdering. Patients who are administered the medication through as nasogastric tube, are to follow special instructions. The contents of the capsule are to be emptied into the catheter tipped syringe and the granules are to be mixed with water (approximately 50 ml). After the contents are mixed thoroughly, the contents are to be either injected or transferred into the tube. Following this, the tube is to be flushed with water to move the medication into the stomach.

Individuals who are recommended oral suspension are to mix the contents of the packet (either 2.5 mg or 5 mg) with 5 ml of water, stir the mixture, and let it thicken for a few minutes. This is to be then consumed after stirring the contents again. Depending on the amount in the packet, the amount of water will also increase proportionately for the desired suspension. The recommended dosage of the medication is to be maintained to prevent side effects of Nexium. The information offered here is for the purpose of reference only and the actual dosage will depend on various factors. For instance, the condition, the intensity of the condition, the age of the patient, other existing conditions, and medications in use are also to be considered when determining the dosage.

Patients on Nexium for the prevention of gastric ulcer attributed to NSAID use are typically advised a dose anywhere between 20 to 40 milligrams per day. This is generally recommended for a maximum of 6 months, with the actual duration depending on the intensity of the condition. To prevent side effects of Nexium, patients who are advised the medication for duodenal ulcers are generally recommended a dosage of 40 milligrams per day for a period of 10 days. This is typically taken along with antibiotics to treat duodenal ulcers due to H.pylori bacteria.

Patients diagnosed with erosive esophagitis are recommended a dosage of 20 or 40 milligrams per day for a maximum period of one or two months, depending on the condition. While there are recommended dosages for children of different age groups, including dosages that are determined by body weight, the best option is to go by the specialist advice of doctors. Patients with GERD are typically recommended a dose of 20 milligrams per day for a period of one month, with the dosage being adjusted as per condition. Here again, the dosage for children is determined as per various criteria and the specialist’s opinion is the best option to follow. To avoid side effects of Nexium on patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, the recommended dosage is 40 milligrams per day, twice a day. The actual dose is typically adjusted as per condition.

Individuals on medications that are taken on a long term sometimes end up missing a dose. Additionally, patients are known to try and fix this by taking a double dose later. This is wrong practice and can actually end up causing undesirable effects due to excessive amount of the medication. A missed dose is not be compensated with a double dose. This will help in preventing side effects of Nexium.

Commonly reported side effects of Nexium and precautions to be taken

Patients on the medication are to be aware of the need for precautions in certain circumstances. This will help avoid possible side effects of Nexium. For instance, individuals with a history of allergies are to report the same to the treating specialist. The allergies could be specific ingredients in the medication, or to other allergens, including preservatives, animal dander, animals, dyes and certain food products. While there are no specific reports or documented studies that show adverse effects on pediatric or geriatric use, it is necessary to seek the advice of a specialist prior to use of OTC formulations on children and the elderly. Similarly, there have been no studies conducted, to determine the effects of the medication on breastfeeding or pregnant women. It is therefore essential to only take it with medical supervision, in instances where there is a pressing need for use of the proton pump inhibitor.

Side effects of Nexium : drug interactions

Without exception, all medications are likely to have drug interactions with other medications. The known drug interactions of Nexium include possible reactions wherein the efficacy or desired outcomes of one mediation may be reduced. In other instances, there is the possibility of the combination resulting in undesirable effects or increase in the side effects of one medication. Nexium may interact with Amphetamine, Atazanavir, Bosutinib, Clopidogrel, Dextroamphetamine, Gefitinib, Methamphetamine, Neratinib, Posaconazole, Secretin Human, Tacrolimus, Thiopental, Levothyroxine, Voriconazole or blood thinners such as Warfarin. This list of possible interactions is not exhaustive or complete. In addition to the above, there is the possibility of interactions due to dietary preferences or indulgences. For instance, use of tobacco/tobacco products or consumption of alcohol is known to have an impact on the medication or its desired outcomes. Cranberry is known to have an undesirable impact on Nexium, and individuals are advised to bear this in mind when on the medications.

Side effects of Nexium : existing medical conditions

As mentioned earlier, there is the possibility of individuals experiencing side effects of Nexium as a result of existing medical conditions. Patients with certain conditions are expected to share details of the same with the treating specialist, so as to receive an altered schedule or dosage of the medication. In certain instances, the medication may also be replaced with other drugs that have a different mechanism of action or medications with other ingredients. For instance, individuals with frequent diarrhea may experience unwanted effects of the medication. Similarly, patients with hypomagnesemia are also at risk of exposure to undesirable effects. The condition refers to low levels of magnesium in the blood. Additionally, individuals with osteoporosis are also advised to either replace or modify the treatment options as the medication may result in unwanted outcomes.

Individuals with a history of seizure, or with low levels of Vitamin B12 are also advised caution as the conditions may aggravate as a result of the medication. Finally, patients with liver ailments are also at risk of increased side effects of Nexium. This is primarily because of the inability of the liver to process the drug in the body. As a result of this, the desired elimination of the medication from the body will slow down, increasing the chances of side effects. This condition also applies to elderly patients who may experience a natural reduction in the ability of organs to process medications. It is important to add that side effects or undesirable effects of the medication may manifest differently in different individuals. While some patients may experience effects of varying intensity, some may not experience any side effects.

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