Nexium, or esomeprazole is a medication prescribed to help aid in the balancing of excess acid in the stomach. An overly acidic stomach can cause discomfort, pain, sweating, and a number of other body reactions that can cause concern. Extreme cases of acidic stomach can lead to erosion of the lining of the stomach.
Why Nexium Is Prescribed
Nexium is usually prescribed to treat symptoms of digestive system conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. When stomach acid leaks over into the esophagus, a condition called esophagitis can occur. Nexium can be taken to assist in healing the erosion of the esophagus.
Risks of taking Nexium
While Nexium is a medication given to help heal parts of the digestive system and treat symptoms, there are some risks that you should be aware of.
First and foremost, Nexium is not for treatment of occasional heartburn. It is best used anywhere from 2 weeks or longer to manage digestive system disorders.
If you are allergic to esomeprazole or have had reactions to similar medications like Prevacid, Prilosec, or Protonix, then you should not take Nexium.
Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor. In people over the age of 50, taking such medications can increase the risk of bone fracture, especially in the spine, wrist, or hip. This risk was also greater in people who have taken Nexium in a long-term capacity.
While there isn’t any confirmed research yet, there is a chance that Nexium may harm an unborn baby. Be sure to advise your doctor if you are or become pregnant while taking Nexium. Also use caution when breast feeding, as it is unknown if this can harm the baby.
How to take Nexium
You will get detailed instructions on how to take Nexium and you should be sure to follow them closely. You shouldn’t take any more or less than has been prescribed to you. When you take your dose, take it along with an 8 oz glass of water. Usually, Nexium is prescribed over a period of 1-2 months. Before taking it any longer, be sure to consult your doctor.
You should not crush or chew Nexium. If you find that your symptoms have improved, but you still have medication left to take, continue to take it as long as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Stopping medication could cause your symptoms to return as your body may not have completely healed.
If you are given Nexium for a period of 3 years or more, it is common to develop a deficiency of Vitamin B12. Speak to your doctor about ways in which you could supplement B12 if you are deficient.
If during the course of being treated with Nexium you find that your symptoms continue or worsen, let your doctor know immediately so that the dosage or medication itself can be changed.
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Taking Nexium can cause blood and urine tests to come back with unusual results. If you have to take a blood or urine test, let your doctor know as far in advance as possible as you may need to stop taking it for a period of time before the test.
Consult with your doctor if you have any question or concerns about taking Nexium or any adverse side effects.
4. Refer to the prescription drug information included with your prescription medication for more specific information.