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Medication features

Nexium, the brand name of generic esomeprazole, is a drug which is used to help reduce the production of stomach acid to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and indigestion

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  • Used to treat acid reflux and heartburn
  • Provides up to 24 hours of relief
  • Branded version of Esomeprazole

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What Are Nexium Tablets?

Nexium, commonly known as esomeprazole, is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication used to treat stomach and oesophagus-related conditions. Proton pumps are enzymes located in the lining of your stomach. This medication works to prevent the enzymes from creating excess stomach acid. 

It is widely prescribed to patients suffering from conditions related to excess stomach acid, such as stomach ulcers, heartburn and acid reflux, indigestion, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Esomeprazole is the active ingredient, and Nexium is the brand name this medication is sold under. 

Nexium is available as a tablet, capsule, and granules. If you struggle to swallow tablets, your doctor may prescribe granules. You can use the granules to turn the medication into a liquid, making it easier to ingest. The sooner you take this medication, the quicker you can speed up your recovery time.

How Does Nexium Work?

Nexium effectively reduces the level of acidity and the amount of acid produced inside the stomach. It does this by blocking a system in the cells of your stomach called the proton pump. The proton pump works in the final step of acid production. When the proton pump is blocked, your stomach makes less acid, which helps to ease symptoms like stomach pain and nausea.

As well as reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, Nexium tablets combat symptoms of acid reflux by healing acid damage. For Nexium tablets to reach full effectiveness, the correct dosage must be taken. Listen to the guidance from your doctor/pharmacist. You only need to take one Nexium tablet a day.

Nexium and Alcohol

It is safe to drink alcohol when taking Nexium tablets, although it is not recommended. Alcohol can increase the amount of acid in your stomach, enhancing the severity of symptoms such as stomach pain. If possible, limit your alcohol intake or avoid alcohol altogether. Be aware that alcohol irritates your stomach lining, so you may experience discomfort after consuming it. Talk to your doctor/GP, who will be able to offer some guidance, and outline the risks.

Can I Take Nexium While Pregnant?

There is not enough adequate research to suggest that Nexium tablets affect pregnant women. However, due to this lack of information, taking them could be a risk. So, it is not recommended. If you struggle to control your symptoms, speak to your doctor/GP. They may recommend some natural methods such as eating small, frequent meals.

If you are a breastfeeding mother, it is safe to take Nexium tablets, but only if your doctor/health visitor says it is appropriate. There is insufficient evidence on whether Nexium will pass through to breast milk. However, the likelihood of your baby encountering side effects is unlikely.

Guardium vs Nexium

Both Guardium and Nexium are proton pump inhibitors with the same active ingredient. They are effective treatments for acid reflux and other issues related to excess stomach acid. Both medications stop proton pumps from releasing acid into the stomach, helping to ease symptoms such as nausea and stomach pains.

Although both tablets work in the same way, there are differences in their chemical makeup. Nexium only contains one isomer of the drug omeprazole, while Guardium contains two. The two medications also differ in price. Nexium tablets are cheaper than Guardium tablets. However, there is not a huge price gap between them.

Additionally, the side effects of the two are similar. Nexium and Guardium tablets can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and constipation.

Nexium vs Omeprazole

Nexium and Omeprazole are two similar medications. Both are effective in treating acid reflux and are proton pump inhibitors (PPI). However, much like Guardium, the two also have their differences.

Both are sold under their own brand names as they contain different active ingredients. Omeprazole is an ingredient sold under the brand name Prilosec. Nexium is the brand name of the active ingredient esomeprazole. The chemical makeup is different. Nexium tablets contain one isomer of Omeprazole, while Prilosec contains two.

Both share many similarities. Nexium and Omeprazole have the same side effects. However, research shows that common side effects of Omeprazole happen in more than 1 in 100 people. Similar side effects include diarrhoea, nausea, and stomach pains.

Nexium Reviews

The majority of Nexium reviews are positive. Many users recognise this as an effective treatment for issues such as acid reflux. Not only is the medication praised for its ability to minimise symptoms related to excess stomach acid, but it is also easy to use. Nexium is available in three different forms. Users who struggle to ingest tablets - enjoyed the option of capsules or granules.

Some reviewers did express concerns over side effects. Like all medications, there are some associated side effects with Nexium tablets. However, most users describe them as temporary. Overall, Nexium tablets are an effective treatment and one that seems to be used by many.

Can You Buy Nexium Over the Counter?

You can buy Nexium tablets over the counter in the UK provided they are in packs of fourteen 20mg tablets. You will need a prescription for 40mg tablets.

You cannot buy Nexium tablets online unless you are confident that you are not currently taking any other medication that could interfere with it. If not, you can use Cloud Pharmacy's online pharmacy to buy them. You will be asked to complete a short online consultation before the medication can be dispensed. Once you have been approved by one of our online pharmacists, the medication will be dispensed and dispatched to you in a discreet package with next-day delivery.

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Nexium Dosage

If you take Nexium as a tablet or capsule, it will contain either 20mg of esomeprazole or 40mg. A sachet will contain 10mg. The dosage you need will depend on your condition.

For stomach infection or duodenal ulcer of patients aged 18 years and older, take 20 milligrams of Esomeprazole once a day for 4 weeks.

For duodenal ulcers caused by helicobacter pylori infection of patients aged 18 years and older, take 20 milligrams twice a day for 10 days.

For gastric ulcers of patients aged 18 years and older, take 40 milligrams once a day for 4-8 weeks of treatment.

For GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease of patients aged 18 years and older, take 20 milligrams of Esomeprazole e once a day for 4 weeks.

If you suffer from a more severe condition like Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, your usual dosage is 80mg daily. Doses are typically lower for children and people who experience liver problems.

How Long Does It Take for Nexium to Work?

Nexium tablets can work quickly for some users. Once you take your first dose, it will start to work within the hour. However, it may take up to three days before your symptoms begin to ease. This medication will not relieve heartburn, indigestion, or acid reflux straight away.

How to Take Nexium

Before taking Nexium tablets, you should always listen to your doctor/pharmacist's advice. If you have ordered your medication through an online pharmacy, read the instructions located in the packet and if your symptoms worsen, see if you can get further support.

Start taking Nexium tablets first thing in the morning. You only need to swallow one tablet or capsule, which can be done with a drink of water. You can take them with or without food. However, taking it before your first meal is recommended so the medication can reach your system. Swallow the capsule as a whole, do not break, crush, or chew the medication. If you must take antacids together with this medication, allow at least 30 minutes intervals before taking another medication.

If you miss a dose of your Nexium tablet, take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose is due in the next 12 hours, skip the missed dose and start your treatment cycle again the next day.

You should aim to take Nexium tablets for two weeks. If your symptoms have not improved, you must consult a doctor. They may increase your dosage or find an alternative treatment. They can also see if the medicine is affected by other medicines you're taking or an underlying medical condition and provide you with other drugs or treatments to provide relief.

Side Effects
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Nexium Side Effects

Like all medications, there are some risks associated with Nexium tablets. However, the most common side effects are mild and will often subside on their own. Common side effects happen in more than 1 in 100 people. Many Nexium users will not experience any side effects from taking the medication.

Some of the most common side effects of Nexium tablets are as follows:

  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Persistent headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

If these symptoms persist and cause unmanageable discomfort, talk to your doctor/GP. You can also try and ease these symptoms by drinking plenty of water. If you are suffering from a loss of appetite, try eating small, frequent meals. Always read the package leaflet and if in doubt, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

There are also some more side effects that users can experience. These are uncommon. However, it is important to be aware of them. The following side effects pose a greater risk to your health, and you must seek medical assistance:

  • Seizures
  • Allergic reactions
  • Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
  • Fever
  • Muscle spasms
  • Extreme fatigue 
  • Changes in heart rhythm

If you experience severe side effects, like a seizure, you must call 999 immediately. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, contact your doctor/GP straight away. Do not delay as the symptoms can quickly worsen.

Patient Information Leaflet
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Nexium Tablets Patient Information Leaflet

For more information on Nexium tablets medication, take a look at the patient information leaflet below:

Nexium FAQs
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What is Acid Reflux?

It is the movement of the stomach contents up the oesophagus or gullet. Often causing an uncomfortable or burning sensation behind the breastbone.

In more serious or left untreated, Stomach contents can be regurgitated into the mouth affecting the teeth, gums and causing bad breath.

Sometimes the regurgitated fluid can enter the airways and exacerbate or make asthma worse.

What causes Acid Reflux?

The stomach has a small circular piece of muscle at the top, called the cardiac or lower oesophageal sphincter.

This stops the stomach contents from travelling back up the oesophagus or gullet.

When this muscle becomes weakened, the stomach contents can travel up and cause symptoms like heartburn, bad breath and the feeling of being sick.

Is Acid Reflux common?

It is very common and 60% of people will have reflux or similar symptoms in a 12-month period.

In the same period, 20-30% of people will have symptoms on a weekly basis.

What are the symptoms of Acid Reflux?

The movement of acid can give the following symptoms

  • Burning feeling behind the breastbone
  • Feeling sick
  • Being sick
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth and gum problems
  • Worsening of asthma

What can make Acid Reflux worse?

The following can make acid reflux worse.

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • Eating spicy food,
  • Large meal sizes
  • Late night Eating, within 2 hours of going to sleep
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Pregnancy
  • Tight Clothing
  • Certain medicines for blood pressure like Calcium channel blockers, medicines for angina like glyceryl trinitrate and painkillers like ibuprofen, diclofenac and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Stress
  • Genetics

How do I choose the correct treatment for Acid Reflux?

There are different categories of treatment and their uses and explanations are listed below.

Generally, patients should start with antacids and then make their way down the list if treatment does not control their symptoms.

1. Antacids – the first line treatment. These help neutralise stomach acid to relieve symptoms. The effects usually last for 2-3 hours. Examples of antacids include Rennie, Enos, Andrews Salts, and Tums. They contain ingredients like calcium carbonate, which neutralizes stomach acid, but too much calcium taken regularly can make acid reflux worse. Only be for occasional or infrequent use.

2. Alginates – neutralize and form a layer on the top of stomach acid, which prevents upward movement. Are available in tablet and liquid forms. Liquids act quicker but are more inconvenient to carry around. Usually, these last no more than 3-4 hours.
Alginates are made up of calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate or aluminum salts. Too much calcium taken frequently can cause stomach acid to worsen, so should only be used infrequently. Excessive magnesium salts can cause diarrhoea and too much aluminum salts can cause constipation.
Always check with pharmacist, as alginates can interact with other medication. Examples include Gaviscon, Gaviscon Advance, and Peptac.

3. H2 Receptor Antagonists – available as tablets. They reduce the production of stomach acid and were initially introduced on prescription, before being available to buy from pharmacies. They start to work in as little as 30 minutes and their effects can last for up to 12 hours. They are well tolerated and side effects are rare. They can include diarrhoea, tiredness, rashes, and constipation. Examples include Ranitidine, Zantac, Gavilast, Cimetidine, and Pepcid AC.

4. Proton Pump Inhibitors – or PPIs for short, are the latest medicine for controlling acid reflux and other stomach symptoms. They work by reducing the stomach acid, but are more effective and last longer. Effects can be seen up to 17 hours after the dose is taken. They come in tablet or capsule forms, be should be swallowed whole (Losec Tablets can be crushed if needed). PPIs are very well tolerated, with low incidence of side effects. Usually, unwanted effects include diarrhoea, constipation, drowsiness. Examples include Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Losec and Esomeprazole.

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