Nexium is the trade name under which esomeprazole magnesium is marketed. It belongs to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPI's), which primarily reduce gastric acid secretions. It is most commonly prescribed for the treatment of peptic and stomach ulcers, dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Zollinger-Ellsion Syndrome, and other associated disorders of the gastrointestinal system. It works by inhibiting the action of stomach epithelial cells that are responsible for the secretion of gastric acid. This drug is available in the form of capsules for oral administration, generally in strengths of 20mg or 40mg of esomeprazole, or in the form of delayed release oral suspensions, which contain 10mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg of esomeprazole.
Recommended dosage differs depending on the severity of the affliction, and the condition for which it has been prescribed. Although it is available in the form of delayed release capsules for oral administration, it can also be taken in the form of intravenous injections, recommended for adults with a history of esophageal erosions. This drug forms the basis of treatment of a number of gastrointestinal disorders - the following is a brief overview of the standard dosage instructions based on the medical condition concerned.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
The initial dose for adults is 20mg daily, for a period between one and two months. Pediatric dosage remains the same, provided the child is between 12 and 17. For children between 1 and 11, the dosage is decreased to 10 mg daily, for two months. Should the condition be severe enough to cause esophageal erosions, dosage can be increased to 40mg daily, for the same time period for adults.
Prevention of Duodenal Ulcers
It is recommended for the elimination of Helicobacter pylori, which is linked with duodenal ulcers. This medicine is prescribed in conjunction with amoxicillin and clarithromycin in doses of 40 mg, 1000 mg, and 500 mg respectively, for a period of 10 days, in which Nexium is to be taken once, and amoxicillin and clarithromycin, twice each. Eradication of H. pylori has been found to reduce the risk of recurring of duodenal ulcers.
The dosage for patients with pathological hypersecretory conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome is long term, and varies with each individual; however the standard dosage is 40 mg, twice daily.
Reduced Risk of NSAID-Associated Gastric Ulcers
Patients who are on NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are at increased risk of developing gastric ulcers, for which this supplement may be prescribed as preventive medication for counteraction. In such cases, the dosage is recommended as between 20 mg and 40 mg, once daily for up to six months.
Treatment of GERD with Erosive Esophagitis (Adults)
For adults who suffer from GERD and have a history of Erosive Esophagitis, intravenous injections in 20 mg to 40 mg may be prescribed, once daily for up to ten days.
Most patients report findings of relief within four to eight weeks, however, in the event that there is incomplete healing, the course may be continued for a further four to eight weeks on the advice of a medical practitioner. As in the case of all medication, do not increase or decrease the dosage without consulting your doctor, and complete the prescribed course even if your symptoms fade, particularly when taking it in conjunction with any other medication. Inform your doctor about any previous allergies or reactions, or any other drugs that you might be on, and educate yourself about any side effects that may arise - these include headaches, nausea, stomach pain, and dry mouth among others - inform your doctor if these worsen. If you experience trouble breathing, severe abdominal pain, rashes, dizziness, or unusual fatigue, contact emergency medical services immediately.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.