medications, GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Acid reflux, categories of drugs, pregnancy safety

Generic Name: Esomeprazole
Indications: Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor that reduces acid production in the stomach. The drug is typically suggested for patients experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers associated with Helicobacter pylori infection or NSAID use.
FDA Drug Category: B

Nexium is generally prescribed for no longer then eight weeks but if your doctor feels you need a second round of treatment to prolong healing time, a second round may be prescribed. Each dose of Nexium needs to be taken with at least eight ounces of water. Nexium must be taken for the full length of time prescribed even if symptoms resolve before you have taken all of the medication.

General Precautions

Nexium is typically prescribed to patients with GERD or a similar condition and may also be prescribed with an antibiotic to facilitate healing. Your doctor may suggest dietary and lifestyle changes to prevent recurrence of symptoms. If you have liver disease or low blood magnesium levels, let your doctor know as Nexium may not be safe with these conditions.

Common side effects experienced by patients taking Nexium include headache, diarrhea, stomach pain and dry mouth. Serious side effects reports by few patients include dizziness, feeling jittery, coughing, and seizures. Nexium is contraindicated in patients taking Viracept or Reyataz. If you are taking one or both of these medications you should not take Nexium. There are other prescriptions and over-the-counter medications contraindicated with Nexium.

Trying to Conceive

Animal studies of doses up to 35 times that prescribed to humans have shown no negative effects on fertility or reproduction. Human studies have not been completed.

Pregnancy

The Food and Drug Administration places Nexium in pregnancy category B, which means the drug is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy when the benefits outweigh the risks. There have been reports of fetal re-absorption and lethality to the embryo in animal studies at doses between 5.5 and 56 times the normal human dose (based on body surface area). Animal studies do not always adequately describe human effects, but caution should be paid before prescribing Nexium during pregnancy.

Safe During Breastfeeding

No information exists on safety during breastfeeding for Nexium, but information does exist for Omeprazole or Prilosec. The drug is excreted in breast milk, but no negative side effects have been reported and the excreted amount is less than the prescribed neonatal dose.

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