Esomeprazole

What is esomeprazole?

Esomeprazole is an acid reducer available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that treat frequent heartburn (i.e., symptoms occur two or more days a week). Esomeprazole is part of a group of acid reducers called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. It can be the only ingredient in heartburn medicines that provide long-lasting relief of symptoms, or it can be found in medicines that contain an additional active ingredient that helps with the absorption of esomeprazole.

OTC medicines containing esomeprazole are not intended to provide immediate relief of heartburn symptoms. They should be taken every day for 14 days. While some people experience relief of symptoms within 24 hours, it may take one to four days for the medicine to take full effect.

What is esomeprazole used to treat?

  • Frequent heartburn
Products containing esomeprazole:
  • Nexium 24HR

How much esomeprazole can you take?

OTC medicines containing esomeprazole are not intended to provide immediate relief of heartburn symptoms. They should be taken every day for 14 days. While some people experience relief of symptoms within 24 hours, it may take one to four days for the medicine to take full effect. It is always important to read and follow the Drug Facts label. Stop and ask a doctor if symptoms persist.

Safety guide for esomeprazole

Esomeprazole is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label.

Safe use tips:

  • You should follow the recommended course of treatment for 14 days. You may repeat the 14-day course every four months, if necessary
  • You should never take more medicine or for a longer period of time than what the Drug Facts label says

Ask a healthcare provider before use if:

  • You are taking the blood-thinning drug warfarin
  • You are using an antifungal or anti-yeast medicine
  • You are taking the anxiety medicine diazepam
  • You are taking the heart medicine digoxin
  • You are taking the immune system medicine tacrolimus
  • You are taking the HIV infection medicine atazanavir
  • You have had heartburn for more than three months
  • Your heartburn is accompanied by lightheadedness, sweating, or dizziness
  • You are experiencing chest or shoulder pain with shortness of breath; sweating; pain spreading to your arms, neck, or shoulders; or lightheadedness
  • You have frequent chest pain, wheezing, unexplained weight loss, nausea or vomiting, or stomach pain
  • You are giving an OTC medicine containing esomeprazole to a child or adolescent under the age of 18
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding

Do not use if:

  • You are allergic to esomeprazole
  • You have trouble or pain swallowing food, are vomiting with blood, or have bloody or black stools

Stop use and ask a doctor if:

  • Your heartburn continues or gets worse.
  • You need to take the product for more than 14 days.
  • You need to take more than one course of treatment every four months.
  • You take too much. Immediately contact a healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.

What are the side effects of esomeprazole?

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain