Esomeprazol

Esomeprazol is a medication that is used to reduce stomach acid. It is available as a liquid, tablets or capsules. Some versions can also be bought at pharmacies without a prescription. Esomeprazol is mainly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), duodenal ulcers, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome.

What is Esomeprazol?

Esomeprazol is a medication that is used to reduce stomach acid.

It is available as a liquid, tablets or capsules. Some versions can also be bought at pharmacies without a prescription. Esomeprazol is mainly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), duodenal ulcers, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome.

How does Esomeprazol work?

Esomeprazol effectively treats GERD by inhibiting the production of digestive acids in the stomach, thus reducing their effect on the oesophagus.

How to take Esomeprazol?

Each tablet should be swallowed whole with liquid without being chewed or crushed. Patients who have difficulty swallowing can open the capsules and mix the contents with approximately half a glass of still water. No other type of liquid should be used to avoid the risk of enteric coating dissolving. It can be taken with or without food.

Dosage

Dosage varies with the reason for the prescription and the weight of the patient. Always take according to the instructions provided by your doctor. A typical dosage for the treatment of erosive reflux oesophagitis is as follows:

  • Adults and adolescents over the age of 12 years: 40 mg once daily for 4 weeks. Treatment for an additional four weeks is advisable for patients whose symptoms persist.
  • The dosage for the long-term treatment of patients with reflux oesophagitis or to prevent the likelihood of relapse: Adults and adolescents over the age of 12 years: 20 mg once daily.

Try and take the dose in the morning. If you forget a tablet, take the next one as soon as you remember and then continue the schedule as usual.

Side effects

As with virtually all medications, esomeprazol is associated with side effects. The following is not a comprehensive list of all possible side effects. Seek medical advice if any of the following or additional symptoms cause you discomfort.

Common side effects of esomeprazol include:

  • Abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, nausea/vomiting, headache.
  • Rare side effects include:
  • Dry mouth, dermatitis, itching, rash, urticaria, hip, wrist or spine fractures dizziness, paresthesia, somnolence.
  • Very rare side effects include:
  • Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, stomatitis, confusion, depression, gastrointestinal candida, alopecia, photosensitivity, fever, angioedema, anaphylactic reaction/shock, aggression, hallucinations, microscopic colitis.

When is it not advisable to take Esomeprazol?

Esomeprazol is not suitable for everybody. Do not take esomeprazol if you:

  • Have had liver problems;
  • If you have experienced an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients (see package label for a full list);
  • If you have an endoscopy planned in the near future;
  • If you have problems absorbing glucose or sucrose.

Some medications are known to interact with esomeprazol. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you currently take, even over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies, particularly St John's Wort.

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding / Driving / Alchohol

Esomeprazol is not recommended for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding as there is no evidence that it is safe and there are alternatives you can try.

You can drink alcohol while taking esomeprazol but you should be aware that alcohol can irritate the lining of your stomach and may exacerbate your symptoms.

There are no contraindications against driving while taking esomeprazol.

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