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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking esomeprazole (Nexium)?
Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to esomeprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole (Albenza), or mebendazole (Vermox).
To make sure you can safely take esomeprazole, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Taking a proton pump inhibitor such as esomeprazole may increase your risk of bone fracture in the hip, wrist, or spine. This effect has occurred mostly in people who have taken the medication long term or at high doses, and in those who are age 50 and older. It is not clear whether esomeprazole is the actual cause of an increased risk of fracture. Before you take this medication, tell your doctor if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mineral density).
Some conditions are treated with a combination of esomeprazole and antibiotics. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.
FDA pregnancy category B. Esomeprazole is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether esomeprazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take esomeprazole (Nexium)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
This medicine is usually given for 4 to 8 weeks only. Your doctor may recommend a second course of treatment if you need additional healing time.
Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
Esomeprazole should be taken at least one hour before a meal.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open a delayed-release capsule. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
You may open the delayed-release capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.
Esomeprazole can be given through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. Open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a 60-milliliter syringe. Mix in 50 milliliters of water. Place the plunger into the syringe and shake the mixture well. Make sure there are no medicine granules stuck in the tip of the syringe. Attach the syringe to the NG tube and push the plunger down to empty the syringe into the tube. Then flush the tube with more water to wash the contents down.
Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the condition is fully treated.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while you are taking this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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