Pharmacist Tips: How Best to Treat Acid Reflux with Esomeprazole (Nexium)

Are you one of the millions of Americans who take esomeprazole (Nexium)? 

If so, our pharmacists put together some helpful tips to make sure you’re correctly taking the medication. Check it out below. 

#1: Check drug interactions. 

Esomeprazole can interact with a handful of other medications, so it’s important that you tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of the drugs you take including prescription, over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins. Some of the known drug interactions include, but are not limited, to clopidogrel (Plavix), escitalopram (Lexapro), citalopram (Celexa), and Synthroid (levothyroxine).

#2: Don’t chew

If you are taking esomeprazole in tablet form, do not chew or crush it; instead, swallow the tablet whole. If you’re taking the capsule form of esomeprazole and cannot swallow it whole, you can actually sprinkle the contents on room temperature applesauce (it shouldn’t be warm) and swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not sprinkle on other liquids or foods. 

#3: Timing matters

Both tablet and capsule forms of esomeprazole should be taken at least one hour before meals with a full glass of water.

#4: Use continually if treating more serious issues 

Esomeprazole starts working one hour after consumption, but its optimal benefits (for instance, healing of ulcers) happen after using it consistently for at least four days. This is important for patients with more serious issues such as ulcers or hiatal hernia. Note that esomeprazole’s effects last up to 24 hours. Speak to your doctor about the duration of treatment that is right for you.

P.S. Want to learn more about other options to treat acid reflux? Check out our comprehensive guide to all of your medication options.

Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi