FAQs About NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) and Heartburn Relief

Considering NEXIUM? The information below may help answer some of your questions.

What does NEXIUM do?
Why is NEXIUM called the "Healing Purple Pill"?
How does NEXIUM work?
Who can prescribe NEXIUM?
Is NEXIUM affordable?
Is there a generic of NEXIUM available?
Is NEXIUM easy to take?
What is the most important information I should know about NEXIUM?
What are the possible side effects of NEXIUM?
Does NEXIUM contain gluten?
Who should not take NEXIUM?

What is the difference between Prescription NEXIUM and NEXIUM® 24HR?

How is NEXIUM 24HR different from prescription NEXIUM?
Is NEXIUM still available as a prescription now that NEXIUM 24HR is available?
Are the indications for NEXIUM 24HR and prescription NEXIUM the same?
Can patients stop taking their prescription NEXIUM and take NEXIUM 24HR?
Is taking 2 capsules of NEXIUM 24HR the same as taking prescription NEXIUM 40 mg?
Are both prescription NEXIUM and NEXIUM 24HR available through the Direct program?

Are you taking NEXIUM? The information below may help answer some of your questions.

How should I take NEXIUM?
What should I do if I miss a dose of NEXIUM?
How should I store NEXIUM?
What is the recommended adult dose for NEXIUM?

NEXIUM cost and your prescription drug coverage.

What if NEXIUM is not on my plan's list of covered prescription medications?
If I have 2 insurance cards, which one should I use to find out information about my NEXIUM coverage and out-of-pocket costs?
Why might my co-pay/coinsurance for NEXIUM have changed?
What if I have commercial coverage?
What if I don't have health or prescription drug coverage?

FAQs about NEXIUM Direct.

Please refer to our NEXIUM Direct page for program information and enrollment details.

FAQs about the NEXIUM Savings Card.

How does the NEXIUM Savings Card work at my pharmacy?
How do I know if my insurance covers a 60-day or 90-day prescription at my retail pharmacy?
Who is eligible for the NEXIUM Savings Card?
Who is not eligible for the NEXIUM Savings Card?
How does the NEXIUM Savings Card work if I’m a mail-order customer?
Can I mail my retail NEXIUM Savings Card in with my mail-order prescription?
How long can I use the NEXIUM Savings Card?
What are the eligibility requirements?
What if I am enrolled in a government, state, or federally funded prescription benefit program?
Do I need my card every time I get my prescription refilled at the pharmacy?
What happens if I lose my card?
Can I switch pharmacies at any time with the card?
What if I’m currently using an old NEXIUM Savings Card?

Want to know more about acid reflux disease? The information below may help answer some of your questions.

What is acid reflux disease?
What are the symptoms of acid reflux disease?
Is acid reflux disease serious?
How can I know if I have damage from acid reflux disease?
How is acid reflux disease treated?
What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux disease?
What causes acid reflux disease?
What foods trigger acid reflux?

What does NEXIUM do?

NEXIUM can both relieve persistent heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux disease and also heal possible damage to the esophagus that acid reflux can cause over time. Only a doctor can determine if you have this damage, which is called erosive esophagitis. For many people, once-daily NEXIUM provides 24-hour relief from symptoms due to acid reflux disease. NEXIUM can also heal possible damage from acid reflux within 4 to 8 weeks. Your results with NEXIUM may vary.

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Why is NEXIUM called the "Healing Purple Pill"?

Over time, untreated acid reflux can cause breaks or erosions in the lining of the esophagus. Only a doctor can diagnose this damage, which is called erosive esophagitis. NEXIUM can heal those erosions; that's why it's called the "Healing Purple Pill." Most erosions heal in 4 to 8 weeks. Your results with NEXIUM may vary.

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How does NEXIUM work?

NEXIUM turns off many of the "acid pumps" in the stomach's acid-producing cells. This reduces the amount of acid in your stomach.

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Who can prescribe NEXIUM?

Doctors, and in many states nurse practitioners and physician's assistants, can prescribe medications. These qualified professionals can also determine whether NEXIUM is right for you.

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Is NEXIUM affordable?

With the NEXIUM Savings Card, you may be eligible to save

  • If you have prescription coverage and your co-pay is more than $25, you may receive up to $50 in savings on each monthly fill through 12/31/14
  • If you do not have prescription coverage, AstraZeneca will cover the first $50 of your out-of-pocket cost each time you fill your monthly prescription through 12/31/14 (up to 12 fills)

Learn more about the NEXIUM Savings Card

Some restrictions apply. Read eligibility requirements here

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Is there a generic of NEXIUM available?

NEXIUM is part of a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). There are other available branded medications in this class and only some of them have generic equivalents. NEXIUM does not have a generic equivalent.

It is important to know that no 2 drugs in 1 class are exactly the same. In fact, not all medications work the same for all patients, including the generic equivalents. When your doctor prescribes a medication, it is because he or she feels it is the right one for you.

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Is NEXIUM easy to take?

People take NEXIUM just once a day to treat acid reflux disease. It should be taken at least 1 hour before a meal. If your doctor prescribes NEXIUM for you, take it as he or she directs.

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What is the most important information I should know about NEXIUM?

NEXIUM may help your acid-related symptoms, but you could still have serious stomach problems. Talk with your doctor.

NEXIUM may increase your risk of getting severe diarrhea. This diarrhea may be caused by an infection (Clostridium difficile) in your intestines.

Call your doctor right away if you have watery stool, stomach pain, and fever that does not go away.

People who take multiple daily doses of proton pump inhibitor medicines for a long period of time (a year or longer) may have an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. You should take NEXIUM exactly as prescribed, at the lowest dose possible for your treatment and for the shortest time needed. Talk to your doctor about your risk of bone fracture if you take NEXIUM.

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What are the possible side effects of NEXIUM?

NEXIUM can cause serious side effects including:

  • Chronic (lasting a long time) inflammation of the stomach lining (Atrophic Gastritis). Using NEXIUM for a long period of time may increase the risk of inflammation to your stomach lining. You may or may not have symptoms. Tell your doctor if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or weight loss
  • Low magnesium levels in your body. This problem can be serious. Low magnesium can happen in some people who take a proton pump inhibitor medicine for at least 3 months. If low magnesium levels happen, it is usually after a year of treatment. You may or may not have symptoms of low magnesium
  • Talk to your doctor about your risk for:
    • Bone fractures if you take multiple daily doses of NEXIUM for a long period of time
    • Low magnesium levels if you take NEXIUM for a long period of time

In adults 18 and older, side effects of NEXIUM include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

In children 1 to 17 years of age, side effects of NEXIUM include headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and sleepiness.

Please consult the full Prescribing Information to read more about possible side effects.

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Does NEXIUM contain gluten?

Gluten is not listed as an ingredient in the NEXIUM Prescribing Information.

Since AstraZeneca does not manufacture the raw materials used in its drug products and since suppliers may periodically change, lack of contact with gluten or use of gluten during the manufacturing process cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, AstraZeneca cannot guarantee that NEXIUM is gluten-free.

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Who should not take NEXIUM?

Do not take NEXIUM if you are allergic to esomeprazole magnesium or any of the ingredients in NEXIUM.

Do not take NEXIUM if you are allergic to any other proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medicine.

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How is NEXIUM 24HR different from prescription NEXIUM?

There are several differences between NEXIUM 24HR and prescription NEXIUM. NEXIUM is prescribed to treat the symptoms of acid reflux disease, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which typically include persistent heartburn on 2 or more days per week, despite treatment and change of diet. For many people, NEXIUM is also prescribed to heal damage to the esophagus called erosive esophagitis. To learn more about NEXIUM 24HR 20 mg, visit www.NEXIUM24HR.com

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Is NEXIUM still available as a prescription now that NEXIUM 24HR is available?

Yes, prescription NEXIUM will still be available in both 20 mg and 40 mg delayed-release capsules. Other formulations of prescription NEXIUM including NEXIUM I.V. and NEXIUM Oral Suspension will also remain available to patients and physicians. NEXIUM 20 mg and 40 mg delayed-release capsules remain available by prescription.

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Are the indications for NEXIUM 24HR and prescription NEXIUM the same?

There are several differences between NEXIUM 24HR and prescription NEXIUM. NEXIUM is prescribed to treat the symptoms of acid reflux disease, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which typically include persistent heartburn on 2 or more days per week, despite treatment and change of diet. For many people, NEXIUM is also prescribed to heal damage to the esophagus called erosive esophagitis. NEXIUM 24HR 20 mg delayed-release capsules are indicated for the treatment of frequent heartburn.* To learn more about NEXIUM 24HR, visit www.NEXIUM24HR.com

*Defined as heartburn occurring 2 or more days a week.

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Can patients stop taking their prescription NEXIUM and take NEXIUM 24HR?

Patients should not change or stop taking any prescriptions without first consulting their health care provider. We believe the best decisions regarding medications are made between a patient and his or her doctor, and that any changes to a patient’s treatment—including switching to a different medication or treatment—should be made in consultation with a physician.

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Is taking 2 capsules of NEXIUM 24HR the same as taking prescription NEXIUM 40 mg?

We believe the best decisions regarding medications are made between a patient and his or her doctor, and that any changes to a patient’s treatment—including switching to a different medication or treatment—should be made in consultation with a physician. There are several differences between NEXIUM 24HR 20 mg
delayed–release capsules and prescription NEXIUM. NEXIUM is prescribed to treat the symptoms of acid reflux disease, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which typically include persistent heartburn on 2 or more days per week, despite treatment and change of diet. For many people, prescription NEXIUM is also prescribed to heal damage to the esophagus called erosive esophagitis. NEXIUM 24HR 20 mg delayed-release capsules are indicated for the treatment of frequent heartburn.*
*Defined as heartburn occurring 2 or more days a week.

To learn more about NEXIUM 24HR, visit www.NEXIUM24HR.com

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Are both prescription NEXIUM and NEXIUM 24HR available through the Direct program?

Only prescription NEXIUM is available through NEXIUM Direct.

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How should I take NEXIUM?

  • Take NEXIUM exactly as prescribed by your doctor
  • Do not change your dose or stop NEXIUM without talking to your doctor
  • Take NEXIUM at least 1 hour before a meal
  • Swallow the capsules whole; never chew or crush them. If you have a hard time swallowing capsules, you can open and empty a capsule into a tablespoon of applesauce and swallow it right away (do not store the applesauce for later use)
  • If you take NEXIUM Delayed-Release Oral Suspension
    • Empty the contents of a packet into a container with 1 tablespoon of water
    • Stir
    • Leave for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken
    • Stir and drink within 30 minutes
    • If any medicine remains after drinking, add more water, stir, and drink right away

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What should I do if I miss a dose of NEXIUM?

If you miss or forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose on time. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

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How should I store NEXIUM?

Keep NEXIUM out of the reach of children and always replace the bottle cap after use. Leave NEXIUM in the original package and protect the medicine from sunlight and moisture. Store NEXIUM at room temperature (between 68ºF and 77ºF or between 20ºC and 25ºC).

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What is the recommended adult dose for NEXIUM?

Your doctor will prescribe the dose that's right for you. Twenty milligrams once daily is a common prescription for patients with acid reflux disease. For patients with acid reflux disease and erosive esophagitis (EE), 20 mg or 40 mg once daily may be prescribed.

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What if NEXIUM is not on my plan's list of covered prescription medications?

NEXIUM is available to most people who receive prescription drug coverage through an employer, Medicaid, Medicare, or their state prescription drug program. However, some plans may have special rules or set limits on how you get your medications. If this is true for your plan, you can either pay full price for the prescription or ask your plan administrator for what is called an exception.

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If I have 2 insurance cards, which one should I use to find out information about my NEXIUM coverage and out-of-pocket costs?

Some people have different plan ID cards for their medical coverage and for their prescription drug coverage. Usually, this is because the prescription drug coverage has been purchased from an insurance provider that is different than the one providing medical coverage. Because NEXIUM is covered through prescription drug coverage and not medical coverage, you should refer to the plan ID card that you present at the pharmacy.

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Why might my co-pay/coinsurance for NEXIUM have changed?

The amount of your co-pay or coinsurance is determined by your plan and what formulary tier or level NEXIUM is on within that plan. Typically, a lower tier will have a lower cost, while a higher tier will have a higher cost. Your plan administrator will be able to give you detailed information about your prescription medication costs and the reasons for any changes to your out-of-pocket costs. If you get your prescription drug coverage through your employer, your human resources or benefits manager may also be able to answer questions about your plan.

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What if I have commercial coverage?

If you have commercial insurance for your prescription and your co-pay is more than $25, you will pay the first $25 per 30-day supply and receive up to $50 in savings per 30-day supply. If you pay cash for your prescription, you will receive up to $50 in savings on your out-of-pocket costs per 30-day supply.

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What if I don't have health or prescription drug coverage?

The NEXIUM Savings Card can help eligible patients without prescription drug coverage. These patients may receive up to $50 in savings on each monthly fill through 12/31/14.*

Some restrictions apply. See eligibility requirements here.

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How does the NEXIUM Savings Card work at my pharmacy?

After you receive your card, simply present it to your pharmacist with your prescription for NEXIUM.

Patients With Prescription Insurance

Rx Size You Pay* AstraZeneca Pays
30-day First $25 of co-pay Up to $50
60-day First $50 of co-pay Up to $100
90-day First $75 of co-pay Up to $150

*Patients are responsible for any balance: above $75 for a 30-day supply, above $150 for a 60-day supply, and above $225 for a 90-day supply.

Cash-Paying Patients

Rx Size AstraZeneca Pays You Pay*
30-day Up to $50 Balance of cost
60-day Up to $100 Balance of cost
90-day Up to $150 Balance of cost

The offer is limited to 1 NEXIUM Savings Card per person. Offer expires 12/31/14. The offer is good only in the United States and its territories. AstraZeneca reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time. Eligibility restrictions apply.

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How do I know if my insurance covers a 60-day or 90-day prescription at my retail pharmacy?

Call your insurance carrier for your specific plan coverage details. Not all insurance plans cover prescriptions over 30 days at retail pharmacies.

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Who is eligible for the NEXIUM Savings Card?

  • Patients with commercial insurance
  • Patients with no prescription drug coverage. Certain other restrictions may apply. See full eligibility information here

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Who is not eligible for the NEXIUM Savings Card?

  • Patients with prescriptions covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or similar federal or state programs
  • Patients who are eligible for Medicare and enrolled in an employer-sponsored group waiver health plan or government-subsidized prescription drug benefit program for retirees
  • Patients younger than 1 month of age

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How does the NEXIUM Savings Card work if I’m a mail-order customer?

You can receive savings if you purchase through mail order by completing the form and mailing it with proof of purchase for a refund. We will mail you a refund of up to $150 if your co-pay is more than $75. Processing time may take up to 6-8 weeks.


Rx Size You Pay* AstraZeneca Pays
90-day First $75 of co-pay Up to $150

*Patients are responsible for any balance above $225.

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Can I mail my retail NEXIUM Savings Card in with my mail-order prescription?

No. Many of the mail-order pharmacies don't accept savings cards. However, you can complete the form and mail it with proof of purchase for a refund. We will mail you a refund of up to $150 if your co-pay is more than $75. Processing time may take up to 6-8 weeks.

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How long can I use the NEXIUM Savings Card?

The NEXIUM Savings Card can be used on each prescription fill until 12/31/14.

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What are the eligibility requirements?

ELIGIBILITY: This offer is good for eligible patients purchasing at least a 30-day supply of NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) and may not be used for any other product. This offer is good for the purchase of NEXIUM manufactured for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP and lawfully purchased from an authorized retailer or distributor in the United States or its territories. This offer is not insurance and is not valid for prescriptions purchased under Medicaid, Medicare, or similar federal or state programs or for patients who are Medicare eligible and enrolled in an employer-sponsored group waiver health plan or government-subsidized prescription drug benefit program for retirees or for patients younger than 1 month of age. Offer not valid where prohibited by law, taxed, or restricted. Offer is not transferable, is limited to 1 per person, and may not be combined with any other offer. Offer must be presented along with a valid prescription for NEXIUM at the time of purchase. For mail-order prescriptions, go here.

OFFER: If you have commercial insurance for your prescription and your co-pay is more than $25, you will pay the first $25 per 30-day supply and receive up to $50 in savings per 30-day supply. If you pay cash for your prescription, you will receive up to $50 in savings on your out-of-pocket costs per 30-day supply. This offer is good for 30-day supply, 60-day supply, or 90-day supply and expires 12/31/14. If you have any questions regarding this offer, please call 1-877-703-7283. AstraZeneca reserves the right to change or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

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What if I am enrolled in a government, state, or federally funded prescription benefit program?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible for the NEXIUM Savings Card, due to government regulations.

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Do I need my card every time I get my prescription refilled at the pharmacy?

If you go to the same pharmacy where you initially filled your prescription, the information should be saved in the system. If the information is no longer saved in the system, you would need to provide the card again.

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What happens if I lose my card?

If you lose your card after you've used it and received your first prescription, the information should already be stored in the computer system of the pharmacy first used. In that case, the card will not be necessary. If you lose your card before using it at a pharmacy or you lose it and want to switch pharmacies, your doctor can provide you with another card or you may request one by calling 1-877-703-7283. Or you can always download a new card here.

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Can I switch pharmacies at any time with the card?

Yes. However, it will be necessary to present your NEXIUM Savings Card when you begin using a new pharmacy if it is not affiliated with your previous pharmacy.

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What if I’m currently using an old NEXIUM Savings Card?

You can continue using your current NEXIUM Savings Card until all fills are used or it expires. Or, simply print a new one here.

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What is acid reflux disease?

"Acid reflux" is the backing up of stomach acid into the esophagus (food tube). The acid can irritate the delicate lining of the esophagus, causing heartburn, a burning pain in the center of the chest. "Acid reflux disease" is frequently recurring acid reflux. If you have heartburn 2 or more days a week, despite trying to treat it and change your diet, you may have acid reflux disease. If acid reflux disease is not treated, it can potentially cause damage to the esophagus over time, which is a condition called erosive esophagitis. Acid reflux disease is also sometimes known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

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What are the symptoms of acid reflux disease?

The most common symptoms are heartburn, a sour or bitter taste, and difficulty swallowing. Other symptoms include persistent cough, hoarseness, and upset stomach.

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Is acid reflux disease serious?

If acid reflux disease is not treated, it can, over time, cause tissue damage in the lining of the esophagus, leading to a condition called erosive esophagitis (EE). About 1 in 3 acid reflux disease sufferers may have EE. And if EE is not treated, it can result in even more serious health problems.

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How can I know if I have damage from acid reflux disease?

Only a doctor can see if you have damage in your esophagus. You can't tell solely by how you feel. Even if your heartburn pain is only mild, you may still have damage.

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How is acid reflux disease treated?

Three categories of acid reflux disease medicines include antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs are more effective than H2 blockers for acid reflux disease.

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What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux disease?

Nearly everyone experiences occasional heartburn. But when heartburn occurs 2 or more days a week, despite treatment and diet changes, a person may have acid reflux disease. Only a doctor can determine if you have acid reflux disease.

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What causes acid reflux disease?

There is a "valve" between the stomach and the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES opens to let food pass into the stomach and closes tightly after the food has passed through. When the LES does not stay closed after the food has passed through, acid and stomach contents may back up (reflux) into the esophagus.

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What foods trigger acid reflux?

For many people with acid reflux disease, common food triggers include fried and fatty foods; tomato-based foods; citrus fruits; chocolate; and alcoholic, caffeinated, and carbonated drinks. It's best to avoid foods that trigger heartburn or that make it worse for you.

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Important Safety Information About NEXIUM

  • Symptom relief does not rule out the presence of other serious stomach conditions
  • NEXIUM may increase your risk of getting severe diarrhea. Call your doctor right away if you have watery stool, stomach pain and fever that does not go away
  • Talk to your doctor about your risk for:
    • bone fractures if you take multiple daily doses of NEXIUM for a long period of time
    • low magnesium levels if you take NEXIUM for a long period of time
  • Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, prescription and non-prescription drugs, including clopidogrel, vitamins and herbal supplements. NEXIUM may affect how other medicines work and other medicines may affect how NEXIUM works
  • Side effects with NEXIUM include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain

Approved Uses for NEXIUM

NEXIUM is prescribed to treat the symptoms of acid reflux disease, which typically include persistent heartburn on 2 or more days per week, despite treatment and change of diet.

For many people, NEXIUM is also prescribed to heal damage to the esophagus called erosive esophagitis. This damage may be caused over time from stomach acid wearing away the lining of the esophagus. Only a doctor can diagnose this condition. With NEXIUM, most erosions heal in 4 to 8 weeks. Your results with NEXIUM may vary.

Please see full Prescribing Information.PDF Icon
Please see Medication Guide.PDF Icon