Compare Nexium vs. Maalox

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.


(Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)

Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Nexium (Esomeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief. But this purple pill ain't cheap! The generic forms of alternative drugs work just as well, and are usually less expensive.Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) gives quick relief for heartburn, gas, and bloating. It may not be as effective or last as long as alternative antacids though.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Nexium (Esomeprazole)
of people (All ages) say Nexium (Esomeprazole) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
1226 reviews
Have you used Nexium (Esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)
7% vs. Nexium (Esomeprazole)
29% vs. Nexium (Esomeprazole)
+2% vs. Nexium (Esomeprazole)
212 reviews
Have you used Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects

The Nexium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Nexium side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Maalox side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Maalox »
How it works
Nexium (Esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach, treats heartburn, and heals ulcers.Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) is a combination medicine for stomach trouble. Aluminum and magnesium are antacids that relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion). Simethicone relieves gas and bloating.
Type of medication
Acid reducer
Proton pump inhibitor
Prescription or OTC
Available as
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Risk factors for serious side effects
    • Helicobacter pylori infection
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Being hospitalized
    • Antibiotic use
    • Osteoporosis
    • Age 50 or older
    • Using high medication doses
    • Long-term therapy (1 year or more)
    • Smoking
    • Use of other medications that weaken bones
      Detailed Nexium (Esomeprazole) risks & warnings »
      • Age 65 or older
        • Current kidney disease
          Detailed Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          • Take 1 hour before a meal.
          • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver related info.
          • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
          • If you have kidney disease Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) can build up in your blood. This may can cause toxic levels of aluminum or magnesium in your body. This is more likely if you have severe kidney disease (defined as a kidney function blood test called GFR of less than 30ml/min). If you have severe kidney disease or are on kidney dialysis don't use Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone); a different antacid would be better for you.
          Upsides and benefits
          • Most people can take Nexium without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
          • Nexium lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
          • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
          • In studies it was better than a placebo (sugar pill) and as good as other proton pump inhibitors at treating heartburn.
          • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
          • Works really fast.
          • Available over the counter without a prescription.
          • Cheap.
          Downsides and risks
          • Doesn't start working as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
          • Like with other proton pump inhibitors, long-term use can cause weak or broken bones.
          • Can cause low levels of magnesium in the blood. You might need to take a magnesium supplement if you use Nexium long-term.
          • Can be expensive—especially the purple brand-name pill. Other alternatives are usually cheaper than Nexium and work just as well.
          • Can interact with other drugs so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Nexium.
          • Doesn't last very long.
          • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
          • Some people don't care for the taste.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          • Take 1 hour before a meal.
          • Don't chew or crush capsules; swallow them whole.
          • If you have trouble swallowing you can carefully open the capsules and sprinkle the inside pellets onto applesauce. Swallow the applesauce without chewing or crushing the pellets.
          • When using Nexium long-term, take a calcium citrate with vitamin D supplement daily to prevent bone loss. Be sure it's calcium citrate because it works the best when using a proton pump inhibitor.
          • Get a blood test for your magnesium level once a year; you may need a magnesium supplement while using Nexium.
          • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Nexium.
          • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
          • Take 1-2 hours apart from other medication that you take by mouth.
          • Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or constipation.
          • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
          Learn more
          More about NexiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Nexium (Esomeprazole)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about MaaloxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it