Compare Nexium vs. Rolaids

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

Nexium
(esomeprazole)

Rolaids
(calcium carbonate / magnesium hydroxide)

Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Nexium (esomeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief but has some risks if used long term.Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) gives quick relief for heartburn, but don't expect it to last all day.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.45Nexium
Reviews for Nexium
75%
of people (All ages) say Nexium is worth it
59%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
1239 reviews
Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Rolaids
75%
Same vs. Nexium
37%
+22% better vs. Nexium
7%
-4% worse vs. Nexium
1089 reviews
Have you used Rolaids (calcium carbonate / magnesium hydroxide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NexiumRolaids

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 Rolaids side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Rolaids »
How it works
NexiumRolaids
Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It treats heartburn and heals ulcers by lowering the amount of acid in your stomach.Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) is an antacid. It counteracts the effects of stomach acid to relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion).
Type of medication
NexiumRolaids
Over-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
NexiumRolaids
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Packet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
NexiumRolaids
  • GERD
  • H Pylori Bacterial Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
NexiumRolaids
  • Being treated at a hospital
  • High dose Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Long-term treatment with Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Low bone mineral density
  • Aged 65 years or older
Detailed Nexium (esomeprazole) risks & warnings »
  • Current kidney disease
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Hyperparathyroid disease
  • Taking high doses of Vitamin D
  • Previous kidney stones
Detailed Rolaids (calcium carbonate / magnesium hydroxide) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Interactions
NexiumRolaids
  • Since some prescription drugs can interact with Nexium (esomeprazole), talk to your doctor about all the medicines that you're taking.
No interactions related info.
Kidneys and liver
NexiumRolaids
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) can cause acute kidney damage that can occur at any time during treatment. If you notice blood in the urine, changes in urine output, swelling of the body, weight gain, fever, or confusion, stop taking Nexium (esomeprazole) and speak to your doctor immediately.
  • If you have kidney or hyperparathyroid disease Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) can build up in your blood. This may can cause toxic levels of calcium 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 Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide); a different antacid would be better for you.
  • Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) contains calcium. Calcium can be an ingredient in some kidney stones. If you have had kidney stones in the past (especially the calcium-containing kind) be careful using Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide). Use the lowest dose for the shortest time possible or just play it safe and use a different antacid instead.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
Upsides and benefits
NexiumRolaids
  • Most people can take Nexium (esomeprazole) without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need quicker relief.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) is inexpensive, with over-the-counter and generic options.
  • Coupons are available for the brand name - speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • The packet form is a good option if you have trouble swallowing pills.They can be mixed with water for easier swallowing.
  • Works really fast.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Cheap.
Downsides and risks
NexiumRolaids
  • Doesn't start working right away like antacids (Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox).
  • It can take several days or weeks to start feeling benefits.
  • May not be the best choice for patients 65 years of age and older due to risk of bone fractures and severe diarrhea.
  • Doesn't last very long.
  • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
  • Some chalky aftertaste.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NexiumRolaids
  • Take Nexium (esomeprazole) with a full glass of water 1 hour before eating.
  • Starts working in as little as an hour.
  • It can take 1 to 4 days to take full effect.
  • Since some prescription drugs can interact with Nexium (esomeprazole), talk to your doctor about all the medicines that you're taking.
  • Do not take Nexium (esomeprazole) for more than 14 days, unless directed by your doctor. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms don't go away after 2 weeks.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) capsules can be opened and sprinkled on 1 tablespoon of applesauce, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Swallow immediately after.
  • Take at the first sign of discomfort.
  • You might need to take more than once a day but pay attention to the instructions on your bottle to avoid overdosing.
  • Take 1-2 hours apart from other medication that you take by mouth.
  • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
  • Don't take if you have high blood calcium levels.
Learn more
More about NexiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RolaidsSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Rolaids (calcium carbonate / magnesium hydroxide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it