Compare Nexium vs. Tums

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

Nexium
(esomeprazole)

Tums
(calcium carbonate)

Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Nexium (esomeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief but has some risks if used long term.Relieves heartburn. Tums (Calcium carbonate) gives quick relief for heartburn, but does not last all day. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other medicines if you need additional relief.
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 Tums
82%
-7% worse vs. Nexium
43%
+16% better vs. Nexium
5%
-6% worse vs. Nexium
1373 reviews
Have you used Tums (calcium carbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NexiumTums

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 Tums side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Tums »
How it works
NexiumTums
Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It treats heartburn and heals ulcers by lowering the amount of acid in your stomach.Tums (Calcium carbonate) is an antacid. It relieves heartburn and indigestion by neutralizing stomach acid.
Type of medication
NexiumTums
Over-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
NexiumTums
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Packet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
NexiumTums
  • GERD
  • H Pylori Bacterial Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
NexiumTums
  • 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 »
    Coming soon.
    Pregnancy
    Interactions
    NexiumTums
    • 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
    NexiumTums
    • 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.
    • May increase calcium levels too much in people with kidney or thyroid conditions.
    Upsides and benefits
    NexiumTums
    • 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.
    • Tums (Calcium carbonate) is an effective, first-line medication for hearburn.
    • Tums (Calcium carbonate) starts working in seconds.
    • Has minimal side effects.
    • Available in chewable form.
    • Is inexpensive and readily available over-the-counter.
    • Coupons are available – speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
    Downsides and risks
    NexiumTums
    • 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.
    • Because Tums (Calcium carbonate) only lasts for 1 to 2 hours, you may need additional doses.
    • May increase calcium levels too much in people with kidney or thyroid conditions.
    • May have a chalky taste.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    NexiumTums
    • 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 may need to separate Tums (Calcium carbonate) from some medicines to avoid interactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you're taking, including prescription, supplements, and over the counter medicines.
    • Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help alleviate some symptoms of heartburn.
    • Certain spicy or fatty foods increase your risk of heartburn. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out which foods you should avoid.
    • Avoiding eating 3 hours before bedtime can also help prevent heartburn.
    • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
    Learn more
    More about NexiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about TumsSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Tums (calcium carbonate)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it