Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic available

Nexium

(Esomeprazole)

Back to: Full Site NavigationSkip to: side effects sectionSkip to: What to expect sectionSkip to: Risks and warnings sectionSkip to: Tips from users and pharmacists

Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.
Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

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.

Worth it?Is it worth it?
Works well?Does it work?
Hassle?Is it a hassle?
  • 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.
  • 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.

Save on your next Nexium (Esomeprazole) prescription

Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.

Skip side effects sections. Skip to What to Expect and Pharmacists Tips section.

Side effects for Nexium (Esomeprazole)

From clinical trials of Nexium / Any condition 

  • DiarrheaDiarrhea9% for Nexium vs.0% for placebo
  • Change in tasteChange in taste7% for Nexium vs.0% for placebo
  • Abdominal painAbdominal pain4% for Nexium vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Nexium (Esomeprazole) for Reduces stomach acid

Skip what to expect section. Skip to Risks & Warnings section.
Tips from our pharmacists
  • 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.

Risks and Warnings for Nexium (Esomeprazole)

Skip Risks and Warnings section. Skip to Tips section.
  • Heartburn and feelings of upset stomach can be warning signs of a more serious stomach problem or cancer. If you need to take Nexium (Esomeprazole) for 2 weeks or more go see a doctor. It's safest to get checked out to make sure you do not have a serious stomach condition.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Nexium (Esomeprazole)

Final section. Do you want to return to drug navigation?
The FDA category for this medication is B. It is advised that you: Probably safe
Pregnancy
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.