Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Esomeprazole (Nexium)

Esomeprazole (Nexium)

Last updated on 22/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Esomeprazole



DRUG CLASS: Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI)

USED FOR: Heartburn, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Helicobacter pylori eradication, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, prevention of NSAID associated ulcers 

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Dexlansoprazole, Lansoprazole, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, Rabeprazole

– 20mg, 40mg (gastro-resistant tablets)
– 20mg, 40mg (gastro-resistant capsules)
– 40mg (injections/infusions)

What is Esomeprazole for?

Esomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor which suppresses the production of stomach acid by stopping the proton pump from working. It is therefore used for a wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders including the following: 

– Helicobacter pylori eradication (in combination with antibiotics)
– Peptic ulcer
– Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
– Prevention and treatment of NSAID-associated ulceration
– Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome 

How to use it?

Esomeprazole can be taken by mouth. The adult doses for different uses are listed below:

For H pylori eradication (in combination with antibiotics)

20 mg twice daily. 

For peptic ulcer

20 mg twice daily for 7 days OR 40 mg once daily for 10 days.

For gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

40 mg once daily for 4 weeks and may use for another 4 week if necessary. The maintenance dose is 20 mg once daily.

For prevention of NSAID-associated ulceration

20 or 40 mg once daily.

For treatment of NSAID-associated ulceration

20 mg once daily for 4-8 weeks

For Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

Start with 40 mg twice daily. The usual daily dose is 80-160 mg in 2 divided doses.

What are the side effects of Esomeprazole

Common side effects of Esomeprazole include constipation, diarrhoea, dizziness and headache. Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors can lead to Magnesium deficiency.

Who should not take Esomeprazole?

People allergic to Esomeprazole or other components of the drug.

Pharmacist Tips:

There is a risk of developing Magnesium deficiency when taking Esomeprazole. Magnesium deficiency can cause symptoms such as muscle spasms, tremors and loss of appetite. Magnesium supplementation can be taken if Magnesium deficiency occurs.
– Esomeprazole tablets and granules should be swallowed whole. Do not split, crush, or chew.
– If using Nexium granules, disperse the granules in non-carbonated water in the ratio of 10 mg dose in 15 mL of water. Stir and wait for a few minutes for contents to thicken. Drink the granules within 30 minutes of mixing with water.

Common dosing schedule:
Taken in the morning around 30 minutes before breakfast.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Esomeprazole may interact with:
– HIV medication, e.g. Rilpivirine
– Antifungal drugs, e.g. Itraconazole
– Certain antibiotics, e.g. Rifampin

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to find Esomeprazole in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, esomeprazole is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Esomeprazole in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.