Skip to content
Ophthalmology at OT&P
Perfecting sight, enhancing vision.
Urology at OT&P
Leading the way in urological health.
Cardiology at OT&P
Guarding hearts, enhancing lives.


Esomeprazole, marketed primarily under the brand name Nexium, is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to reduce stomach acid production.

Last Modified: 17 May 2024

Jump to section:


What is Esomeprazole? 

Esomeprazole, marketed primarily under the brand name Nexium, is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to reduce stomach acid production. 

Esomeprazole is the S-isomer of omeprazole, made through a process that isolates this specific molecule. It works by binding to the hydrogen-potassium ATPase pump in the stomach lining, inhibiting the final step of acid production. 

Global Name

Generic Names: Esomeprazole 

Global Brand Names:  Nexium, Esomep, Nexpro  


What is Esomeprazole used for? 

Esomeprazole is primarily used to treat: 

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome 
  • Erosive esophagitis 
  • Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) eradication (in combination with antibiotics) 
  • Prevention of gastric ulcers caused by NSAIDs and high oxidative stress states such as major surgery, sepsis and burns 
  • Treatment of non-H. Pylori, non-NSAID induced gastroduodenitis/ulcers 

How do you use Esomeprazole? 


Esomeprazole is available in the form of capsules, tablets, and powder for oral suspension.

Dosage information: 

  • For GERD: 20-40 mg once daily for 4-8 weeks 
  • For erosive esophagitis: 20-40 mg once daily for 4-8 weeks 
  • For Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome: The starting dose is 40 mg twice a day 
  • For H. pylori eradication: 20-40 mg in combination with antibiotics for 10-14 days 


  • Children: Suitable for children above 1 year for GERD. 
  • Adults: Suitable following the correct dosage for the specific condition. 
  • Elderlies: Generally safe, but dose adjustment may be necessary.
  • Allergies: People who are allergic to esomeprazole, other PPIs, or any components of the medication should not take it.  

Is there anyone who can’t take Esomeprazole? 

  • Children: Not recommended for infants under 1 year old. 
  • Adults: Those with severe liver problems or known hypersensitivity to the drug should avoid it. 
  • Elderlies: Can take the drug with adjusted dosages if necessary. 
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: To be used only if clearly needed and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. 

Any warnings and precautions : 

Long-term use of esomeprazole may be associated with an increased risk of bone fractures, kidney issues, vitamin B12 and iron deficiency (leading to anemia), and Clostridium difficile infection. 

Esomeprazole can interact with drugs like warfarin, clopidogrel, and certain antifungals. It should not be used in individuals with a known hypersensitivity to esomeprazole, other PPIs, or substituted benzimidazoles. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include headache, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, and dry mouth. Serious side effects may include severe allergic reactions, hypomagnesemia, and Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. 

Pharmacist Tips

When it comes to taking Esomeprazole or any medication, there are several important considerations to ensure its effectiveness and safety: 
  • Timing is Key: Always take Esomeprazole at least one hour before a meal, as food can affect the absorption and effectiveness of the drug. 
  • Correct Dosage: Do not alter the dosage without consulting your healthcare provider, even if you feel better, to prevent relapse or resistance. 
  • Swallow Whole: Esomeprazole capsules or tablets should be swallowed whole with water. Do not crush, split, or chew them, as this may impact the drug's effectiveness. 
  • Missed Dose Protocol: If you miss a dose of Esomeprazole, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it's almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose—do not double up to make up for it. 
  • Consistency: For the best results, take Esomeprazole at the same time each day to maintain consistent levels of medication in your body. 
  • Avoiding Interactions: Certain foods like grapefruit and supplements such as St. John’s Wort can affect how Esomeprazole works. Discuss with your pharmacist about potential dietary restrictions or interactions. 
  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Be cautious when using over-the-counter medications, particularly antacids, as they may interact with Esomeprazole. Seek advice from your pharmacist on how to coordinate these treatments. 
  • Awareness of Side Effects: Familiarize yourself with the potential side effects of Esomeprazole, and report any unusual or severe symptoms to your healthcare provider immediately. 
  • Long-Term Use: If you are on long-term Esomeprazole therapy, your healthcare provider may recommend monitoring for magnesium levels, bone health, and B12 levels. 


Where is Esomeprazole available in Hong Kong?

Esomeprazole is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers then bought in pharmacies.   


Is Esomeprazole the same as Nexium?

Yes, Nexium is a brand name for the generic drug esomeprazole.  

Can I take Esomeprazole long-term?

Long-term usage of esomeprazole should be discussed with a healthcare provider due to potential risks.

Is Esomeprazole available for purchase over the counter?

Lower strengths of esomeprazole are available over the counter, but higher doses require a prescription. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting PPIs. 

How long does Esomeprazole take to work?

Esomeprazole, like other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), works by reducing the production of stomach acid. The onset of action can vary from person to person, but in general, esomeprazole starts to work within 1 to 2 hours after taking the medication. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

Back to all drugs

Download the OT&P Digital App

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Our Awards & Accreditations

Happy Company 2024
Caring company logo
Mental Health Logo 1
Good MPF Employer 2022-23_Single Colour