Esomeprazole is a drug indicated to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); which is a condition characterized by the alteration or inflammation of the inner esophageal sphincter, which is responsible for controlling the passage of substances from the esophagus to the stomach. Consequently, stomach contents are returned from the stomach into the esophagus; causing heartburn and possible esophageal injury.

Esomeprazole benefits

Esomeprazole is a drug that belongs to a group called  inhibitors ; The function of this type of drug is to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Therefore, it is used mainly in conditions related to the functioning of the esophagus and stomach. Specifically, the benefits of esomeprazole are directed at the following disorders:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

This drug is used mainly to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), this disorder consists of the return of gastric acid and enzymes from the stomach to the esophagus (tube that goes from the throat to the stomach, through which food travels) ; causing inflammation, pain and burning in the stomach.

Heartburn

Another use that can be given to esomeprazole is to reduce heartburn, caused by GERD or tumors in the pancreas ( Zollinger-Ellison syndrome ).

Gastric ulcers

Esomeprazole, in turn, works favorably in the treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers caused by different types of bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori .

Recommended doses of esomeprazole

Although esomeprazole is a drug whose intake must be authorized and monitored by a doctor, there are standard doses that are recommended according to the disease or disorder to be treated; In this sense, the recommended esomeprazole dosage is as follows:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

The recommended dose for these cases is as follows:

  • With esophagitis : for the treatment of this disease, the recommended dose is 40 milligrams, once a day, for a period of 4 weeks; if symptoms persist, treatment can be extended for a further 4 weeks. Once the symptoms disappear, it is advisable to continue the treatment for a few more weeks, but gradually reducing the dose, so that the body can adapt.
  • Without esophagitis : For symptomatic GERD without esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), the appropriate dose is 20 milligrams once a day or as needed.

Gastric ulcers

If the intended use of esomeprazole is for the treatment and healing of gastric ulcers, the indicated dose is 20 milligrams once a day, for a period of time of 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the results. On the other hand, if the treatment is aimed at preventing bleeding gastric or duodenal ulcers, the dose should be 40 milligrams every 24 hours, for a period of 4 weeks.

Helicobacter pylori

For the eradication of this bacterium in the body, the treatment must contain a combination of esomeprazole with antibiotics. In this sense, the dose of esomeprazole will be 20 milligrams every 12 hours (2 times a day); followed by clarithromycin 500 milligrams every 12 hours. Finally, a dose of amoxicillin of 1 gram twice a day. All this for 7 days.

In any of the cases described above, permanent vigilance by the specialist is important, since this drug should not be given without being under the control of a specialist. In addition, the doses may vary, depending on certain factors, which will be evaluated by the specialist who is treating the case.

Relevant aspects of esomeprazole

To know everything about this drug, you should know the following:

Precautions and warnings while using esomeprazole

The consumption of esomeprazole should be supervised by a doctor; That is why the specialist should be informed if you suffer from any of these conditions before consuming the drug:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney diseases.
  • Diagnosis of carcinoma.
  • Allergies to esomeprazole or similar medications.

It should be noted that the intake of esomeprazole can trigger or hide other diseases; For this reason, if any of these symptoms are observed, the treating doctor should be consulted immediately:

  • Weight loss for no apparent reason.
  • Difficulty to swallow.
  • Stomach pain and digestion problems.
  • Constant vomiting, in some cases, accompanied by blood.
  • Stools with black spots or blood.

Interactions with other medications

Because esomeprazole is an inhibitor, its combination with other medications can affect their hepatic metabolism, that is, it could decrease their efficiency and cause unwanted effects in the patient; however, these interactions have little clinical relevance.

  • Oral anticoagulants
  • Phenytoin, cyclosporine
  • Drugs metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme: examples of these are diazepam, citalopram, Imipramine and clomipramine.
  • Antifungals: such as ketoconazole and itraconazole
  • Contraindicated in case of consuming nelfinavir.

Presentations of esomeprazole

Esomeprazole can be found in delayed-release capsules (the medicine is released in the intestine to prevent stomach acids from breaking it down). In this sense, the capsules can be administered orally or through a gastric tube.

It is important to note that the medicine should not be chewed, broken, or crushed. In those cases, where the patient cannot swallow the medicine, the granules of the esomeprazole capsule can be spread in a compote or puree.

How to store Esomeprazole

It is recommended to keep esomeprazole in a clean and cool place; without excess heat and humidity, at a temperature of approximately 30⁰ centigrade and out of the reach of children. Also, to avoid accidents, it should not be stored near other drugs that could be confused with it.

Esomeprazole side effects

As with most medications, taking esomeprazole can cause some symptoms, the most common of which are:

  • Headache.
  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite

On the other hand, it can generate less frequent side effects, such as:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Swelling in feet and ankles
  • Dizziness, a feeling of vertigo and tingling
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Acne.

Finally, there are more serious and less common effects, among which we can mention:

  • Urticaria.
  • Itch.
  • Agitation, confusion, or depression
  • Sudden feeling of shortness of breath or shortness of breath (bronchospasm).
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Tachycardia.
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Liver problems
  • Eye disorders (blurred vision).
  • Fever.
  • Kidney disorders.

In case of suffering these effects, the doctor should be attended as soon as possible, because it can cause permanent damage to the consumer.

Contraindications of esomeprazole

In some cases, the intake of this medicine is not recommended, because it can make the situation worse. Among those cases are the following:

Hypersensitivity to esomeprazole

It should not be administered if hypersensitivity to esomeprazole or other substituted benzimidazoles or to any drug compound has been detected. It should also not be given with nelfinavir (HIV treatment).

Pregnancy and the use of esomeprazole

There are not enough studies that reveal the influence of esomeprazole in pregnancy; however, caution should be exercised and the physician notified of its existence or suspicion.

Breastfeeding and the use of esomeprazole

It is recommended to avoid the use of esomeprazole during breastfeeding, as the fetus may be affected.

Esomeprazole in driving and using machines

There is a small chance of dizziness and blurred vision as a result of taking esomeprazole. In case of suffering any of these side effects, you should not drive or operate machines (it is even recommended to avoid it after consuming this drug)

Other contraindications

Esomeprazole should not be administered in patients with fructose intolerance, glucose malabsorption or sucrose deficiency. In addition, caution should be exercised with patients with gastric conditions and long-term treatments.

On the other hand, the supply of esomeprazole is not recommended in children under 12 years of age.

Conclusion: Is the consumption of this drug recommended?

Esomeprazole is a drug of proven efficacy in the treatment of gastroesophageal conditions; Its application is recommended in various diseases, such as gastroesophageal reflux, gastric ulcers, disorders caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, among others.

Likewise, it is important to maintain close communication with the specialist doctor who treats the disease; as well as, inform you of any symptoms or changes that occur once the medication is ingested. Finally, the consumption of esomeprazole is not recommended without prior authorization from the doctor or pharmacist; Nor is it advisable to consume it for a long time.

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