Factors that affect a sufficient esomeprazole dosage include the age of the patient, what it's being used for, and whether the patient is experiencing side effects from the medication. Uses of esomeprazole include treating gastro-oesophageal relux disease (GERD), treating people taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and treating gastric ulcers in those with Crohn's disease.
Typically, esomeprazole is taken in 20 mg or 40 mg capsules and tablets, which are enteric coated to decrease the chance of stomach upset. Other uses of esomeprazole include treating peptic ulcer disease and dyspepsia, or acid indigestion. An alternative method of treating acid reflux disease is taking over-the-counter antacids.
Many people with GERD complain of heartburn, burning in the chest or throat, and sore throat. In addition, coughing, hoarseness, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth are sometimes reported. Children with GERD are generally started on the lowest esomeprazole dosage of 20 mg, which may minimize adverse reactions and side effects. Since children generally tolerate the medication well, it is generally prescribed frequently when GERD is diagnosed.
Even when taking the lowest esomeprazole dosage, side effects can include nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and gas. In addition, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and dry mouth have been reported. These side effects are generally mild, however, more serious side effects such as chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and unusual bleeding may occur as well.
If jaundice occurs, which is characterized by yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark colored urine, and very light stools, the physician should be notified as soon as possible. These symptoms can indicate liver damage and will need to be evaluated. If liver enzymes in the blood are elevated, the physician may need to lower the esomeprazole dosage or discontinue the drug altogether.
Before the health care provider determines which esomeprazole dosage will be appropriate for the patient, he may suggest alternate, medication-free methods of relieving symptoms. People with GERD and other acid reflux conditions may find substantial relief from their symptoms by limiting their consumption of coffee and chocolate and quitting smoking.
Another effective way to reduce symptoms of GERD is to elevate the head of the bed when sleeping. This remedy deters the upward flow of stomach acids into the esophagus and throat. In addition, excessive weight can cause pressure on surrounding abdominal structures, causing stomach acids to back flow into the chest area. Losing even a few pounds can make a dramatic difference in symptoms, as can drinking plenty of water, avoiding flavorings such as peppermint, and avoiding spicy foods.