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What is Esomeprazole?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Esomeprazole is a medication that is commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, a medical condition that causes stomach acid to flow backward into the esophagus. This medication may also be used to treat or prevent stomach ulcers. Esomeprazole works by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. Common side effects of this medication include nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. Rarely, a potentially fatal allergic reaction may occur as a result of taking this medication.

Depending on the condition being treated, esomeprazole may be taken either once or twice per day. It is important to take this type of medication exactly as prescribed by a doctor. This type of medication may not be safe for patients who have certain medical conditions or who are taking certain other prescription medications. The prescribing doctor should obtain a complete medical history before prescribing esomeprazole.

Patients who have been diagnosed with any type of liver disease may be advised against taking this medication. Esomeprazole is not typically recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Those who take certain vitamins or herbal remedies may not be able to use this medication successfully. Over-the-counter antacids are usually safe to take as necessary along with esomeprazole, although a doctor should be consulted with any questions or concerns.

Side effects of esomeprazole are generally mild and do not cause the patient to need to discontinue the medication. Any persistent or bothersome side effects should be discussed with the prescribing physician. Some of the more common side effects include digestive disturbances such as nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. Some patients taking this medication have also complained of headaches and dry mouth.

Some potential side effects of esomeprazole are relatively uncommon, although they should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. Some of these side effects may include hoarseness of the voice, the development of blisters, or peeling skin. These symptoms may sometimes indicate the development of potentially serious complications and should prompt a visit to the doctor.

In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction to esomeprazole may develop, even if the medication has been taken in the past without any negative side effects. Symptoms of this kind of allergic reaction include itching, hives, and swelling, especially in the head and face areas of the body. Breathing may become difficult or even impossible as the throat area begins to swell. This is a medical emergency and could become fatal if not treated immediately.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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