Just a few questions from our Pharmacist before you checkout to make sure this medicine is safe for you.
What is esomeprazole?
Esomeprazole is a medicine that reduces the amount of acid that your stomach produces. It belongs to a group of medicines called ‘proton pump inhibitors’. Esomeprazole can be used to treat a range of conditions, including:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Stomach ulcers caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs).
Ulcers in the stomach or intestines that are infected with bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.
Excess acid in the stomach that is caused by a growth in the pancreas (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome).
Prolonged treatment after prevention of rebleeding of ulcers with intravenous esomeprazole.
What is the recommended dosage?
The recommended dosage of esomeprazole depends on your age and the condition you’re taking it for. Your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist will tell you how many tablets to take and how long to take them for.
For heartburn and indigestion caused by GERD:
Adults aged 18 and above: If your doctor has found that your oesophagus (food pipe) has been slightly damaged, the recommended dose is one 40mg capsule of esomeprazole once a day for 4 weeks. Your doctor may tell you to take the same dose for a further 4 weeks if your oesophagus has not yet healed.
The recommended dose if your oesophagus has not been damaged, or once it’s healed, is one 20mg capsule of esomeprazole, once a day. Once the GERD symptoms have been controlled, your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist may tell you to take your medicine as and when you need it, up to a maximum of one 20mg capsule per day.
If you have severe liver problems, your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist may prescribe you a lower dose.
For ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori:
The recommended dosage to treat Helicobacter pylori, and to prevent it from returning, is one 20mg capsule of esomeprazole twice a day for one week. It will also be recommended that you take antibiotics as well as esomeprazole, to help clear up the infection.
For ulcers caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):
To treat these ulcers, the recommended dose is one 20mg capsule of esomeprazole once a day for 4 to 8 weeks. To prevent these ulcers whilst you are taking NSAIDs, the recommended dose is one capsule of esomeprazole once a day.
To treat excess stomach acid caused by growth in the pancreas (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome)
The recommended dose is one 40mg capsule of esomeprazole twice a day. Your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist will adjust this dose depending on your needs and will also decide how long you need to take the medicine for.
For prolonged treatment after prevention of rebleeding of ulcers with intravenous esomeprazole:
The recommended dose is one 40mg capsule of esomeprazole, once a day for 4 weeks.
How to take esomeprazole capsules
Esomeprazole capsules can be taken at any time of the day, with food or on an empty stomach. Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water - do not chew or crush them. If chewed or crushed, the medicine will not work.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules, you may carefully open the capsule and empty the contents into a glass of still water. You should then drink the mixture straight away and make sure you’ve swallowed the full contents of the medicine.
If you forget to take a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
How does esomeprazole decrease the amount of acid in the stomach?
Esomeprazole capsules usually contain either 20mg or 40mg of the active ingredient esomeprazole, a type of medicine known as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). Proton pumps are tiny substances in the lining of the stomach which help to make the acid that digests food. PPIs like esomeprazole prevent the proton pumps from working properly, meaning the amount of acid the stomach can produce is much lower.
Excess stomach acid can cause a range of issues, including GERD and stomach ulcers. By reducing the amount of acid, PPIs like esomeprazole can relieve uncomfortable symptoms and prevent further complications or damage.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sometimes referred to as GORD, is a common digestive disorder where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus. It usually occurs when the ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus becomes weakened. Symptoms can include:
Unpleasant taste in the back of the mouth
Oesophagitis (a sore, inflamed oesophagus)
Feeling or being sick
Pain or difficulty when swallowing
GERD is a long-term condition but it can be managed with some lifestyle changes, such as changes to your diet and eating habits. Medications, such as esomeprazole, can also help to manage symptoms.
Are GERD and GORD the same thing?
You may have heard of both GERD and GORD. These are both the exact same condition: GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease and GORD stands for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. The difference is down to the British spelling of oesophagus compared to the American spelling, esophagus.
Is esomeprazole suitable for children?
Esomeprazole is not recommended for children less than 12 years old. For adolescents aged 12 and over, esomeprazole should only be used to treat GERD or Helicobacter pylori. Your child’s doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist will state the recommended dose in these cases.
Is esomeprazole suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are trying to become pregnant, you should ask your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist if esomeprazole is right for you before taking it. It is not known if esomeprazole passes into breast milk, so you should not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
When should esomeprazole not be used?
You should always read the patient information leaflet before taking any new medication, to make sure it’s right for you. You must not take esomeprazole if you are:
Allergic to esomeprazole or any of the other listed ingredients
Allergic to other proton pump inhibitor medicines (e.g. pantoprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, omeprazole)
If you are taking a medicine containing nelfinavir (used to treat HIV infection)
You should talk to a doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking esomeprazole if you:
Have severe liver problems
Have severe kidney problems
Have an intolerance to some sugars
Have ever had a skin reaction after treatment with a medicine similar to esomeprazole that reduces stomach acid
Are due to have a specific blood test (Chromogranin A)
Are taking any other medication or herbal remedy, including those obtained without a prescription
Esomeprazole can sometimes hide the symptoms of other diseases, so you should talk to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before you start taking it, or while you are taking it, if you:
Lose a lot of weight for no reason
Have problems swallowing
Get stomach pain or indigestion
Begin to vomit food or blood
Pass black stools
Taking a proton pump inhibitor like esomeprazole for a long period of time, particularly over a year, may slightly increase your risk of fracture in the hip, wrist or spine. You must tell your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist if you have osteoporosis or if you are taking any corticosteroids, as these can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
You may need to stop taking esomeprazole if you develop a rash on your skin, particularly in areas exposed to the sun. Tell your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist as soon as possible if this happens.
Are there any side effects?
As with all medicines, there is a possibility of some side effects, but not everybody will get them. If you notice any of these rare but serious side effects, stop taking esomeprazole and seek immediate medical attention:
Severe allergic reaction: sudden wheezing, swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat or body, rash, fainting, or difficulty swallowing.
Reddening of the skin or peeling. There may also be severe blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, nose and/or genitals. This could be ‘Stevens-Johnson syndrome’ or ‘toxic epidermal necrolysis’.
An infection with symptoms such as a fever and severely reduced general condition, or symptoms of a local infection such as a pain in the next, throat or mouth or difficulty urinating. This may be caused by a lack of white blood cells and will need to be ruled out with a blood test.
Jaundice (yellow skin, dark urine and tiredness). These may be symptoms of a liver problem.
Common side effects can include:
Effects on your stomach or gut: diarrhoea, stomach pain, constipation or wind
Feeling or being sick
Benign polyps in the stomach
Uncommon side effects can include:
Swelling of the feet and ankles
Changes in blood tests that check how the liver is working
Skin rash or itchy skin
Fracture of the hip, wrist or spine (in long-term use)
For more information on rare side effects that may affect up to 1 in 1000 people, or very rare side effects that may affect up to 1 in 10000 people, refer to the patient information leaflet. If you experience any side effects, including those not listed in the patient information leaflet, you can report them using the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme.
Do I need a prescription for esomeprazole?
You do need a prescription for esomeprazole in the UK. Our healthcare professionals can provide prescriptions if they think this treatment would be right for you and your condition. When you click the button which reads “Start Consultation” at the top of this page, you’ll see a short questionnaire set up by our healthcare team which is designed to help them understand your medical needs. Just like an in-person consultation with your GP, our doctors will assess your answers to their questions and write a prescription for the treatment they think will be best for you. You’ll then be able to pay for your medication and we’ll send it out to you quickly and in discreet packaging.
Store in a cool, dry area below 30°C, out of sight and reach of children. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date stated on the packaging, referring to the last day of that month. If the capsules come in a bottle, the medicine should be used within 200 days after opening.
This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk
If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.
Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.
Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.
Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.
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The active substance is esomeprazole. Esomeprazole capsules come in two strengths containing 20 mg or 40 mg of esomeprazole (as sodium salt)
The other ingredients are:
Capsule content: Sugar spheres (containing maize starch and sucrose), methyl cellulose, talc, titanium dioxide (E-171), glycerol monostearate, polysorbate-80, sodium lauryl sulfate, methacrylic acid-ethyl acrylate copolymer and triethyl citrate.
Capsule shell: Carrageenan, potassium chloride, red iron oxide (E-172), titanium tioxide (E-171), hypromellose, printing ink (containing Shellac, potassium hydroxide and black iron oxide (E172)).
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