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Esomeprazole is an acid reflux treatment that helps to reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It is also available as a branded product Nexium. Esomeprazole is usually taken once a day in the morning.

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Esomeprazole PRICES

Medicine x14 Tablets x28 Tablets
Esomeprazole 20mg Tablets £9.99 £15.99
Esomeprazole 40mg Tablets £14.99 £17.99

What is Esomeprazole?

Esomeprazole is a medication that belongs to a drug class called proton pump inhibitors. It is also available as a branded product called Nexium. The full name of the drug is esomeprazole magnesium. It reduces the amount of acid that the stomach produces. This is helpful for patients with acid reflux. Acid reflux is a condition where the acid that is normally in the stomach backs up into the oesophagus. This causes a burning feeling in the chest, or regurgitation (when the acid and undigested food flow back into the throat or mouth).

How does Esomeprazole work?

Esomeprazole works by blocking the action of the proton pump in the stomach. This means that your stomach produces less acid.

How long does Esomeprazole take to work?

It can take around 2-3 days for the effects of esomeprazole to kick in. However, you should give it around a month for the full effect to be seen. If you do not feel better after 14 days, you should see your doctor.

How do you take Esomeprazole?

You should take one tablet around 30-60 minutes before breakfast. The best time to take esomeprazole is in the morning. You should sit upright when taking a tablet and swallow it whole with a glass of water. If you are unable to swallow tablets, you can crush the tablet and dissolve it in water.

What dose should I take?

The dose of esomeprazole used to treat acid reflux is 20mg once daily. You may take esomeprazole long term if you have chronic acid reflux, however, you will require a prescription from your doctor.

Important note: You should not take esomeprazole for more than 14 days unless your doctor has advised you to. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, you should speak to your doctor as you may need to have tests carried out, such as a gastroscopy.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of esomeprazole, you should take a tablet as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal regimen. Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses to make up for the missed dose.

Can I take Esomeprazole with other medication?

Esomeprazole is safe to take with most medication. However, if you are taking any of the following, you should consult your doctor first before taking Esomeprazole:

  • Atazanavir, ledipasvir, nelfinavir, rilpivirine, saquinavir, sofosbuvir, tipranavir, velpatasvir or voxilaprevir, which are antivirals used in the treatment of HIV and hepatitis
  • Bosutinib, ceritinib, dasatinib, erlotinib, gefitinib or pazopanib, used to treat certain cancers
  • Clopidogrel, dipyridamole or digoxin, used to treat heart conditions
  • Clobazam or phenytoin, used to treat epilepsy
  • Citalopram, escitalopram, fluvoxamine or St John’s wort, used in the treatment of depression
  • Itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole or voriconazole, which are used as antifungals Cilostazol
  • Methotrexate
  • Theophylline used to treat asthma
  • Sucralfate used to treat ulcers
  • Tacrolimus, used in transplants

When should I see my doctor?

You should see your doctor if:

  • You develop signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, red, swollen, peeling skin with or without fever, wheezing, tightness in the chest
  • You experience any unwanted side effects
  • You have heartburn most days or you do not feel better after 14 days
  • You experience unwanted weight loss
  • You have other alarming symptoms such as being sick or food getting stuck in your throat, there is blood in your stool, you have bad stomach pain.

Is Esomeprazole safe to use in pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Esomeprazole is not safe to use in pregnancy, or if you are breastfeeding. This is because it can cross the placenta and it is also present in breast milk.

Esomeprazole vs. Omeprazole, what is the difference?

There is not much difference between esomeprazole and omeprazole in terms of how well they work. The only minor difference is in their chemical makeup.  

Side Effects

Most people who take esomeprazole will not experience side effects. However, if you experience any unwanted side effects, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Common side effects include but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Stomach pain or diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dry mouth

These side effects are usually mild and go away after a few days. You should read the product information leaflet for a full list of side effects.


Serious side effects of esomeprazole are:

  • Constant diarrhoea, extreme stomach pain and a fever
  • Breaking of bones
  • Weight loss, vomiting, stomach pain and feeling sick, which can indicate inflammation of the stomach lining
  • Fits or seizures, feeling dizzy, jerky movements or tremors, muscle weakness, spasms and cramps. These symptoms can indicate a low level of magnesium in your blood
  • Skin rash or blisters on your body
  • Fatigue, yellow skin and dark urine, which can be symptoms of liver problems


If you experience any of the above side effects, or ones not included in the list, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately. In the case of a medical emergency, call 999 or visit your local hospital’s A&E department. A full list of side effects can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet.

You can also report side effects directly via the MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme. Reporting side effects can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

Patient Information Leaflet

For more information about Esomeprazole acid reflux treatment, take a look at the patient information leaflets below: 


Where can I find out more information about Esomeprazole?

To find out more information about Esomeprazole, visit the NHS website.

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