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What is esomeprazole?

Esomeprazole is the active ingredient in Nexium® 24HR and it is used for the relief of frequent heartburn and other symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux. It works by reducing the production of stomach acid, but it doesn't stop food from being digested in the normal way.

What is esomeprazole used for?

Esomeprazole is used to relieve symptoms of heartburn. Esomeprazole in Nexium® 24HR is recommended for adults over 18 years of age who are suffering from heartburn two or more times per week. By decreasing the amount of acid in the stomach, esomeprazole can give relief to symptoms of frequent heartburn such as burning pain in the chest and throat.

How does esomeprazole work?

Esomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor – you might have heard it referred to as a PPI. This means that it blocks the function of some pumps within cells of the stomach, and causes them to secrete less acid. The esomeprazole found in Nexium® 24HR affects parietal cells in the stomach wall. These cells normally secrete hydrochloric acid – a major ingredient of stomach acid – as well as other substances that are needed to digest food. By reducing the amount of acid that the stomach produces, PPIs help relieve frequent heartburn.

You might have heard of antacids – they are over-the-counter medications that are also used to relieve heartburn symptoms, but are different to PPIs like esomeprazole. Antacids neutralise stomach acid, while esomeprazole reduces acid production. Antacids are taken in response to flare-ups as needed and provide short-duration of relief from symptoms of heartburn. They work for up to three hours, and frequent heartburn sufferers often need to take multiple daily doses to keep their symptoms at bay.

How long does it take to work?

Esomeprazole begins to suppress the production of stomach acid within a few hours of taking the first dose, but it may not relieve symptoms immediately. You may need to take Nexium® 24HR for a few days before experiencing the full effects of esomeprazole.