Reals Pharmaceuticals Limited
Plot 1 Junaid Dosunmu Street,Central Business District, Alausa, P.0. Box 3560 Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
Tel: + 234-1-774-1205
Fax: +234-1-263-0919

Brand Name



AstraZeneca UK Ltd, Macclesfield, Cheshire S.K. 102 NA, UK.

Therapeutic Class

Antiulcerants, Proton pump inhibitors (PPI)

Dosage Form, Composition & NAFDAC Registration Number (NRN)

Tablet (NRN: 04-3457): Each Gastro-resistant tablet contains: 20 mg Esomeprazole (as magnesium trihydrate).

How to Identify the Product: A light pink, oblong, biconvex, film-coated tablet engraved 20mg on one side and ‘AEH’ on the other side.

Pack size: 7’s; 14’s; 28’s.


Tablet (NRN: 04-4922): Each Gastro-resistant tablet contains: 40 mg Esomeprazole (as magnesium trihydrate).

How to Identify the Product: A pink, oblong, biconvex, film coated tablet engraved 40 mg on one side and ‘AEI’ on the other side.

Pack size: 7’s; 14’s; 28’s.


Pharmacodynamics: Esomeprazole is the S-isomer of omeprazole and reduces gastric acid secretion through a specific targeted mechanism of action. It is a specific inhibitor of the acid pump in the parietal cell. Both the R-and S-isomer of omeprazole have similar pharmacodynamic activity.

Site and mechanism of action:Esomeprazole is a weak base and is concentrated and converted to the active form in the highly acidic environment of the secretory canaliculi of the parietal cell, where it inhibits the enzyme H+K+-ATPase – the acid pump and inhibits both basal and stimulated acid secretion.

Effect on gastric acid secretion:After oral dosing with esomeprazole 20 mg and 40 mg the onset of effect occurs within one hour. After repeated administration with 20 mg esomeprazole once daily for five days, mean peak acid output after pentagastrin stimulation is decreased 90% when measured 6 – 7 hours after dosing on day five. After five days of oral dosing with 20 mg and 40 mg of esomeprazole, intragastric pH above 4 was maintained for a mean time of 13 hours and 17 hours, respectively over 24 hours in symptomatic GORD patients.

The proportion of patients maintaining an intragastric pH above 4 for at least 8, 12 and 16 hours respectively were for esomeprazole 20 mg 76%, 54% and 24%. Corresponding proportions for esomeprazole 40 mg were 97%, 92% and 56%. Using AUC as a surrogate parameter for plasma concentration, a relationship between inhibition of acid secretion and exposure has been shown.

Therapeutic effects of acid inhibition:Healing of reflux oesophagitis with esomeprazole 40 mg occurs in approximately 78% of patients after four weeks, and in 93% after eight weeks. One week treatment with esomeprazole 20 mg b.i.d. and appropriate antibiotics, results in successful eradication of H. pylori in approximately 90% of patients. After eradication treatment for one week there is no need for subsequent monotherapy with antisecretory drugs for effective ulcer healing and symptom resolution in uncomplicated duodenal ulcers.

Other effects related to acid inhibition:During treatment with antisecretory drugs serum gastrin increases in response to the decreased acid secretion. An increased number of ECL cells possibly related to the increased serum gastrin levels, have been observed in some patients during long-term treatment with esomeprazole. During long-term treatment with antisecretory drugs gastric glandular cysts have been reported to occur at a somewhat increased frequency.

These changes are a physiological consequence of pronounced inhibition of acid secretion, are benign and appear to be reversible. In two studies with ranitidine as an active comparator, Nexium showed better effect in healing of gastric ulcers in patients using NSAIDs, including COX-2 selective NSAIDs. In two studies with placebo as comparator, Nexium showed better effect in the prevention of gastric and duodenal ulcers in patients using NSAIDs (aged >60 and/or with previous ulcer), including COX-2 selective NSAIDs.

Pharmacokinetics: Absorption and distribution:Esomeprazole is acid labile and is administered orally as enteric-coated granules. In vivo conversion to the R-isomer is negligible. Absorption of esomeprazole is rapid, with peak plasma levels occurring approximately 1-2 hours after dose. The absolute bioavailability is 64% after a single dose of 40 mg and increases to 89% after repeated once-daily administration.

For 20 mg esomeprazole the corresponding values are 50% and 68%, respectively. The apparent volume of distribution at steady state in healthy subjects is approximately 0.22 L/kg body weight. Esomeprazole is 97% plasma protein bound. Food intake both delays and decreases the absorption of esomeprazole although this has no significant influence on the effect of esomeprazole on intragastric acidity.

Metabolism and excretion:Esomeprazole is completely metabolised by the cytochrome P450 system (CYP). The major part of the metabolism of esomeprazole is dependent on the polymorphic CYP2C19, responsible for the formation of the hydroxy- and desmethyl metabolites of esomeprazole. The remaining part is dependent on another specific isoform, CYP3A4, responsible for the formation of esomeprazole sulphone, the main metabolite in plasma.

The parameters below reflect mainly the pharmacokinetics in individuals with a functional CYP2C19 enzyme, extensive metabolisers. Total plasma clearance is about 17 L/h after a single dose and about 9 L/h after repeated administration. The plasma elimination half-life is about 1.3 hours after repeated once-daily dosing. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve increases with repeated administration of esomeprazole. This increase is dose-dependent and results in a non-linear dose-AUC relationship after repeated administration.

This time - and dose-dependency is due to a decrease of first pass metabolism and systemic clearance probably caused by an inhibition of the CYP2C19 enzyme by esomeprazole and/or its sulphone metabolite. Esomeprazole is completely eliminated from plasma between doses with no tendency for accumulation during once-daily administration. The major metabolites of esomeprazole have no effect on gastric acid secretion. Almost 80% of an oral dose of esomeprazole is excreted as metabolites in the urine, the remainder in the faeces. Less than 1% of the parent drug is found in urine.

Special patient populations:Approximately 1-2% of the population lack a functional CYP2C19 enzyme and are called poor metabolisers. In these individuals the metabolism of esomeprazole is probably mainly catalysed by CYP3A4. After repeated once-daily administration of 40 mg esomeprazole, the mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve was approximately 100% higher in poor metabolisers than in subjects having a functional CYP2C19 enzyme (extensive metabolisers). Mean peak plasma concentrations were increased by about 60%.

These findings have no implications for the posology of esomeprazole. The metabolism of esomeprazole is not significantly changed in elderly subjects (71-80 years of age). Following a single dose of 40 mg esomeprazole the mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve is approximately 30% higher in females than in males. No gender difference is seen after repeated once-daily administration. These findings have no implications for the posology of esomeprazole. The metabolism of esomeprazole in patients with mild to moderate liver dysfunction may be impaired.

The metabolic rate is decreased in patients with severe liver dysfunction resulting in a doubling of the area under the plasma concentration-time curve of esomeprazole. Therefore, a maximum of 20 mg should not be exceeded in patients with severe dysfunction. Esomeprazole or its major metabolites do not show any tendency to accumulate with once-daily dosing. No studies have been performed in patients with decreased renal function.

Since the kidney is responsible for the excretion of the metabolites of esomeprazole but not for the elimination of the parent compound, the metabolism of esomeprazole is not expected to be changed in patients with impaired renal function.  


Nexium tablets are indicated for:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): treatment of erosive reflux esophagitis; long-term management of patients with healed esophagitis to prevent relapse; symptomatic treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

In combination with an appropriate antibacterial therapeutic regimen for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori and healing of Helicobacter pylori associated duodenal ulcer; and prevention of relapse of peptic ulcers in patients with Helicobacter pylori associated ulcers.

Patients requiring continued NSAID therapy: healing of gastric ulcers associated with NSAID therapy; prevention of gastric and duodenal ulcers associated with NSAID therapy in patients at risk.


Known hypersensitivity to esomeprazole, substituted benzimidazoles or any other constituents of the formulation


In the presence of any alarm symptom (e.g. significant unintentional weight loss, recurrent vomiting, dysphagia, haematemesis or melaena) and when gastric ulcer is suspected or present, malignancy should be excluded, as treatment with Nexium may alleviate symptoms and delay diagnosis.

Patients on long-term treatment (particularly those treated for more than a year) should be kept under regular surveillance. Patients on on-demand treatment should be instructed to contact their physician if their symptoms change in character. When prescribing esomeprazole for on-demand therapy, the implications for interactions with other pharmaceuticals, due to fluctuating plasma concentrations of esomeprazole should be considered (See Interactions).

When prescribing esomeprazole for eradication of Helicobacter pylori possible drug interactions for all components in the triple therapy should be considered. Clarithromycin is a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4 and hence contraindications and interactions for clarithromycin should be considered when the triple therapy is used in patients concurrently taking other drugs metabolised via CYP3A4 such as cisapride. This medicinal product contains sucrose.

Patients with rare hereditary problems of fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption or sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency should not take this medicine.

Pregnancy and lactation: For Nexium, clinical data on exposed pregnancies are insufficient. With the racemic mixture omeprazole data on a larger number of exposed pregnancies stemmed from epidemiological studies indicate no malformative nor foetotoxic effects. Animal studies with esomeprazole do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to embryonal/fetal development.

Animal studies with the racemic mixture do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to pregnancy, parturition or postnatal development. Caution should be exercised when prescribing to pregnant women.

It is not known whether esomeprazole is excreted in human breast milk. No studies in lactating women have been performed. Therefore Nexium should not be used during breast-feeding.   

Effects on ability to drive and use machines: No effects have been observed.


Effects of esomeprazole on the pharmacokinetics of other drugs:The decreased intragastric acidity during treatment with esomeprazole, might increase or decrease the absorption of drugs if the mechanism of absorption is influenced by gastric acidity. In common with the use of other inhibitors of acid secretion or antacids, the absorption of ketoconazole and itraconazole can decrease during treatment with esomeprazole.

Esomeprazole inhibits CYP2C19, the major esomeprazole metabolising enzyme. Thus, when esomeprazole is combined with drugs metabolised by CYP2C19, such as diazepam, citalopram, imipramine, clomipramine, phenytoin etc., the plasma concentrations of these drugs may be increased and a dose reduction could be needed. This should be considered especially when prescribing esomeprazole for on-demand therapy.

Concomitant administration of 30 mg esomeprazole resulted in a 45% decrease in clearance of the CYP2C19 substrate diazepam. Concomitant administration of 40 mg esomeprazole resulted in a 13% increase in trough plasma levels of phenytoin in epileptic patients. It is recommended to monitor the plasma concentrations of phenytoin when treatment with esomeprazole is introduced or withdrawn.

Concomitant administration of 40 mg esomeprazole to warfarin-treated patients in a clinical trial showed that coagulation times were within the accepted range. However, post-marketing, a few isolated cases of elevated INR of clinical significance have been reported during concomitant treatment. Monitoring is recommended when initiating and ending concomitant esomeprazole treatment during treatment with warfarin or other coumarine derivatives.

In healthy volunteers, concomitant administration of 40 mg esomeprazole resulted in a 32% increase in area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) and a 31% prolongation of elimination half-life(T½) but no significant increase in peak plasma levels of cisapride. The slightly prolonged QTc interval observed after administration of cisapride alone, was not further prolonged when cisapride was given in combination with esomeprazole (see Warnings & Precautions).

Esomeprazole has been shown to have no clinically relevant effects on the pharmacokinetics of amoxicillin or quinidine. Studies evaluating concomitant administration of esomeprazole and either naproxen or rofecoxib did not identify any clinically relevant pharmacokinetic interactions during short-term studies.

Effects of other drugs on the pharmacokinetics of esomeprazole:Esomeprazole is metabolised by CYP2C19 and CYP3A4. Concomitant administration of esomeprazole and a CYP3A4 inhibitor, clarithromycin (500 mg b.i.d.), resulted in a doubling of the exposure (AUC) to esomeprazole. Dose adjustment of esomeprazole is not required.            

Adverse Effects

The following adverse drug reactions have been identified or suspected in the clinical trials programme for esomeprazole and post-marketing. None was found to be dose-related.

Common (>1/100, <1/10): Headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, flatulence, nausea/vomiting, constipation.

Uncommon >1/1000, <1/100): Dermatitis, pruritus, urticaria, dizziness, dry mouth.

Rare (>1/10000, <1/1000): Hypersensitivity reactions e.g., angioedema, anaphylactic reaction, increased liver enzymes, blurred vision, Stevens Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme, myalgia.

Dosage & Administration

The tablets should be swallowed whole with liquid. The tablets should not be chewed or crushed.

For patients who have difficulty in swallowing, the tablets can also be dispersed in half a glass of non-carbonated water. No other liquids should be used as the enteric coat may be dissolved. Stir until the tablets disintegrate and drink the liquid with the pellets immediately or within 30 minutes. Rinse the glass with half a glass of water and drink. The pellets must not be chewed or crushed.

For patients who cannot swallow, the tablets can be dispersed in non-carbonated water and administered through a gastric tube. It is important that the appropriateness of the selected syringe and tube is carefully tested. For preparation and administration instructions see Instructions for use and handling below.

Adults and adolescents from the age of 12 years:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):

- Treatment of erosive reflux oesophagitis: 40 mg once daily for 4 weeks. An additional 4 weeks treatment is recommended for patients in whom oesophagitis has not healed or who have persistent symptoms.

- Long-term management of patients with healed oesophagitis to prevent relapse: 20 mg once daily.

- Symptomatic treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): 20 mg once daily in patients without oesophagitis. If symptom control has not been achieved after four weeks, the patient should be further investigated. Once symptoms have resolved, subsequent symptom control can be achieved using 20 mg once daily. In adults, an on demand regimen taking 20 mg once daily, when needed, can be used. In NSAID treated patients at risk of developing gastric and duodenal ulcers, subsequent symptom control using an on demand regimen is not recommended.

Adults: In combination with an appropriate antibacterial therapeutic regimen for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori and

- Healing of Helicobacter pylori associated duodenal ulcer and

- Prevention of relapse of peptic ulcers in patients with Helicobacter pylori associated ulcers:

20 mg Nexium with 1 g Amoxicillin and 500 mg Clarithromycin, all twice daily for 7 days.

Patients requiring continued NSAID therapy:

- Healing of gastric ulcers associated with NSAID therapy: The usual dose is 20 mg once daily. The treatment duration is 4-8 weeks.

- Prevention of gastric and duodenal ulcers associated with NSAID therapy in patients at risk: 20 mg once daily.

Children below the age of 12 years:Nexium should not be used in children younger than 12 years since no data is available.

Impaired renal function:Dose adjustment is not required in patients with impaired renal function. Due to limited experience in patients with severe renal insufficiency, such patients should be treated with caution, (see Pharmacokinetics).

Impaired hepatic function:Dose adjustment is not required in patients with mild to moderate liver impairment. For patients with severe liver impairment, a maximum dose of 20 mg Nexium should not be exceeded (see Pharmacokinetics).

Elderly: Dose adjustment is not required in the elderly.  

Instructions for Use and Handling: Administration through gastric tube

1)         Put the tablet into an appropriate syringe and fill the syringe with approximately 25 mL water and  approximately 5 mL air. For some tubes, dispersion in 50 mL water is needed to prevent the pellets from clogging the tube.

2)         Immediately shake the syringe for approximately 2 minutes to disperse the tablet.

3)         Hold the syringe with the tip up and check that the tip has not clogged.

4)         Attach the syringe to the tube whilst maintaining the above position.

5)         Shake the syringe and position it with the tip pointing down. Immediately  inject 5-10 mL into the tube. Invert the syringe after the injection and shake (the syringe must be held with the tip pointing up to avoid clogging of the tip).

6)         Turn the syringe with the tip down and immediately inject another 5-10 mL into the tube. Repeat this procedure until the syringe is empty.

7)         Fill the syringe with 25 mL of water and 5 ml of air and repeat step 5 if necessary to wash down any sediment left in the syringe. For some tubes, 50 mL water is needed.

Overdosage There is very limited experience to date with deliberate overdose. The symptoms described in connection with 280mg were gastrointestinal symptoms and weakness. Single doses of 80 mg esomeprazole were uneventful. No specific antidote is known. Esomeprazole is extensively plasma protein bound and is therefore not readily dialyzable. As in any case of overdose, treatment should be symptomatic and general supportive measures should be utilised.


Storage/Handling Recommendations

Do not store above 30oC. Store in the original package.

Review Date

2015-11-19 07:29:43