Nexium belongs to a group of drugs known as proton pumpinhibitors (PPIs). These drugs work by blocking the sites in your stomach responsiblefor the production of acid and the final result is decrease of stomach acid. More specifically, all PPIs reduce secretion of gastric acidinhibiting enzyme known as H+/K+-ATPase, located inparietal cells of the stomach. Inhibiting the activity of this particularenzyme, PPIs are able to prevent production of stomach (or sometimes calledgastric) acid.
Nexium is chemically esomeprazole magnesium, but some callit “the purple pill” because capsules are purple in color and depending on the strength,they have two or three golden rings on them. It is used to treat number ofmedical conditions associated with stomach acid in some way. Nexium can be usedas the treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis,Helicobacter pylori infection and prevention of ulcers in people usingNSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or Aspirin). Thismedication is also useful in patients suffering from diseases connected withhyper-secretion of stomach acid, like in Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Nexium lowers the amount of stomach acid and helps decreasingGERD symptoms and also healing the damage that stomach acid has caused tostomach, esophagus or intestines of the patient. This drug is also used as the treatmentfor people suffering from dyspepsia.
Generic Nexium is still not available on the market, andthere is a remote possibility to appear in 2014. For the time being AstraZenecaholds patent for this medication and because of that there is no generic Nexiumproduced in the United States.
Esomeprasole magnesium is an active component in this drug, butthis substance is not generic Nexium. Being generic drug means that it is off-patentand someone else produces the product, beside the original company. Some manufacturersof generic medications and AstraZeneca are currently suing, and only afterresolution of this matter it will be possible to predict availability ofgeneric Nexium on the market.
Other PPI Drugs
Since Nexium is just one of medications in the PPIs group,there are other medications having the same way of action. Some of them areavailable only as prescription drugs, such as Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant™), Lansoprazole(Prevacid®), Omeprazole (Prilosec®), Omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate(Zegerid®), Pantoprazole (Protonix®) and Rabeprazole (AcipHex®).
There are also some PPIs available without prescription, andin the drugstores you can find medications like Prevacid® 24HR, Prilosec OTC® andZegerid OTC™.