NEXIUM (Page 7 of 13)

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients who received NEXIUM in clinical trials, 1459 were 65 to 74 years of age and 354 patients were 75 years of age and older.

No overall differences in safety and efficacy were observed between the elderly and younger individuals, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

8.6 Hepatic Impairment

In patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C) exposure to esomeprazole substantially increased compared to healthy subjects. Dosage modification of NEXIUM is recommended for patients with severe hepatic impairment for the healing of EE, risk reduction of NSAID-associated gastric ulcer, H. pylori eradication to reduce the risk of duodenal ulcer recurrence, and pathological hypersecretory conditions including Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome [see Dosage and Administration (2.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

In patients with mild to moderate liver impairment (Child-Pugh Classes A and B), no dosage adjustment is necessary.


Manifestations in patients exposed to omeprazole, the racemic mixture, at doses up to 2,400 mg (120 times the usual recommended clinical dose) include confusion, drowsiness, blurred vision, tachycardia, nausea, diaphoresis, flushing, headache, dry mouth, and other adverse reactions similar to those seen at recommended dosages. See the full prescribing information for omeprazole for complete safety information. No specific antidote for esomeprazole is known. Since esomeprazole is extensively protein bound, it is not expected to be removed by dialysis. In the event of overdosage, treatment should be symptomatic and supportive.

If over-exposure occurs, call your Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for current information on the management of poisoning or overdosage.


The active ingredient in NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) delayed-release capsules for oral administration and NEXIUM (esomeprazole magnesium) for delayed-release oral suspension is bis(5-methoxy-2-[(S)-[(4-methoxy-3,5-dimethyl-2-pyridinyl)methyl]sulfinyl]-1H -benzimidazole-1-yl) magnesium trihydrate, a PPI. Esomeprazole is the S-isomer of omeprazole, which is a mixture of the S- and R- isomers. (Initial U.S. approval of esomeprazole magnesium: 2001). Its molecular formula is (C17 H18 N3 O3 S)2 Mg x 3 H2 O with molecular weight of 767.2 as a trihydrate and 713.1 on an anhydrous basis. The structural formula is:

Structural Formula
(click image for full-size original)

The magnesium salt is a white to slightly colored crystalline powder. It contains 3 moles of water of solvation and is slightly soluble in water. The stability of esomeprazole magnesium is a function of pH; it rapidly degrades in acidic media, but it has acceptable stability under alkaline conditions. At pH 6.8 (buffer), the half-life of the magnesium salt is about 19 hours at 25°C and about 8 hours at 37°C.

NEXIUM is supplied in delayed-release capsules and in packets for a delayed-release oral suspension. Each NEXIUM delayed-release capsule contains 20 mg of esomeprazole (equivalent to 22.3 mg esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate) or 40 mg of esomeprazole (equivalent to 44.5 mg esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate) in the form of enteric-coated granules with the following inactive ingredients: glyceryl monostearate 40-55, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, methacrylic acid copolymer type C, polysorbate 80, sugar spheres, talc, and triethyl citrate. The capsule shells have the following inactive ingredients: D&C Red #28, D&C Yellow #10, ethyl alcohol, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40, gelatin, isopropyl alcohol, n-butyl alcohol, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, propylene glycol, shellac, sodium hydroxide, and titanium dioxide.

Each packet of NEXIUM for delayed-release oral suspension contains esomeprazole, in the form of same enteric-coated granules used in NEXIUM delayed-release capsules, and also inactive granules:

2.5 mg esomeprazole (equivalent to 2.8 mg esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate)
5 mg esomeprazole (equivalent to 5.6 mg esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate)
10 mg esomeprazole (equivalent to 11.1 mg esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate)
20 mg esomeprazole (equivalent to 22.3 mg esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate)
40 mg esomeprazole (equivalent to 44.5 mg esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate)

The inactive granules are composed of the following ingredients: citric acid, crospovidone, dextrose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, iron oxide, and xanthan gum. The esomeprazole granules and inactive granules are constituted with water to form a suspension and are given by oral, nasogastric, or gastric administration.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Esomeprazole belongs to a class of antisecretory compounds, the substituted benzimidazoles, that suppress gastric acid secretion by specific inhibition of the H+/K+ ATPase enzyme system at the secretory surface of the gastric parietal cell. Esomeprazole is protonated and converted in the acidic compartment of the parietal cell forming the active inhibitor, the achiral sulphenamide. Because this enzyme system is regarded as the acid (proton) pump within the gastric mucosa, esomeprazole has been characterized as a gastric acid-pump inhibitor, in that it blocks the final step of acid production. This effect is dose-related and leads to inhibition of both basal and stimulated acid secretion irrespective of the stimulus.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Antisecretory Activity


The effect of esomeprazole on intragastric pH was determined in adult patients with symptomatic GERD in two separate studies. In the first study of 36 patients, NEXIUM 40 mg and 20 mg delayed-release capsules were administered once daily over 5 days as shown in Table 5:

Table 5: Effect of Esomeprazole on Intragastric pH on Day 5 (N=36) Following Once Daily Dosing of NEXIUM Delayed-Release Capsules in Adult Patients with Symptomatic GERD
Gastric pH was measured over a 24-hour period
p< 0.01 NEXIUM 40 mg vs. NEXIUM 20 mg


NEXIUM Delayed-Release Capsules

40 mg once daily

20 mg once daily

% Time Gastric pH >4* (Hours)


(16.8 h)


(12.7 h)

Coefficient of variation



Median 24 Hour pH



Coefficient of variation



In a second study, the effect on intragastric pH of NEXIUM 40 mg delayed-release capsules administered once daily over a five-day period was similar to the first study, (% time with pH > 4 was 68% or 16.3 hours).


In infants (1 to 11 months old, inclusive) with GERD given NEXIUM for delayed-release oral suspension 1 mg/kg once daily, the percent time with intragastric pH > 4 increased from 29% at baseline to 69% on Day 7, which is similar to the pharmacodynamic effect in adults.

Serum Gastrin Effects

The effect of esomeprazole on serum gastrin concentrations was evaluated in approximately 2,700 patients in clinical trials of oral esomeprazole for up to 8 weeks and in over 1,300 patients for up to 12 months. The mean fasting gastrin level increased in a dose-related manner. The increase in serum gastrin concentrations reached a plateau within two to three months of therapy and returned to baseline levels within four weeks after discontinuation of therapy.

Increased gastrin causes enterochromaffin-like cell hyperplasia and increased serum Chromogranin A (CgA) levels. The increased CgA levels may cause false positive results in diagnostic investigations for neuroendocrine tumors [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)]

Enterochromaffin-like (ECL) Cell Effects

Human gastric biopsy specimens have been obtained from more than 3,000 patients (both pediatrics and adults) treated with omeprazole in long-term clinical trials. The incidence of ECL cell hyperplasia in these studies increased with time; however, no case of ECL cell carcinoids, dysplasia, or neoplasia has been found in these patients [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]

In over 1,000 patients treated with oral esomeprazole (10 mg, 20 mg or 40 mg/day) for up to 12 months, the prevalence of ECL cell hyperplasia increased with time and dose. No patient developed ECL cell carcinoids, dysplasia, or neoplasia in the gastric mucosa.

Endocrine Effects

Esomeprazole had no effect on thyroid function in adults when given NEXIUM 20 mg or 40 mg delayed-release capsules once daily for 4 weeks. Other effects of esomeprazole on the endocrine system were assessed in studies of omeprazole. Oral doses of omeprazole 30 mg or 40 mg once daily for 2 to 4 weeks had no effect on carbohydrate metabolism, circulating levels of parathyroid hormone, cortisol, estradiol, testosterone, prolactin, cholecystokinin, or secretin.

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