"July 6, 2015 -- About 21 million Americans have used prescription heartburn medications called proton pump inhibitors to help ease pain and discomfort after they eat. But does that help come at a price?
A recent study found that the drugs, "...
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
The safety of NEXIUM was evaluated in over 15,000 patients (aged 18 to 84 years) in clinical trials worldwide including over 8,500 patients in the United States and over 6,500 patients in Europe and Canada. Over 2,900 patients were treated in long-term studies for up to 6-12 months. In general, NEXIUM was well tolerated in both short and long-term clinical trials.
The safety in the treatment of healing of erosive esophagitis was assessed in four randomized comparative clinical trials, which included 1,240 patients on NEXIUM 20 mg, 2,434 patients on NEXIUM 40 mg, and 3,008 patients on omeprazole 20 mg daily. The most frequently occurring adverse reactions ( ≥ 1%) in all three groups were headache (5.5, 5, and 3.8, respectively) and diarrhea (no difference among the three groups). Nausea, flatulence, abdominal pain, constipation, and dry mouth occurred at similar rates among patients taking NEXIUM or omeprazole.
Additional adverse reactions that were reported as possibly or probably related to NEXIUM with an incidence < 1% are listed below by body system:
Body as a Whole: abdomen enlarged, allergic reaction, asthenia, back pain, chest pain, substernal chest pain, facial edema, peripheral edema, hot flushes, fatigue, fever, flu-like disorder, generalized edema, leg edema, malaise, pain, rigors;
Gastrointestinal: bowel irregularity, constipation aggravated, dyspepsia, dysphagia, dysplasia GI, epigastric pain, eructation, esophageal disorder, frequent stools, gastroenteritis, GI hemorrhage, GI symptoms not otherwise specified, hiccup, melena, mouth disorder, pharynx disorder, rectal disorder, serum gastrin increased, tongue disorder, tongue edema, ulcerative stomatitis, vomiting;
Nervous System/Psychiatric: anorexia, apathy, appetite increased, confusion, depression aggravated, dizziness, hypertonia, nervousness, hypoesthesia, impotence, insomnia, migraine, migraine aggravated, paresthesia, sleep disorder, somnolence, tremor, vertigo, visual field defect;
Reproductive: dysmenorrhea, menstrual disorder, vaginitis;
Special Senses: otitis media, parosmia, taste loss, taste perversion;
Visual: conjunctivitis, vision abnormal.
The following potentially clinically significant laboratory changes in clinical trials, irrespective of relationship to NEXIUM, were reported in ≤ 1% of patients: increased creatinine, uric acid, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, ALT, AST, hemoglobin, white blood cell count, platelets, serum gastrin, potassium, sodium, thyroxine and thyroid stimulating hormone [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Decreases were seen in hemoglobin, white blood cell count, platelets, potassium, sodium, and thyroxine.
Endoscopic findings that were reported as adverse reactions include: duodenitis, esophagitis, esophageal stricture, esophageal ulceration, esophageal varices, gastric ulcer, gastritis, hernia, benign polyps or nodules, Barrett's esophagus, and mucosal discoloration.
The incidence of treatment-related adverse reactions during 6-month maintenance treatment was similar to placebo. There were no differences in types of related adverse reactions seen during maintenance treatment up to 12 months compared to short-term treatment.
Two placebo-controlled studies were conducted in 710 patients for the treatment of symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease. The most common adverse reactions that were reported as possibly or probably related to NEXIUM were diarrhea (4.3%), headache (3.8%), and abdominal pain (3.8%).
The safety of NEXIUM was evaluated in 316 pediatric and adolescent patients aged 1 to 17 years in four clinical trials for the treatment of symptomatic GERD [see Clinical Studies]. In 109 pediatric patients aged 1 to 11 years, the most frequently reported (at least 1%) treatment-related adverse reactions in these patients were diarrhea (2.8%), headache (1.9%) and somnolence (1.9%). In 149 pediatric patients aged 12 to 17 years the most frequently reported (at least 2%) treatment-related adverse reactions in these patients were headache (8.1%), abdominal pain (2.7%), diarrhea (2%), and nausea (2%).
The safety of NEXIUM was evaluated in 167 pediatric patients from birth to < 1 year of age in three clinical trials. [See Clinical Studies] In a study that included 26 pediatric patients aged birth to 1 month there were no treatment related adverse reactions. In a study that included 43 pediatric patients age 1 to 11 months, inclusive the most frequently reported (at least 5%) adverse reactions, irrespective of causality, were irritability and vomiting. In a study that included 98 pediatric patients, age 1 to 11 months, inclusive exposed to esomeprazole for up to 6 weeks (including 39 patients randomized to the withdrawal phase), there were 4 treatment-related adverse reactions: abdominal pain (1%), regurgitation (1%), tachypnea (1%), and increased ALT (1%).
No new safety concerns were identified in pediatric patients.
Combination Treatment with Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin
In clinical trials using combination therapy with NEXIUM plus amoxicillin and clarithromycin, no additional adverse reactions specific to these drug combinations were observed. Adverse reactions that occurred were limited to those observed when using NEXIUM, amoxicillin, or clarithromycin alone.
The most frequently reported drug-related adverse reactions for patients who received triple therapy for 10 days were diarrhea (9.2%), taste perversion (6.6%), and abdominal pain (3.7%). No treatment-emergent adverse reactions were observed at higher rates with triple therapy than were observed with NEXIUM alone.
For more information on adverse reactions with amoxicillin or clarithromycin, refer to their package inserts, Adverse Reactions sections.
In clinical trials using combination therapy with NEXIUM plus amoxicillin and clarithromycin, no additional increased laboratory abnormalities particular to these drug combinations were observed.
For more information on laboratory changes with amoxicillin or clarithromycin, refer to their package inserts, Adverse Reactions section.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of NEXIUM. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These reports are listed below by body system:
Eye: blurred vision;
Immune System: anaphylactic reaction/shock;
Infections and Infestations: GI candidiasis; Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea;
Metabolism and nutritional disorders: hypomagnesemia
Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue: muscular weakness, myalgia, bone fracture;
Nervous System: hepatic encephalopathy, taste disturbance;
Psychiatric: aggression, agitation, depression, hallucination;
Reproductive System and Breast: gynecomastia;
Respiratory, Thoracic, and Mediastinal: bronchospasm;
Read the Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Interference With Antiretroviral
Therapy Concomitant use of atazanavir and nelfinavir with proton pump inhibitors is not recommended. Co-administration of atazanavir with proton pump inhibitors is expected to substantially decrease atazanavir plasma concentrations and may result in a loss of therapeutic effect and the development of drug resistance. Co-administration of saquinavir with proton pump inhibitors is expected to increase saquinavir concentrations, which may increase toxicity and require dose reduction.
Omeprazole, of which esomeprazole is an enantiomer, has been reported to interact with some antiretroviral drugs. The clinical importance and the mechanisms behind these interactions are not always known. Increased gastric pH during omeprazole treatment may change the absorption of the antiretroviral drug. Other possible interaction mechanisms are via CYP 2C19.
Reduced concentrations of atazanavir and nelfinavir
For some antiretroviral drugs, such as atazanavir and nelfinavir, decreased serum levels have been reported when given together with omeprazole. Following multiple doses of nelfinavir (1250 mg, twice daily) and omeprazole (40 mg daily), AUC was decreased by 36% and 92%, Cmax by 37% and 89% and Cmin by 39% and 75% respectively for nelfinavir and M8. Following multiple doses of atazanavir (400 mg, daily) and omeprazole (40 mg, daily, 2 hr before atazanavir), AUC was decreased by 94%, Cmax by 96%, and Cmin by 95%. Concomitant administration with omeprazole and drugs such as atazanavir and nelfinavir is therefore not recommended.
Increased concentrations of saquinavir
For other antiretroviral drugs, such as saquinavir, elevated serum levels have been reported, with an increase in AUC by 82%, in Cmax by 75%, and in Cmin by 106%, following multiple dosing of saquinavir/ritonavir (1000/100 mg) twice daily for 15 days with omeprazole 40 mg daily co-administered days 11 to 15. Therefore, clinical and laboratory monitoring for saquinavir toxicity is recommended during concurrent use with NEXIUM. Dose reduction of saquinavir should be considered from the safety perspective for individual patients.
There are also some antiretroviral drugs of which unchanged serum levels have been reported when given with omeprazole.
Drugs For Which Gastric pH Can Affect Bioavailability
Esomeprazole inhibits gastric acid secretion. Therefore, esomeprazole may interfere with the absorption of drugs where gastric pH is an important determinant of bioavailability. Like with other drugs that decrease the intragastric acidity, the absorption of drugs such as ketoconazole, atazanavir, iron salts, and erlotinib can decrease, while the absorption of drugs such as digoxin can increase during treatment with esomeprazole. Concomitant treatment with omeprazole (20 mg daily) and digoxin in healthy subjects increased the bioavailability of digoxin by 10% (30% in two subjects). Esomeprazole is an enantiomer of omeprazole. Coadministration of digoxin with esomeprazole is expected to increase the systemic exposure of digoxin. Therefore, patients may need to be monitored when digoxin is taken concomitantly with esomeprazole.
Effects On Hepatic Metabolism/Cytochrome P-450 Pathways
Esomeprazole is extensively metabolized in the liver by CYP 2C19 and CYP 3A4. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that esomeprazole is not likely to inhibit CYPs 1A2, 2A6, 2C9, 2D6, 2E1, and 3A4. No clinically relevant interactions with drugs metabolized by these CYP enzymes would be expected. Drug interaction studies have shown that esomeprazole does not have any clinically significant interactions with phenytoin, warfarin, quinidine, clarithromycin, or amoxicillin.
However, post-marketing reports of changes in prothrombin measures have been received among patients on concomitant warfarin and esomeprazole therapy. Increases in INR and prothrombin time may lead to abnormal bleeding and even death. Patients treated with proton pump inhibitors and warfarin concomitantly may need to be monitored for increases in INR and prothrombin time.
Esomeprazole may potentially interfere with CYP 2C19, the major esomeprazole metabolizing enzyme. Co-administration of esomeprazole 30 mg and diazepam, a CYP 2C19 substrate, resulted in a 45% decrease in clearance of diazepam.
Clopidogrel is metabolized to its active metabolite in part by CYP2C19. Concomitant use of esomeprazole 40 mg results in reduced plasma concentrations of the active metabolite of clopidogrel and a reduction in platelet inhibition. Avoid concomitant administration of NEXIUM with clopidogrel. When using NEXIUM, consider use of alternative anti-platelet therapy [see Pharmacokinetics].
Omeprazole acts as an inhibitor of CYP 2C19. Omeprazole, given in doses of 40 mg daily for one week to 20 healthy subjects in cross-over study, increased Cmax and AUC of cilostazol by 18% and 26% respectively. Cmax and AUC of one of its active metabolites, 3,4-dihydrocilostazol, which has 4-7 times the activity of cilostazol, were increased by 29% and 69% respectively. Co-administration of cilostazol with esomeprazole is expected to increase concentrations of cilostazol and its above mentioned active metabolite. Therefore a dose reduction of cilostazol from 100 mg twice daily to 50 mg twice daily should be considered.
Concomitant administration of esomeprazole and a combined inhibitor of CYP 2C19 and CYP 3A4, such as voriconazole, may result in more than doubling of the esomeprazole exposure. Dose adjustment of esomeprazole is not normally required. However, in patients with Zollinger-Ellison's Syndrome, who may require higher doses up to 240 mg/day, dose adjustment may be considered.
Drugs known to induce CYP2C19 or CYP3A4 or both (such as rifampin) may lead to decreased esomeprazole serum levels. Omeprazole, of which esomeprazole is an enantiomer, has been reported to interact with St. John's wort an inducer of CYP3A4. In a cross-over study in 12 healthy male subjects, St John's wort (300 mg three times daily for 14 days) significantly decreased the systemic exposure of omeprazole in CYP2C19 poor metabolisers (Cmax and AUC decreased by 37.5% and 37.9%, respectively) and extensive metabolisers (Cmax and AUC decreased by 49.6 % and 43.9%, respectively). Avoid concomitant use of St. John's Wort or rifampin with NEXIUM.
Interactions With Investigations Of Neuroendocrine Tumors
Drug-induced decrease in gastric acidity results in enterochromaffin-like cell hyperplasia and increased Chromogranin A levels which may interfere with investigations for neuroendocrine tumors. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]
Concomitant administration of esomeprazole and tacrolimus may increase the serum levels of tacrolimus.
Combination Therapy With Clarithromycin
Co-administration of esomeprazole, clarithromycin, and amoxicillin has resulted in increases in the plasma levels of esomeprazole and 14-hydroxyclarithromycin [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Concomitant administration of clarithromycin with other drugs can lead to serious adverse reactions due to drug interactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS in prescribing information for clarithromycin]. Because of these drug interactions, clarithromycin is contraindicated for co-administration with certain drugs [see Contraindications in prescribing information for clarithromycin].
Case reports, published population pharmacokinetic studies, and retrospective analyses suggest that concomitant administration of PPIs and methotrexate (primarily at high dose; see methotrexate prescribing information) may elevate and prolong serum levels of methotrexate and/or its metabolite hydroxymethotrexate. However, no formal drug interaction studies of methotrexate with PPIs have been conducted [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Read the Nexium Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2014
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