"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first generic versions of Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) delayed-release tablets, used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in adults and adolescents (ages 12 and up).
Concurrent Gastric Malignancy
Symptomatic response to therapy with NEXIUM does not preclude the presence of gastric malignancy.
Clostridium Difficile Associated Aiarrhea
Published observational studies suggest that PPI therapy like NEXIUM may be associated with an increased risk of Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, especially in hospitalized patients. This diagnosis should be considered for diarrhea that does not improve [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Patients should use the lowest dose and shortest duration of PPI therapy appropriate to the condition being treated.
Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents. For more information specific to antibacterial agents (clarithromycin and amoxicillin) indicated for use in combination with NEXIUM, refer to WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS sections of those package inserts.
Interaction With Clopidogrel
Avoid concomitant use of NEXIUM with clopidogrel. Clopidogrel is a prodrug. Inhibition of platelet aggregation by clopidogrel is entirely due to an active metabolite. The metabolism of clopidogrel to its active metabolite can be impaired by use with concomitant medications, such as esomeprazole, that inhibit CYP2C19 activity. Concomitant use of clopidogrel with 40 mg esomeprazole reduces the pharmacological activity of clopidogrel. When using NEXIUM consider alternative anti-platelet therapy. [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and Pharmacokinetics]
Several published observational studies suggest that proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy may be associated with an increased risk for osteoporosis-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. The risk of fracture was increased in patients who received high-dose, defined as multiple daily doses, and long-term PPI therapy (a year or longer). Patients should use the lowest dose and shortest duration of PPI therapy appropriate to the condition being treated. Patients at risk for osteoporosis-related fractures should be managed according to established treatment guidelines. [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and ADVERSE REACTIONS]
Hypomagnesemia, symptomatic and asymptomatic, has been reported rarely in patients treated with PPIs for at least three months, in most cases after a year of therapy. Serious adverse events include tetany, arrhythmias, and seizures. In most patients, treatment of hypomagnesemia required magnesium replacement and discontinuation of the PPI.
For patients expected to be on prolonged treatment or who take PPIs with medications such as digoxin or drugs that may cause hypomagnesemia (e.g., diuretics), health care professionals may consider monitoring magnesium levels prior to initiation of PPI treatment and periodically. [See ADVERSE REACTIONS]
Concomitant Use Of NEXIUM With St John's Wort Or Rifampin
Drugs which induce CYP2C19 or CYP3A4 (such as St John's Wort or rifampin) can substantially decrease esomeprazole concentrations. [see DRUG INTERACTIONS] Avoid concomitant use of NEXIUM with St John's Wort, or rifampin.
Interactions With Diagnostic Investigations For Neuroendocrine Tumors
Serum chromogranin A (CgA) levels increase secondary to drug-induced decreases in gastric acidity. The increased CgA level may cause false positive results in diagnostic investigations for neuroendocrine tumors. Providers should temporarily stop esomeprazole treatment before assessing CgA levels and consider repeating the test if initial CgA levels are high. If serial tests are performed (e.g. for monitoring), the same commercial laboratory should be used for testing, as reference ranges between tests may vary.
Concomitant Use Of NEXIUM With Methotrexate
Literature suggests that concomitant use of PPIs with methotrexate (primarily at high dose; see methotrexate prescribing information) may elevate and prolong serum levels of methotrexate and/or its metabolite, possibly leading to methotrexate toxicities. In high-dose methotrexate administration a temporary withdrawal of the PPI may be considered in some patients. [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]
Patient Counseling Information
“See FDA-Approved Medication Guide”
- Advise patients to let you know if they are taking, or begin taking, other medications, because NEXIUM can interfere with antiretroviral drugs and drugs that are affected by gastric pH changes [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
- Let patients know that antacids may be used while taking NEXIUM.
- Advise patients to take NEXIUM at least one hour before a meal.
- For patients who are prescribed NEXIUM Delayed-Release Capsules, advise them not to chew or crush the capsules.
- Advise patients that, if they open NEXIUM Delayed-Release Capsules to mix the granules with food, the granules should only be mixed with applesauce. Use with other foods has not been evaluated and is not recommended.
- For patients who are advised to open the NEXIUM Delayed-Release Capsules before taking them or who are prescribed NEXIUM For Delayed-Release Oral Suspension, instruct them in the proper technique for administration [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION] and tell them to follow the dosing instructions in the PATIENT INFORMATION insert included in the package. Instruct patients to rinse the syringe with water after each use.
- For patients who are prescribed NEXIUM for Delayed-Release Oral Suspension and need to use more than one packet for their dose, instruct them regarding the correct amount of water to use when mixing their dose.
Advise patients to immediately report and seek care for diarrhea that does not improve. This may be a sign of Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients to immediately report and seek care for any cardiovascular or neurological symptoms including palpitations, dizziness, seizures, and tetany as these may be signs of hypomagnesemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
The carcinogenic potential of NEXIUM was assessed using studies of omeprazole, of which esomeprazole is an enantiomer. In two 24-month oral carcinogenicity studies in rats, omeprazole at daily doses of 1.7, 3.4, 13.8, 44, and 141 mg/kg/day (about 0.7 to 57 times the human dose of 20 mg/day expressed on a body surface area basis) produced gastric ECL cell carcinoids in a dose-related manner in both male and female rats; the incidence of this effect was markedly higher in female rats, which had higher blood levels of omeprazole. Gastric carcinoids seldom occur in the untreated rat. In addition, ECL cell hyperplasia was present in all treated groups of both sexes. In one of these studies, female rats were treated with 13.8 mg omeprazole/kg/day (about 5.6 times the human dose on a body surface area basis) for 1 year, then followed for an additional year without the drug. No carcinoids were seen in these rats. An increased incidence of treatment-related ECL cell hyperplasia was observed at the end of 1 year (94% treated vs. 10% controls). By the second year the difference between treated and control rats was much smaller (46% vs. 26%) but still showed more hyperplasia in the treated group. Gastric adenocarcinoma was seen in one rat (2%). No similar tumor was seen in male or female rats treated for 2 years. For this strain of rat no similar tumor has been noted historically, but a finding involving only one tumor is difficult to interpret. A 78-week mouse carcinogenicity study of omeprazole did not show increased tumor occurrence, but the study was not conclusive.
Esomeprazole was negative in the Ames mutation test, in the in vivo rat bone marrow cell chromosome aberration test, and the in vivo mouse micronucleus test. Esomeprazole, however, was positive in the in vitro human lymphocyte chromosome aberration test. Omeprazole was positive in the in vitro human lymphocyte chromosome aberration test, the in vivo mouse bone marrow cell chromosome aberration test, and the in vivo mouse micronucleus test.
The potential effects of esomeprazole on fertility and reproductive performance were assessed using omeprazole studies. Omeprazole at oral doses up to 138 mg/kg/day in rats (about 56 times the human dose on a body surface area basis) was found to have no effect on reproductive performance of parental animals.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy - Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with NEXIUM in pregnant women. Esomeprazole is the s-isomer of omeprazole. Available epidemiologic data fail to demonstrate an increased risk of major congenital malformations or other adverse pregnancy outcomes with first trimester omeprazole use.
Teratogenicity was not observed in animal reproduction studies with administration of oral esomeprazole magnesium in rats and rabbits with doses about 57 times and 35 times, respectively, an oral human dose of 40 mg. However, changes in bone morphology were observed in offspring of rats dosed through most of pregnancy and lactation at doses equal to or greater than approximately 33.6 times an oral human dose of 40 mg (see Animal Data). Because of the observed effect at high doses of esomeprazole magnesium on developing bone in rat studies, NEXIUM should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Esomeprazole is the S-isomer of omeprazole. Four epidemiological studies compared the frequency of congenital abnormalities among infants born to women who used omeprazole during pregnancy with the frequency of abnormalities among infants of women exposed to H2 receptor antagonists or other controls.
A population based retrospective cohort epidemiological study from the Swedish Medical Birth Registry, covering approximately 99% of pregnancies, from 1995-99, reported on 955 infants (824 exposed during the first trimester with 39 of these exposed beyond first trimester, and 131 exposed after the first trimester) whose mothers used omeprazole during pregnancy. The number of infants exposed in utero to omeprazole that had any malformation, low birth weight, low Apgar score, or hospitalization was similar to the number observed in this population. The number of infants born with ventricular septal defects and the number of stillborn infants was slightly higher in the omeprazole-exposed infants than the expected number in this population.
A population-based retrospective cohort study covering all live births in Denmark from 19962009, reported on 1,800 live births whose mothers used omeprazole during the first trimester of pregnancy and 837, 317 live births whose mothers did not use any proton pump inhibitor. The overall rate of birth defects in infants born to mothers with first trimester exposure to omeprazole was 2.9% and 2.6% in infants born to mothers not exposed to any proton pump inhibitor during the first trimester.
A retrospective cohort study reported on 689 pregnant women exposed to either H2 blockers or omeprazole in the first trimester (134 exposed to omeprazole) and 1,572 pregnant women unexposed to either during the first trimester. The overall malformation rate in offspring born to mothers with first trimester exposure to omeprazole, an H2-blocker, or were unexposed was 3.6%, 5.5%, and 4.1% respectively.
A small prospective observational cohort study followed 113 women exposed to omeprazole during pregnancy (89% first trimester exposures). The reported rate of major congenital malformations was 4% in the omeprazole group, 2% in controls exposed to non-teratogens, and 2.8% in disease paired controls. Rates of spontaneous and elective abortions, preterm deliveries, gestational age at delivery, and mean birth weight were similar among the groups.
Several studies have reported no apparent adverse short-term effects on the infant when single dose oral or intravenous omeprazole was administered to over 200 pregnant women as premedication for cesarean section under general anesthesia.
Reproduction studies have been performed with esomeprazole magnesium in rats at oral doses up to 280 mg/kg/day (about 57 times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis) and in rabbits at oral doses up to 86 mg/kg/day (about 35 times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis) and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to esomeprazole magnesium.
A pre- and postnatal developmental toxicity study in rats with additional endpoints to evaluate bone development was performed with esomeprazole magnesium at oral doses of 14 to 280 mg/kg/day (about 3.4 to 57 times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis). Neonatal/early postnatal (birth to weaning) survival was decreased at doses equal to or greater than 138 mg/kg/day (about 33 times an oral human dose of 40mg on a body surface area basis). Body weight and body weight gain were reduced and neurobehavioral or general developmental delays in the immediate post-weaning timeframe were evident at doses equal to or greater than 69 mg /kg/day (about 16.8 times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis). In addition, decreased femur length, width and thickness of cortical bone, decreased thickness of the tibial growth plate and minimal to mild bone marrow hypocellularity were noted at doses equal to or greater than 14 mg/kg/day (about 3.4 times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis). Physeal dysplasia in the femur was observed in offspring of rats treated with oral doses of esomeprazole magnesium at doses equal to or greater than 138 mg/kg/day (about 33.6 times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis).
Effects on maternal bone were observed in pregnant and lactating rats in a pre- and postnatal toxicity study when esomeprazole magnesium was administered at oral doses of 14 to 280 mg /kg/day (about 3.4 to 57 times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis). When rats were dosed from gestational day 7 through weaning on postnatal day 21, a statistically significant decrease in maternal femur weight of up to 14% (as compared to placebo treatment) was observed at doses equal to or greater than 138 mg/kg/day (about 33.6 times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis).
A pre- and postnatal development study in rats with esomeprazole strontium (using equimolar doses compared to esomeprazole magnesium study) produced similar results in dams and pups as described above.
Omeprazole concentrations have been measured in breast milk of one woman taking omeprazole 20 mg per day. However, the excretion of esomeprazole in milk has not been studied. It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for tumorigenicity shown for NEXIUM in rat carcinogenicity studies, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
The safety and effectiveness of NEXIUM have been established in pediatric patients 1 to 17 years of age for short-term treatment (up to eight weeks) of GERD. The safety and effectiveness of NEXIUM have been established in pediatric patients 1 month to less than 1 year for short-term treatment (up to 6 weeks) of erosive esophagitis due to acid-mediated GERD. However, the safety and effectiveness of NEXIUM have not been established in patients less than 1 month of age.
1 to 17 years of age
Use of NEXIUM in pediatric and adolescent patients 1 to 17 years of age for short-term treatment (up to eight weeks) of GERD is supported by extrapolation of results from adequate and well-controlled studies for adults and safety and pharmacokinetic studies performed in pediatric and adolescent patients [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and Clinical Studies]. The safety and effectiveness of NEXIUM for other pediatric uses have not been established.
Erosive esophagitis due to acid-mediated GERD in infants 1 month to less than one year of age
Use of NEXIUM in pediatric patients 1 month to less than 1 year of age for treatment (up to 6 weeks) of erosive esophagitis due to acid-mediated GERD is supported by extrapolation of results from adequate and well-controlled studies for adults and safety, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic studies performed in pediatric patients [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and Clinical Studies].
Symptomatic GERD in infants 1 month to less than one year of age
There was no statistically significant difference between NEXIUM and placebo in the rate of discontinuation due to symptom worsening in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, controlled, treatment-withdrawal study of 98 patients ages 1 to 11 months, inclusive. Patients were enrolled if they had either a clinical diagnosis of suspected GERD, symptomatic GERD, or endoscopically proven GERD. Twenty of 98 enrolled patients underwent endoscopy, and 6 patients were found to have erosive esophagitis on endoscopy at baseline. All patients received NEXIUM Delayed-Release Oral Suspension once daily during a two-week, open-label phase of the study.
There were 80 patients who attained a pre-specified level of symptom improvement and who entered the double-blind phase, in which they were randomized in equal proportions to receive NEXIUM or placebo for the next four weeks. Efficacy was assessed by observing the time from randomization to study discontinuation due to symptom worsening during the four-week, treatment-withdrawal phase.
The following pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic information was obtained in pediatric patients with GERD aged birth to less than one year of age. In infants (1 to 11 months old, inclusive) given NEXIUM 1mg/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 [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Apparent clearance (CL/F) increases with age in pediatric patients from birth to 2 years of age.
Neonates 0 to 1 month of age
Following administration of oral NEXIUM in neonates the geometric mean (range) for the apparent clearance (CL/F) was 0.55 L/h/kg (0.25-1.6 L/h/kg).
The safety and effectiveness of NEXIUM in neonates have not been established.
Juvenile Animal Data
In a juvenile rat toxicity study, esomeprazole was administered with both magnesium and strontium salts at oral doses about 34 to 57 times a daily human dose of 40 mg based on body surface area. Increases in death were seen at the high dose, and at all doses of esomeprazole, there were decreases in body weight, body weight gain, femur weight and femur length, and decreases in overall growth [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
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.
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 the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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