Aciphex vs. Nexium

Are Aciphex and Nexium the Same Thing?

Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) and Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used to reduce stomach acid to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and duodenal ulcers.

Aciphex is also used in combination with antibiotics to treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infections in the stomach.

Nexium is available over-the-counter (OTC) and as a generic.

Side effects of Aciphex and Nexium that are similar include rash, diarrhea, gas, headache, and nervousness.

Side effects of Aciphex that are different from Nexium include itching, upset stomach, sore throat, and insomnia.

Side effects of Nexium that are different from Aciphex include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, drowsiness, dry mouth, and dizziness.

Both Aciphex and Nexium may interact with ketoconazole, digoxin, atazanavir, methotrexate, and blood thinners.

Aciphex may also interact with diuretics (water pills) and cyclosporine.

Nexium may also interact with diazepam, clopidogrel, cilostazol, erlotinib, iron-containing medicines (ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous sulfate, and others), mycophenolate mofetil, rifampin, St. John's wort, tacrolimus, and HIV/AIDS medications.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Aciphex?

Common side effects of Aciphex include:

  • rash or itching,
  • upset stomach,
  • diarrhea,
  • gas,
  • sore throat,
  • headache,
  • insomnia, or
  • nervousness.

Serious side effects of Aciphex include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Nexium?

Common side effects of Nexium include:

  • diarrhea,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • gas,
  • constipation,
  • headaches,
  • drowsiness,
  • dry mouth,
  • rash,
  • dizziness, and
  • nervousness.

What Is Aciphex?

Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) to reduce stomach acid and is used for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), duodenal ulcers, and used in combination with antibiotics to treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infections in the stomach.

What Is Nexium?

Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that blocks acid production in the stomach and is used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.


Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Aciphex?

Aciphex may interact with atazanavir, blood thinners, digoxin, diuretics (water pills), ketoconazole, or methotrexate.

Aciphex may also interact with cyclosporine.

What Drugs Interact With Nexium?

Drug interactions include Valium (diazepam), Nizoral (ketoconazole), Lanoxin (digoxin), Invirase (saquinavir), Viracept (nelfinavir), Reyataz (atazanavir), Plavix (clopidogrel), and Pletal (cilostazol). Nexium should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

How Should Aciphex Be Taken?

  • Take Aciphex exactly as prescribed. Your doctor will prescribe the dose that is right for you and your medical condition. Do not change your dose or stop taking Aciphex unless you talk to your doctor. Take Aciphex for as long as it is prescribed even if you feel better.
  • Aciphex is usually taken 1 time each day. Your doctor will tell you the time of day to take Aciphex, based on your medical condition.
  • Aciphex can be taken with or without food. Your doctor will tell you whether to take this medicine with or without food based on your medical condition.
  • Swallow each Aciphex tablet whole. Do not chew, crush, or split Aciphex tablets. Tell your doctor if you cannot swallow tablets whole.
  • If you miss a dose of Aciphex, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
  • If you take too much Aciphex, call your doctor or your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic medicines with Aciphex to help treat a stomach infection and heal stomach (duodenal) ulcers that are caused by bacteria called H. pylori. Make sure you read the patient information that comes with an antibiotic before you start taking it.

How Should Nexium Be Taken?

The recommended adult oral dose of Prilosec ranges from 20 mg to 60 mg once daily, depending on the condition being treated. For maximal efficacy, Prilosec tablets should be taken before meals, swallowed whole and should not be crushed, chewed or opened.


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Eisai. AcipHex Product Information.

Pfizer. Nexium Product Information.

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