Taking Prilosec With Nexium

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to take Prilosec (omeprazole) with Nexium (esomeprazole).


Can You Take Prilosec and Nexium together?

Asked by Jamie On May 07, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On May 07, 2018

Acid RefluxPrilosec (omeprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole) should not be taken together. They both are classified as proton pump inhibitors, PPIs for short, and have the same mechanism of action. Taking both together will generally not result in additive benefits.

How Proton Pump Inhibitors Work

Proton pump inhibitors, like Prilosec and Nexium, work by blocking "proton pumps", also known as  H+/K+ ATPase, which are primarily responsible for the acidification of the stomach. Blocking proton pumps will reduce acidity in the stomach and is beneficial for relieving heartburn, preventing ulcers and treating other related conditions.

PPI medications irreversibly block the proton pumps and the use of more than one at a time has not been shown to provide any additional benefit than using one agent alone. 

PPI medications are more effective when taken about 60 minutes before a meal as opposed to with a meal. This allows time for the medication to be absorbed and ready to work when food intake occurs, which activates proton pumps.

Taking PPIs and Other Acid Blockers

While taking two PPIs has not shown more benefit versus one alone, there is evidence that using a PPI with an H2 blocker, such as Zantac, is more effective than a PPI alone in certain situations. In addition, products like Zegerid contain a PPI and sodium bicarbonate for more immediate relief.

Be sure to speak with your doctor regarding the best course of therapy for your situation.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

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