When it comes to those suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) or other conditions where the stomach acid reaches the esophagus and causes tissue damage and pain, there are over the counter medications that can provide relief. Two of the most popular are Nexium and Omeprazole. Each of these drugs is based on the same basic principle of acid reduction in the stomach so that the chances of reflux are greatly reduced.
Using Nexium and Omeprazole
Both Nexium and Omeprazole are based on what is known as proton pump inhibitors which basically means that the pumps in the stomach which produce the acid are reduced so that less of it is created when eating meals. In addition, both of these medications are highly popular and today help millions of people who suffer from frequent cases of heartburn.
Since 1981, proton pump inhibitors (PPI) have been used to help people who suffer from GERD and other conditions where the stomach creates too much acid. However, it must be noted that stomach acid itself is excellent for digestion and not having enough will make food harder to digest properly. So, the use of PPI medications should be limited to those who have frequent heartburn while people who only suffer from occasional bouts should take tablets that provide immediate relief from stomach acid which may find its way up to the esophagus.
How Nexium and Omeprazole are Similar
The similarities between the two medications are such that they are virtually identical in nature. Not only are the based on the same principle, they are also mostly identical in terms of their chemical makeup. This means that there are virtually no differences in taking one over the other.
Each drug should be taken about a half-hour before a meal so that they can start to inhibit the production of stomach acid before it starts with the introduction of food. In addition, it does take at least a week before the full effect of each drug will be felt. This is because of the amount of time needed for the proton pumps to start becoming inhibited consistently over the course of the treatment.
In the end, both types of medications will have a similar effect on the stomach and thus help those who suffer from GERD or other forms of stomach distress.
How Nexium and Omeprazole are Different
Although virtually alike, there are a few minor differences between both medications that start with Nexium being slightly more effective than Omeprazole when it comes to controlling the symptoms of GERD over time. In addition, the same studies have shown that Nexium works slightly faster than Omeprazole in terms of shutting down the proton pumps in the stomach. However, after a week has passed both drugs work about the same.
Until mid-2014, Nexium was only available as a prescription which made it far more expensive than Omeprazole, but that has now changed as both drugs are available over the counter. The bottom line is that both drugs work equally well at controlling the symptoms of GERD and other acid-reflux situations, so they are both excellent choices.