Who hasn't experienced heartburn at one time or another? I'm one of those lucky people who has acid reflux every day and I started taking a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) at the ripe old age of 18.
Nexium is the next-generation drug from the company that introduced Prilosec. It's a purple capsule that is supposed to turn off some of the pumps in your stomach that aid in the production of acid. I take it first thing in the morning when I get up and then I wait an hour before I eat or drink anything other than water. This is difficult, especially on those days when you wake up hungry.
A testament to the effectiveness of this drug is the fact that I've only missed my dose once in the almost eight years that I've been taking a PPI. I was in a hurry and went out the door without it that day. I was eating breakfast in a restaurant with a friend when I realized I'd forgotten it. I did have a few with my in my purse, but it wouldn't have done much good since I was nearly done with breakfast. I spent the rest of that day in a miserable state.
We're not talking about a little heartburn that can be neutralized with Mylanta or Tums. Before I was on a prescription I had days where I ate nothing and drank only water and I still had severe heartburn. Nexium has allowed me to forget about my acid reflux and live a more normal life. Another good thing is that you can take other over-the-counter remedies along with Nexium because they work differently: there's little chance of overdosing if you follow the directions on the packages. If I need to I can take things like Zantac 75, Mylanta or Tums and not worry about interactions.
I do still have to avoid certain foods and drinks if I want to keep the heartburn to a minimum. These include carbonated and caffeinated beverages, tomatoes, peppers, onions, salad dressing, ice cream, and fatty foods. Of course I treat myself a few times a month, but I usually pay for it afterwards! However, I truly don't know what I would do if I didn't have Nexium to take every day: I'd probably be chugging Maalox all day long.
The cost is prohibitive, especially if you don't have insurance. I used to pay $140 a month for my 30 pills, and then when I got insurance coverage I paid a $35 copay. Now AstraZeneca has a program called Purple Plus where you sign up (for free) and get a card from them which gives me a discount of $30 (it varies according to your insurance coverage). Now I only pay $5 a month and can enjoy being heartburn-free while saving a lot of money.