What is Esomeprazole?

Esomeprazole, also known as Nexium, is an effective acid reflux treatment. Esomeprazole belongs to a class of drugs known as PPIs. PPIs work by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced. Acid reflux is caused by stomach acid entering the oesophagus (the food pipe), so drugs like Esomeprazole can help to reduce the chance of this occurring.

Can you buy Esomeprazole over the counter in the UK?

Esomeprazole is available over the counter as 10mg and 20mg tablets, but you can also obtain it on prescription from online pharmacies such as Dr Felix. 


Alternative treatments

Other acid reflux treatments are also available over the counter in the UK including:

  • Omeprazole – Omeprazole is another PPI, it works in the same was as Esomeprazole.
  • Antacids – Antacids, such as Rennies, work by neutralising the stomach acid so that if the acid does enter the oesophagus, it won’t cause as much damage.
  • Alginates – Alginates, such as Gaviscon, work by forming a gel-like raft that floats on top of the stomach acid. This helps to stop the stomach acid from entering the oesophagus.
  • Ranitidine – Ranitidine is a type of medication known as an H2-antagonist. It works by blocking the receptors on some of the cells in the stomach. This helps to reduce the amount of acid that the cells produce. It is only available over the counter at a low dose of 75mg.

Prescription acid reflux treatments include other PPIs, such as Lansoprazole and Pantoprazole, as well as other H2-antagonists, including Cimetidine and higher doses of Ranitidine.

Various lifestyle changes can also help to reduce acid reflux. Making these adjustments could remove the need for acid reflux medications altogether. Recommended changes include:

  • Stopping smoking
  • Avoiding alcohol or reducing alcohol intake
  • Losing weight if you are overweight
  • Avoid eating late at night or lying down shortly after eating