Nexium (esomeprazole) is prescribed as a treatment for acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) as well as duodenal ulcers. Other conditions it may be used for include Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and conditions where too much acid is produced in the stomach. In GERD, acid in the stomach comes back up into the esophagus. Nexium works by limiting the amount of acid the stomach produces. When Nexium is stopped, patients report a mix of difficulties, sometimes called a rebound effect.
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Gas and Bloating
Patients who have stopped taking Nexium report uncomfortable stomach gas and bloating after Nexium was discontinued. According to consumers at Askapatient.com, stomach gas pressure can be much worse than it was before starting treatment with Nexium. Along with gas and bloating, patients reported exhaustion and an overall sense of feeling worse than before the Nexium treatment began.
Increased Acid Production
According to The People's Pharmacy, patients who stopped taking Nexium had a rebound effect with higher levels of stomach acid produced than before they started the medication. It was reported some patients continued with increased acid production weeks and even months after stopping Nexium treatment.
In a study of 120 patients who stopped taking Nexium, the American Pharmacists Association reported results on a Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) over a 12-week period showing worse symptoms than before the Nexium treatment was begun. The rebound complex of symptoms that worsened as measured by the GSRS included reflux, abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea and constipation. The acid production, called hypersecretion, was thought to be triggered by stopping Nexium treatment and included other symptoms such as increased heartburn, acid regurgitation or dyspepsia.