What Happens With Nexium & Iron?

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A family at breakfast time gather around the kitchen island with a big bottle of orange juice at the center. (Image: Jeff Randall/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Nexium is the brand name for osomeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition in which acidic stomach contents flow backwards into the esophagus. Nexium is also prescribed to treat peptic ulcers and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Taking Nexium at the same time as iron supplements can reduce iron absorption. Long-term use of Nexium can also cause low iron levels in the body.

Iron Absorption

Nexium works by suppressing the production of stomach acid. Your body needs an acidic stomach environment in order to absorb iron from foods and supplements. When stomach acid is reduced by Nexium, your body absorbs less iron. If you take Nexium for prolonged periods, you may develop iron deficiency symptoms.

Iron Supplements

During Nexium therapy, you can help your body absorb more iron by taking iron supplements. Consult your doctor before you take over-the-counter iron supplements. Avoid taking iron supplements at the same time as Nexium. Take iron supplements two hours after taking Nexium. This will ensure that Nexium does hinder iron absorption.

Symptoms

When taking Nexium, beware of symptoms of iron deficiency so that you can seek early diagnosis and treatment. When iron levels are low in your body you may experience weakness, excessive fatigue, headache, pale skin, cold hands and feet, sore tongue, brittle hair, appetite loss, confusion, irritability and difficulty concentrating.

Dietary Intake

Iron is a mineral that is needed by your body to manufacture healthy red blood cells. You can obtain iron from animal or plant foods. Animal foods contain a type of iron that is easily absorbed by the body. Include a serving of meat, poultry or fish at lunch and dinner to increase iron absorption. Foods rich in vitamin C help your body absorb more iron. Include foods such as citrus fruits and juices, which are good sources of vitamin C, with your meals.

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