The US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for gastroesophageal reflux disease, for the healing of erosive esophagitis, and also for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection, in conjunction with amoxicillin and clarithromycin.
Nexium (esomeprazole) is derived from omeprazole and was developed by makers AstraZeneca as an optical isomer, one of the two mirror-image molecules that comprise omeprazole.
| USA launch of esomeprazole expected in the third week of March
It is the successor to best-selling ulcer drug Losec which made global sales of $6.3 billion last year.
Losec is now nearing the end of its patent life, and Nexium will go part of the way to filling the gap in AstraZeneca's revenue. The US launch of the drug is expected to be in the third week of March.
The trials of Nexium, approved by the FDA, compared it with omeprazole.
They showed a relatively high rate of side-effects. About 5% of patients complained of suffering headaches - compared with less than 4% of omeprazole patients. Diarrhea and nausea were also problems.
Dr Peter Kahrilas, Chief of the Gastroenterology Division of Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, USA, said, "Nexium can provide patients with relief from their chronic heartburn symptoms, while healing damage to the esophagus.
"I'm particularly encouraged by the clinical studies that indicate that nearly 9 out of 10 patients with erosive esophagitis were healed when treated with this drug for 8 weeks."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com