While Dexlansoprazole is used to treat heartburn, it is not meant to be used for occasional heartburn. Rather, it is in a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors that work by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. In other words, it is not a quick fix for heartburn resulting from eating too much or too much of the wrong foods.
What Is Dexlansoprazole?
Dexlansoprazole, as mentioned, is a proton pump inhibitor that can dramatically reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces. It is most often prescribed for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and/or for the treatment of damage caused to the esophagus from acid reflux. This condition is usually referred to as erosive esophagitis.
In order to understand how Dexlansoprazole works, it is important to understand that there are literally millions of tiny little ‘pumps’ in your stomach which produce acid. Sometimes these pumps begin producing an overabundance of acid in order to attempt to digest food if you have eaten too much or too much of the wrong kinds of foods. Other times you are simply unfortunate enough to have faulty pumps.
Dexlansoprazole can provide relief up to 24 hours a day when taking the medication as directed because it works by inhibiting those pumps from producing so much acid. Again, keep in mind that Dexlansoprazole is not meant for the relief of occasional heartburn since it can take several days for the full effects to ‘kick in.’ It is most often prescribed for GERD and ARD, acid reflux disease. Clinical studies also indicate that Dexlansoprazole also helps to heal erosions in the esophagus and helps to keep acid reflux from returning.
How Is Dexlansoprazole Taken?
Whenever you are prescribed a new medication it is important that you follow the directions. Dexlansoprazole comes in a long acting, delayed release capsule that should be either swallowed whole or pulled open and taken in a bit of applesauce. It is imperative that you do not chew the little granules because, as mentioned, they are delayed release.
This medication is usually taken only once per day, at about the same time, and it may be taken before or after meals. It has been suggested that taking Dexlansoprazole about an hour before a meal will help to prevent acid reflux more effectively than if you take it after a meal. In any case, it is generally only taken once daily until the entire prescription is complete.
Potential Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
As with any pharmaceutical, there is always a chance of side effects or adverse reactions, especially if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the compound. Even so, very few people have exhibited side effects when taken as directed and barring any allergies or contraindications based on other medications being taken during a course of Dexlansoprazole.
The most common side effects would be such things as nausea or gas, stomach discomfort or pain, vomiting and some people have gotten an upper respiratory tract infection. Severe side effects could include such things as:
- rashes and hives
- swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat
- muscle, joint or bone pain
- chest pain
- blistered or peeling skin
- shortness of breath
- dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, loss of consciousness
Keep in mind that these severe side effects are usually presented in people with an allergy to any of the chemicals in the compound and may also be presented in older adults (seniors).
Also, there is the potential for an adverse reaction if you are taking other medications which may include diuretics, Voriconazole, anticoagulants and ampicillin. In fact, you should always discuss any medications you are currently taking with your doctor prior to taking Dexlansoprazole for the first time. This includes herbal preparations, OTC pharmaceuticals and even vitamins and supplements.
Special Precautions When Taking Dexlansoprazole
Of course it should go without saying that you should only take Dexlansoprazole only as directed by your doctor/pharmacist and you should never take a prescription medication which has not been prescribed to you. Pregnant women, women who plan on becoming pregnant or lactating mothers should notify their doctor prior to taking Dexlansoprazole as should anyone who has osteoporosis or a family history of weak bones.
In fact, this is one of the reasons why older adults are often advised against taking proton pump inhibitors as they are already susceptible to weak bones that fracture easily. As well, anyone with any other medical conditions such as high or low blood pressure, low levels of magnesium or potassium in the blood or those who are HIV positive should also notify their doctor prior to taking Dexlansoprazole.
Symptoms of Overdose and Emergency Procedures
If you take your medication only as directed, you should not experience any of the symptoms associated with overdosing. However, things to watch for would be among the ‘severe reactions’ listed above. If you feel dizzy, disoriented or weak due to an accidental overdose, call your doctor immediately and if you cannot reach either your doctor or pharmacist it is possible to contact the National Poison Control Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. If you find a family member or friend unconscious the best course of action would be to call fire rescue at 911.
Important Information Regarding Dexlansoprazole
One of the biggest dangers which many people encounter is mistaking a heart attack for heartburn. The symptoms of a heart attack can, and often do, mimic heartburn which is why many people don’t get treatment on time. It is imperative to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing heartburn, especially that accompanied by chest pain, tingling in the arms or shortness of breath.
Also, it is important to understand that Dexlansoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor which is not meant to treat occasional heartburn. If you have a prescription for this medication and find that you are experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, it is not in your best interest to take another dose. Get to the doctor immediately as it may be your heart and not GERD or ARD!
According to consumers who have taken Dexlansoprazole as intended, nine out of ten found the relief they were looking for. Most found that this particular proton pump inhibitor worked better than others they had tried in this class of drugs which included such popular medications as Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid and Protonix.
Some users did report that upon further gastroscopes healing of erosions had begun in the esophagus and that they were finally free from many of the symptoms of acid reflux which they had been unable to find relief from with other medications in this class of drugs.
One of the most common benefits which many users reported was the fact that there is a dual action effect with Dexlansoprazole because some of the medication is released immediately into the system while some of the granules are delayed release.
There were a few consumers who found that they had some amount of allergic reactions to the medication and had to stop taking it. Most of those reactions included skin rashes, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A few people reported that although it helped acid reflux for the first week or two, the side effects began manifesting which made them unable to continue treatment.
Of the 36 reviews which were calculated into these statistics, the overall score was 8.4 out of 10 which is actually quite good. With 5 being the median, only a few reported anything lower than 4 with the only really bad scores coming from those who had allergies or adverse reactions due to other medications.
Before presenting our ‘take’ on this medication, it is important to realise that this site is informational only. We do not attempt to diagnose or treat any medical conditions and in no way attempt to replace proper medical advice. For this and any other medications it is always recommended that you seek counsel with your own physician prior to taking it for the first time. Of course, this should not be an issue as Dexlansoprazole is only available with a prescription and you should not take any medications not prescribed for you.
With that being said and based on what users are reporting, Dexlansoprazole is one of the newer proton pump inhibitors that has had overwhelmingly good results. Part of that success is due to the fact that this is one medication that provides both immediate as well as long acting results. While you cannot expect a proton pump inhibitor to act quickly, the other medication usually found in the long lasting brand name compounds does provide a modicum of immediate relief of acid indigestion.
Because of the fact that it can work quickly to provide a bit of relief as well as to inhibit acid production over time, Dexlansoprazole might be one of the better proton pump inhibitors on the market today. If you are currently taking other such medications and have found no relief, you may want to discuss this medication with your doctor.