(BPT) - Gastroesophageal reflux is a condition that can cause heartburn symptoms. Heartburn is described as a burning sensation felt in the center of the chest, and occurs when acid from the stomach is forced back up into the esophagus. Symptoms of heartburn can last for several hours and often become worse after eating.

Frequent heartburn could be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as acid reflux disease, so it's important to know the facts versus the myths.

Common Myths about Frequent Acid Reflux

MYTH 1: Acid reflux is always temporary
Some people may have occasional heartburn, however, frequent or persistent heartburn may be associated with a more severe problem.

Commonly referred to as GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, this condition occurs when acid in the stomach sweeps up into the esophagus causing unpleasant symptoms. The symptoms include heartburn, an unpleasant taste of acid in the mouth, and regurgitation. GERD can also cause serious symptoms such as hoarseness, asthma-like symptoms, or ear, nose and throat problems.

For people who suffer from heartburn, ignoring the symptoms can lead to damage to the esophageal lining or ulcers, so it is important to talk to your healthcare provider.

There are ways to save on certain brand name medications, such as using the NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) Savings Card, which helps eligible patients save on their co-pay for prescription NEXIUM. With the NEXIUM Savings Card, available at www.PurplePill.com, eligible commercially insured patients can get a 30-day supply of prescription NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) delayed-release capsules for $[15], or a 90-day supply for as low as $[10], a month.

MYTH 2: Acid Reflux only affects people with unhealthy lifestyle and diet habits
'Trigger' foods for heartburn symptoms associated with acid reflux include spicy, fried, or tomato-based items; and coffee-based, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks. If you are experiencing symptoms of acid reflux despite following suggested dietary and lifestyle modifications you may have GERD, and you should see your doctor right away.

MYTH 3: Acid reflux only occurs in adults
Children and the elderly may also experience symptoms of acid reflux. Common symptoms of GERD specific to children include regurgitation, vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia, and feeding refusal. Dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, may be symptoms of GERD among the elderly.

Patients and caregivers should consult with their doctors to learn about prescription treatment options that are available. For more information about a treatment option, visit www.TroubleSwallowingPills.com.

If you are experiencing frequent acid reflux symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider about what treatment option is best for you. If your doctor prescribes brand name NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) delayed-release capsules or oral suspension and you would like to receive the brand name, you can request it at the pharmacy or ask your doctor to write 'brand medically necessary,' 'may not substitute,' or 'dispense as written' on the prescription. Call ahead to your pharmacy if you want to confirm that they have filled your prescription with brand name NEXIUM.

Approved Uses for NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium)

NEXIUM is prescribed to treat the symptoms of acid reflux disease, which typically include persistent heartburn on 2 or more days per week, despite treatment and change of diet in children 1 year of age and older or adults.

For adults and children as young as 1 month of age, NEXIUM is also prescribed to heal damage to the esophagus called erosive esophagitis. This damage may be caused over time from stomach acid wearing away the lining of the esophagus. Only a doctor can diagnose this condition. With NEXIUM, most erosions heal in 4 to 8 weeks. Results with NEXIUM may vary.

Important Safety Information About NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium)

  • Symptom relief does not rule out the presence of other serious conditions. Talk with your doctor

  • Talk to your doctor about serious side effects, including:
    • Kidney problems (acute interstitial nephritis) may happen at any time during treatment with NEXIUM. Call your doctor if you have a decrease in the amount that you urinate or if you have blood in your urine
    • NEXIUM may increase your risk of getting severe diarrhea. Call your doctor right away if you have watery stool, stomach pain and fever that does not go away
    • Bone fractures if you take multiple daily doses of NEXIUM for a year or longer
    • Some people who take PPIs, including NEXIUM, develop certain types of lupus or have worsening of the lupus they already have. Call your doctor right away if you have joint pain or rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun
    • Low vitamin B12 if you have been on NEXIUM for a long time (more than 3 years)
    • Low magnesium levels if you take NEXIUM (for 3 months or more)

  • Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, prescription and nonprescription drugs, including clopidogrel, vitamins and herbal supplements. NEXIUM may affect how other medicines work and other medicines may affect how NEXIUM works
  • Do not take NEXIUM if you are allergic to esomeprazole magnesium or any of the ingredients in NEXIUM or are allergic to any other PPI
  • Side effects with NEXIUM may include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
  • In adults 18 and older, side effects with NEXIUM may include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
  • In children 1 to 17 years of age, side effects with NEXIUM may include headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and sleepiness

Visit NexiumPI.com and Nexiummedguide.com for Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

You can also visit www.PurplePill.com, join NEXIUM on Facebook, www.facebook.com/Nexium or call 1-800-236-9933 for more information.