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Dexilant (Dexlansoprazole): An Overview and Pharmaceutical Guide
If you have a history of acid reflux, heartburn, and esophageal damage, then you’re probably pretty familiar with the name Dexilant. What you might not be familiar with is what, exactly, the drug does, how much it costs, or what side effects are associated with it.
Before you decide if Dexilant is a good fit for you, read this article and use it to help you conduct your own research.
Dexilant (Dexlansoprazole) Uses
Dexilant (or Dexlansoprazole, to use the generic name of the Dexilant drug) is a blue and/or white capsule pill used to treat conditions specific to the stomach and esophagus. The two most common of these conditions are Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and erosive esophagitis.
GERD is a chronic condition in which bile (aka stomach acid) rises into the esophagus from the stomach. This irritates the esophagus and can even damage its lining, resulting in erosive esophagitis. Both of these conditions are closely related to frequent heartburn.
Dexilant treats GERD, erosive esophagitis, and heartburn by lowering the amount of acid your stomach creates. According to research from Medical News Today, a test population of patients who took the drug experienced a 54.9% decrease in heartburn. It also hastens the esophagus’s ability to heal from acid erosion.
Other names for this drug include SoluTab and Kapidex. Both of these forms, the generic Dexlansoprazole, and brand-name Dexilant are approved for use by children who are 12 years of age or older. Traditionally, though, it is most often prescribed to adults. Although all of these forms are chemically identical, the generic form is not yet available in pharmacies in the United States.
Both the brand-name Dexilant and generic Dexlansoprazole come in two potential dosages: 30mg and 60mg. Except in extreme cases, doctors generally prescribe the lower dosage for children. They are more likely to prescribe the lower dosage for adults, too, but will readily increase the dosage if the patient doesn’t experience significant recovery.
Patients take Dexilant once daily. Although unlikely, pharmacies may prescribe the 30mg dosage if they don’t have the 60mg dosage on hand. In these cases, patients who need the larger dosage will take two pills daily instead of just once.
The time of day doesn’t matter, and the patient doesn’t necessarily need to take the pill with food. However, doctors usually encourage their patients to take it with their lunch or dinner to minimize the likelihood of symptoms interrupting their day. (We’ll get into these specific symptoms in just a bit.) If you skip a dose, it isn’t life-threatening, and you shouldn’t take two pills in the same 24 hours to compensate.
Doctors also advise their patients to take the pill whole rather than crushing or dividing it. If absolutely necessary because the patient can’t swallow it whole, doctors may suggest that they split the pill and sprinkle the powder inside on mushy food like oatmeal or applesauce. Either way, they should take the pill immediately rather than letting it set.
Pharmacies usually sell these pills in monthly quantities (30 pills for one month, 60 pills for two months, etc.). Some pharmacies sell the pills in weekly quantities, though, depending on doctor recommendation. No pharmacy sells quantities of greater than 90 pills of Dexilant.
Generally, doctors only prescribe Dexilant for a period of 6 weeks to 6 months. They also generally prescribe it more than once in a patient’s lifetime as symptoms recur. GERD and its related conditions are chronic, so patients won’t experience an eternal cure from taking the medication.
Interactions with Other Medications
As a protein pump inhibitor, Dexilant can interact badly with a number of other medications. The most serious of these is methotrexate, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and some forms of cancer. You should also avoid taking Dexilant and its other forms if you’re taking lansoprazole, which is used to treat the same types of conditions as Dexilant.
Because Dexilant is used to treat problems in the stomach and esophagus, most of its side effects are related to those areas of the body. These include excessive gas, diarrhea, nauseousness, abdominal pain, vomiting, and itchy or sore throat. Patients may also experience headaches, upper respiratory infections, and the common cold.
Other more serious side effects are also possible, though much less likely. These include bloody stool, muscle spasms, arrhythmia, stroke, hives, difficulty breathing, and symptoms of lupus. Obviously, if you take Dexilant and experience any of these side effects, you should discontinue using the drug and discuss alternatives with your doctor.
People who take Dexilant for longer than a year may experience additional, long-term side effects. For elderly patients, the most common of these is lower bone density, which can further result in bone fractures. Other patients may experience fundic gland polyps (i.e. abnormal growths in the stomach lining) and energy loss and related symptoms from B-12 deficiency.
Unfortunately, Dexilant isn’t the cheapest drug on the market. According to the prescription pricing website GoodRx, the average price for just 30 of the 30mg pills is $355.05. Because the recommended dosage is one capsule a day, this means that patients who need this drug must spend a little more than $355 a month to get relief. That amounts to about $11.84 per day, which also means $11.84 per pill.
Get Dexilant Cheaper
If you live in Canada and you need Dexilant but you don’t want to break the bank, you’re in luck. The Canadian online pharmacy 90DayMeds sells 90-day supplies of both Dexilant dosages for a significantly cheaper price. A quantity of 90 pills of the 60mg dosage costs only $325.00, or about $3.61 per pill. This is nearly a quarter of the price for most other pharmacies.
Remember, before taking any drugs, ask your doctor for advice. Your doctor will tell you what drug and what dosage will be the best option for you. Do not auto medicate.
To find out more, please feel free to contact 90DayMeds via phone or on their website. They offer discounted prices for most brand-name drugs, Dexilant included.