Vimovo contains a combination of esomeprazole and naproxen. Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing substances in the body that cause inflammation, pain, and fever. Esomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor. It decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
Vimovo is used to treat symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. The esomeprazole in Vimovo helps reduce the risk of stomach ulcers in people who may be at risk for them while receiving treatment with an NSAID.
You should not use Vimovo if you are allergic to esomeprazole (Nexium) or naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, and others), or if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs. Do not use Vimovo just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
The naproxen in Vimovo may cause life-threatening heart or circulation problems such as heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term.
Naproxen may also cause serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and can occur without warning while you are taking Vimovo, especially in older adults.
To make sure you can safely take Vimovo, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver or kidney disease;
- heart disease, high blood pressure, fluid retention, or a history of stroke, heart attack, or congestive heart failure;
- low levels of magnesium in your blood;
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as hemophilia;
- a history of stomach ulcer, stomach bleeding, or intestinal disorder (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis);
- asthma, or a history of allergic reaction to aspirin, especially aspirin triad syndrome; or
- if you smoke.
Taking esomeprazole may increase your risk of bone fracture in the hip, wrist, or spine. This effect has occurred mostly in people who have taken the medication long term or at high doses, and in those who are age 50 and older. It is not clear whether esomeprazole is the actual cause of an increased risk of fracture. Tell your doctor if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mineral density).
FDA pregnancy category D. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment with Vimovo. Taking naproxen during the last 3 months of pregnancy may result in birth defects. Do not take Vimovo during pregnancy unless your doctor has told you to. Naproxen can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking Vimovo.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Vimovo: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Vimovo and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, or any bleeding that will not stop;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
- low magnesium (dizziness, confusion, fast or uneven heart rate, jerking muscle movements, jittery feeling, muscle cramps, muscle weakness or limp feeling, cough or choking feeling, seizure);
- urinating less than usual or not at all;
- swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion);
- diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
- black, bloody, or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious Vimovo side effects may include:
- constipation, mild diarrhea; or
- mild stomach pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.