Drug interaction studies with esomeprazole, the (S)-isomer of omeprazole

Clin Pharmacokinet. 2001;40(7):523-37. doi: 10.2165/00003088-200140070-00004.


Esomeprazole, the (S)-isomer of omeprazole, is the first proton pump inhibitor (PPI) developed as a single isomer for the treatment of patients with acid related diseases. Because of the extensive use of PPIs, the documentation of the potential for drug interactions with esomeprazole is of great importance. Altered absorption or metabolism are 2 of the major mechanisms for drug-drug interactions. Since intragastric pH will increase with esomeprazole treatment, it can be hypothesised that the absorption of drugs with pH-sensitive absorption (e.g. digoxin and ketoconazole) may be affected. Esomeprazole does not seem to have any potential to interact with drugs that are metabolised by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1 A2, 2A6, 2C9, 2D6 or 2E1. In drug interaction studies with diazepam, phenytoin and (R)-warfarin, it was shown that esomeprazole has the potential to interact with CYP2C19. The slightly altered metabolism of cisapride was also suggested to be the result of inhibition of a minor metabolic pathway for cisapride mediated by CYP2C19. Esomeprazole did not interact with the CYP3A4 substrates clarithromycin (2 studies) or quinidine. Since the slightly increased area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) of cisapride could be explained as an inhibition of CYP2C19, the data on these 3 CYP3A4 substrates indicate that esomeprazole does not have the potential to inhibit this enzyme. The minor effects reported for diazepam, phenytoin, (R)-warfarin, and cisapride are unlikely to be of clinical relevance. Clarithromycin interacts with the metabolism of esomeprazole resulting in a doubling of the AUC of esomeprazole. The increased plasma concentrations of esomeprazole are unlikely to have any safety implications. It can be concluded that the potential for drug-drug interactions with esomeprazole is low, and similar to that reported for omeprazole.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Ulcer Agents* / metabolism
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents* / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents* / pharmacology
  • Area Under Curve
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Esomeprazole
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Omeprazole* / metabolism
  • Omeprazole* / pharmacokinetics
  • Omeprazole* / pharmacology
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Omeprazole
  • Esomeprazole