Esomeprazole, the S-isomer of omeprazole, is the first proton pump inhibitor available for clinical use as a single isomer. It demonstrates pharmacological and clinical benefits beyond those seen with the racemic omeprazole. Esomeprazole has higher and more consistent bio-availability than omeprazole, which results in a greater area under the plasma concentration-time curve. It is the area under the plasma concentration-time curve of omeprazole and esomeprazole that determines how much of each reaches the parietal cell, and thus the control of gastric acid secretion that is achieved. Esomeprazole, like other proton pump inhibitors, has a high specificity for the acidic environment of the parietal cell, where it is accumulated, activated and covalently inhibits the proton pump. Proton pumps elsewhere in the body do not achieve the level of acidity needed for accumulation and activation. Esomeprazole, 40 mg once daily, provides more effective control of gastric acid secretion than omeprazole, 20 or 40 mg once daily, and all other proton pump inhibitors given at their standard doses. This translates into greater clinical effect compared with omeprazole, 20 mg once daily, and lansoprazole, 30 mg once daily, in the management of reflux disease. Esomeprazole therapy is well tolerated, with a low adverse events profile, similar to that seen with omeprazole.