Health & Medical Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vimovo Combines an NSAID and Proton-Pump Inhibitor to Treat Arthritis

Updated June 15, 2014.

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See's Medical Review Board.

Vimovo, co-developed by Pozen and AstraZeneca, is a combination of naproxen (an NSAID) and immediate-release esomeprazole (a proton-pump inhibitor, or PPI). The immediate release formulation allows for sequential release of the active components -- esomeprazole is delivered in advance of the release of naproxen. Vimovo was approved by the FDA on April 30, 2010.

What is the availability of Vimovo?

Vimovo is only available by prescription.

Vimovo is available in two strengths -- 20 mg esomeprazole combined with either 375 mg or 500 mg naproxen -- to be taken by mouth. The usual dosage to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis is one tablet twice daily of Vimovo 375 mg naproxen/20 mg esomeprazole or 500 mg naproxen/20 mg esomeprazole.

When is Vimovo prescribed?

Vimovo is prescribed for relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and to decrease the risk of developing gastric ulcers in patients at risk of developing NSAID-associated gastric ulcers.

Are there any special instructions regarding how to take Vimovo?

Vimovo, as with all NSAIDS, should be taken exactly as prescribed, at the lowest possible dose that achieves benefit, and for the shortest time that is needed in order to lower the risk of adverse side effects. You should take Vimovo at least 30 minutes before a meal. Vimovo must be swallowed whole. Do not chew, split, crush, or dissolve Vimovo.

You are allowed to take antacids if needed while taking Vimovo.

Are there patients who should not take Vimovo?

First of all, it is not known if Vimovo is safe or effective for children under 18 years old. Also, people who have had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reaction while taking aspirin or other NSAIDs should not take Vimovo. If you have known allergies to any ingredients in Vimovo or any proton pump inhibitor, you should not take Vimovo.

Vimovo should not be taken right before or after coronary bypass surgery. The drug is also not recommended for women in their third trimester of pregnancy.

What common side effects and severe side effects can occur with Vimovo?

Some of the common side effects that may be associated with Vimovo include:
  • inflammation of the lining of the stomach
  • indigestion
  • diarrhea
  • stomach ulcers
  • upper abdominal pain
  • nausea

Severe side effects may include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, fluid retention, kidney problems, bleeding ulcers, anemia, life-threatening skin reactions and allergic reactions, liver problems, and asthma attacks.

What other special warnings and precautions apply to Vimovo use?

The risk of bleeding ulcer associated with Vimovo and other NSAIDs increases if you also take corticosteroids or blood thinners, smoke, drink alcohol, are in poor health, or are elderly.

Are there drug interactions associated with Vimovo?

There may be drug interactions with ACE-inhibitors, aspirin, cholestyramine, diuretics, lithium, methotrexate, anticoagulants, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Are there special instructions for pregnant or nursing women?

Vimovo should be avoided during late stages of pregnancy. With regard to breastfeeding, Vimovo can pass into breast milk and possibly harm the baby. Avoid Vimovo if you are planning to breastfeed.

What are the signs of overdose of Vimovo?

An overdose of Vimovo may cause weakness, tiredness, upper abdominal pain, a change in breathing, vomiting, bleeding, uncontrolled movements, and coordination problems.


Vimovo. Medication Guide. FDA. Accessed 3/30/11.

Vimovo. Patient Information. Accessed 3/30/2011.

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