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Avatar universal

Nexium stopped working

I was taking 40mg of Nexium 1x a day for daily heartburn for approximately one year. It worked wonders until I was switched to Prevacid due to insurance issues. Unfortunately, the Prevacid didn't work so well and after much fanagaling I got back on Nexium. It took two weeks for Nexium to finally kick in and it was effective for about two weeks. Now I'm I have a constant pain radiating from my chest and what seems like the middle of my back (heartburn I guess). I've made an appointment with my specialist but the visit is two months away. Does anybody have any advice on what I should do? Should I wait for two months and just deal with the discomfort? And does anybody know why a Medication that worked wonders doesn't seem to work at all anymore? I guess I'm frustrated with the discomfort of GERD and the discomfort of having my summer wrecked by constant heartburn.
Again any help on proper doctor protocol and medication ceasing to be effective would be greatly appreiciated. Thanks!
10 Responses
233190 tn?1278553401
Hello - thanks for asking your question.

You have mentioned that you had the EGD diagnosing GERD.  Depending on when that was done, you may want to repeat it to make sure that nothing else (i.e. gastritis/esophagitis, peptic ulcer disease) is going on.  

An ultrasound can also be considered, since gall bladder pain can also present with upper GI discomfort.  

If the diagnosis is GERD, then a 24-hr pH study should be performed to document the severity.  If the Nexium is not controlling your symptoms, then surgery would be the next option and a referral should be considered.  

Another option that you can discuss with your physician is taking an H2 blocker (i.e. Zantac, Pepcid) in addition to the Nexium.  

As for obtaining a GI referral, unfortunately, they are lengthy.  In my area, they range from 2-3 months.  Your PCP should be able to expidite the process.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Avatar universal
Hi, have you had an EGD to rule out complications of acid-reflux? If not, I would ask for one....Who knows why these PPIs stop working but they seem to lose effectiveness for some of us after a while...I started with 60mg of Nexium a day now I am at 100mg a day and my symptoms are far from under control....My Gi wont change my PPI saying that Nexium is the best for erosions and ulcers.....I wouldnt wait two months, I would call and atleast ask if they can increase the dose, or maybe take you to a twice a day dose....Are you following your GERD diet? Its very important with acid-reflux that we do our part to try and control it....I hope he has you using a wedge pillow, if not maybe you can get one...Medical supply companies have them, approx. 24.00-28.00 or you can order them online....It amazes me that so many Drs. just prescribe the PPIs without any other information or education....Medication wont work if we dont help it!! Also, you shouldn't eat for 3 hrs before laying down at nite....Good luck...Tessa
Avatar universal
Thanks Tessa. I did have EGD and was diagnosed with GERD. The frustrating thing is that the diet doesn't seem to make much of a difference. I've stayed away from greasy food, caffiene, carobonated beverages, acidic foods, etc. and still the pain persists. This is what troubles me. The only thing that seems to help is drinking copious amounts of water, as antacids cease to do anything at all. I'm definately thinking about having surgery or the Stretta procedure done. The thought of a lifetime of medication doesn't sound particularly enticing either. But I wonder what the average wait is for people with my symptoms to get an appointment with their GI doctor.
Avatar universal
Hi, most GIs are really busy and some it takes months to get an appt..... YOur PCP can probably help with that....Mine had his nurse call to schedule my first GI appt. and it was made for 6 MONTHS away....My PCP went out and called the Dr. himself and I was having my procedures the next week.....Now, I can get in whenever I think I need to go, but my GI may be an exception...He is so very concerned about me, that alone scares me sometimes....Fundoplication surgery seems to work very well for some people with a non-functioning LES muscle....I know people who have barrett's and have been able to completely get off medication after surgery.....They still need regular surveillance as fundo is no cure for barretts but it can eliminate symptoms......I think its a great idea for acid-reflux....Get rid of the reflux before it does anymore damage...As you know some dont respond well to medication and then it is time for surgery....Please take care of yourself....Tessa
Avatar universal
can you tell me more about the activator??did the chiro recommend it??where can you get one??
why is the jaw misaligned ??
Avatar universal
No one with acid-reflux should be drinking orange juice....It has a very high acid content.....Also, some complications of reflux are quite severe, I would encourage everyone to follow the advise of a good GI Spec. .....How does your Dr. explain your jaw being out of alignment as being the cause of a hiatal hernia and reflux?......Tessa
Avatar universal
I also have been diagnosed with GERD and taking Prevacid 2x a day.  It got to the point where I would vomit up orange juice.  I found something that really worked for me; however, go with what your dr. advises.  My GERD comes from a hytial hernia...I found that simple chiropractic adjustments with an instrument called an activator have totally alleviated my problem.  LIke I said do all your dr. says, as I have done.  My next step was surgery.  After the first 6 adjustments to the solar plexus area, I was able to drink orange juice again.  I've been off the prevacid for a month and dont have any problems.  People who have the hernia usually will have their jaw slightly out of place as well...I get that adjusted as well.  The activator is a simple instrument, like a pen...and it works like accupressure but a little stronger and more direct and painless.  Well it worked for me and I avoided surgery.  I can even eat pizza again.  I also take natural digestive enzymes from Solgar, which helped me a little in the beginning.  The adjustment to the solar plexus area did the trick.  I had an upper GI done first and several other tests so other problems were ruled out.  Perhaps this will help some of the folks on here.  You need a chiropractor who has an advanced proficiency in the use of an activator.  I hope I dont get the drs. mad for saying this, but it really worked for me!
Avatar universal
I am 37F, have GERD and Hiatel Hernia.  No meds have ever worked for me - Aciphex, Protonix, Nexium, you name it.  I have been symptom-free for about 3 months now.  Guess what works?  Chiropractic care.  No kidding.  I went for my back and the unexpected result was NO GERD!!!  The move he does that seems to be the one that works is when I lay on my side and he puts one of my legs up and then kind of "leans" down on me so my lower back/hip cracks.  I kid you not when I say I even cough after he's done....like it's loosened up my whole digestive tract.  You can e-mail me at ***@**** if you want more info.  I would also appreciate if anyone else tries it to let me know, too.  I think it's a secret that it works and the drug companies don't want anybody to know cuz they'll lose out on all the drug money.  

Avatar universal
Did you ever have a hide a scan done of your gall bladder? I am having the same problem. My doc put me on 30mg of prevacid and then switched me to 40 mg of nexium. for the first two months the prevacid worked. The nexium didnt do a thing for me. So i had a hide a scan done of my gall bladder and found out that it is not working properly. So I am now in the process of having it removed. I was having all kinda chest pain, pain in my upper left abdomen right under the breast bone, pain in the shoulder baldes and lower back, trouble breathing especially at night in bed, also getting pain in my neck. I have been to chiropractors, physical therapist. Had about a million different test done, and this is what we came up with. Hopefully the surgery fixes the problem. Maybe this is what is causing your problems. If you didnt already i would chenck into it. What have you got to loose. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I just saw everyone else's posts and problems...and thought I would tell yall mine and see if you guys might know what could possibly be wrong. I get sick almost every day, and its been happening every day for the last year and a half. So Ive been going to the doctor and at first the doctor told me I had an ulcer. He gave me aciphex, and ranitidine. It worked for like 6 months, then it stopped working. So I went back to the doctor, and he told me I have bad allergies, and its nasal drainage, and he gave me allegra, nasacourt, and some more aciphex. That didnt work so I go back 3 weeks later, and he gives me Zyrtec, and leaves me on the nasacort, and aciphex. Then I kept throwing up, and I went 7 days without eating something without throwing it up. So I went to the emergency room because I passed out, and they told me I was really dehydrated, and they didnt know what else was wrong with me. So they scheduled an EGD, and the doctor told me he found gall stones, which he said was unusual because Im 16 and I weigh 105 lbs. They put me on pepcid, and Promethazine. So he scheduled me for an ultra sound and then he said I didnt have gall stones that I had two polyps on my gall bladder, but he didnt know anything else, except that they werent cancerous. I went back to the doctor, and he told me I didnt need surgery because my symptoms werent bad enough yet, and he was gonna monitor me and see if I get worse, and he scheduled me for a hide-a-scan which I have on Friday.
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