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Chronic Severe GERD - treatment

I have suffered from GERD for several years now. I was put on Nexium (40mg) by my MD, which totally cleared up the problem. She then scheduled an endoscopy (I'm not sure how long I was on the Nexium before this, perhaps 6 months?) which came back clear. The doctor who performed the endo said my esophagus was totally healed and I could stop taking the Nexium. I did and my symptoms returned within a few days. I tried ranitidine - no help. Finally it was so bad I asked my MD to put me back on Nexium.

I have tried stopping the Nexium several times. I've tried Prilosec OTC. It helped while I was actually on it, but once the 14 day course was finished my symptoms returned after 2 days.

I have heard that long-term use of Nexium can cause liver damage, but I don't know what else I can do. My reflux is so severe it makes me nauseous during the day so I can't eat properly and at night I wake up with my chest on fire. The damage to my digestive tract is a certainty if the reflux is not controlled, so I am afraid I will have to take my chances with Nexium. Do I have any alternatives?

My husband was laid-off recently so we lost our health insurance. I ran out of Nexium and got desperate enough to try a course of Prilosec again. But that has run out and without a doctor say so, I cannot take it again for 4 months. Taking TUMS is like squirting a water gun at a house fire. I can't eat  or sleep very much and it is taking its toll.

Are there any less expensive meds that I could be taking until I can see a doctor again - when we have insurance? And even when we have insurance - how concerned should I be about continuing to take Nexium, potentially for the rest of my life?

Please help. Thank you in advance.
2 Responses
620923 tn?1452915648
Hi and welcome to the GERD forum.

May I ask were u on a special diet while on meds?

Were u checked for a bacterial infection, like H.Pylori??

Sometimes meds will stop working for us....u may need to try a diff med.....I was on prilosec for yrs...this is a PPI...I am now on a RX strenght  of pepcid which is a HII.

If u indeed have acid reflux and watch ur diet and avoid the triggers for u .....u may be able to get off the meds.But reoccurance could indicate another issue....u need to find the root cause of ur gerd.

I have a hiatal hernia.....and other health issues that cause my gerd.

U will want to read the Health Pages here on MedHelp for diet and lifestyle tips.

1198705 tn?1277215574
I've heard of heatburn bounce when it comes back very bad (for a while) then gets better. Prilosec is available by prescription at 10mg which might be enough. As advertised, Prilosec can take 4 days to work because it is very slow acting, therefore, another alternative is to take OTC 20mg every other day. If recommended by a Dr., Prilosec can be safely taken for years.
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