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.