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Severe Reflux


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#21 truman

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 04:27 PM

Michele:

Just remember that if you have to take the chewables and such, keep an eye out for cavities. My teeth went completely downhill before the Nexium and the dentist suspected it was from chewing all the Tums and such throughout the day.
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#22 bookworm

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 09:28 PM

Hi everyone,
I take Omeprazole, which is the generic form of Prilosec. You may already know that Prilosec is about the same thing as Nexium. I can't remember exactly what I paid for the Omeprazole, but I just looked online for a price and found it for $25.95 for 150 pills -- or about 5 cents per pill.
This works great for me and my reflux problem was so bad for awhile that I couldn't make it through a meal without having to go bring up food because it was stuck in my throat. I didn't even associate this with the reflux, but later a doctor put me on Prilosec, although I really didn't think I needed it. I felt that my acid was under good control because the chewable antacids worked well for me.
What I wasn't considering, and what you guys may also not be considrting is that if you are taking an antacid chewable or liquid it means you are having acid right then. Right? And that acid is burning your esophagus. Then you neutrealize the acid with the chewable, but you have already had damage from the acid. the acid burns scar your esophagus, thus creating swallowing problems. I was amazed when I suddenly found that I could swallow again after being on the Prilosec a short time.
Prilosec and Nexium, and some others I believe, are Proton Pump Inhibitors and they actually slow your acid production WAY DOWN. So, you just don't have nearly as much acid forming -- almost none.
I'm not a doctor, but I would certainly urge anyone with severe GERD to get all the information you can about the Proton Pump Inhibitors. I think you need to slow that acid production way down.
Also, don't insurance companies sometimes change their minds about paying if the doctor tells them that nothing else is woreking and that this particular patient has to have a certain drug and not a substitute? I think they sometimes actually require a trial of one or two other drugs first, but I thought they'd often begin to pay if nothing else was worrking.
Also, Michele Chere, why won't your doctor let you have the cocktail except in the emergency room? If Peggy's doctor prescribes it for her, why can't your doctor do the same. There may actually be a reason, but I'd bet it's just a bias on your doctor's part. Some doctors are so reluctant to give strong stuff that actually works.
If this one won't help you, I'd get another opinion and I'd seriously consider seeing a pain management specialist. Also, would you be more comfortable if you put blocks under the head of your bed. I've heard several people say they have propped up their beds to avoid acid problems. Pillows don't work the same way -- it has to be the whole head of the bed.

Good luck and don't give up!


Mary in Texas

#23 RememberingToSmile

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 01:47 AM

This is a good discussion with lots of advice.

I tried most of what you have done, and LUCKILY it is working for me. That is - Prevacid twice a day, no eating after 6:00pm, lifts to elevate the head of my bed...

Eating small meals and staying "regular" has been essential. Even the slightest constipation has a huge impact. I recently doubled my iron supplement and have had to be sure to maintain my fruit, vegetable and morning oatmeal consumption.

The last time I had a bad spell, I put myself on a gluten-free diet for a month and that really seemed to help get things under control again.

Keep at it - I hope you find the right combination soon!

-RTS

#24 truman

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 02:05 AM

Mary:

I think you're right about the insurance company covering a drug upon a form filled out by the doctor.
Tru

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#25 Karenlee

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 02:37 AM

Ho bookworm,

I take Prylosec and pay about $25 for 6 weeks of tablets. You say Omeprazole is the same thing and you found it for 5 cents per pill. Would you mind sending me a pm and tell me where you found it? I really could use that saved money in my pocket lol

Thanks
Karen

#26 bookworm

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 08:00 AM

Hi Karen,
I haven't actually bought Omeprazole that cheaply, but have bought it for much less than I was paying for Prilosec. However I did find it advertised online for about a nickel a pill. I tried to PM you, but there was no address given.

If I'm not allowed to send you that address, maybe you could pm me! Otherwise, you can also do a search for Omeprazole/price and get lots of hits and lots of prices.
When I bought my Omepraole at my store it was located right next to the Prilosec.

Please let me know if you find it. I am about to try to order the cheap stuff I found online because I am nearly out and I know that's cheaper than what I paid!

Mary in Texas

#27 bookworm

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 08:08 AM

Woops! Karen, I just went to that drug site and I told you wrong. The price of the Omeprazole, per pill, is actually about 17 cents. I'm sorry I told you wrong! This is still the cheapest I've found it.

Mary in Texas

#28 MaryFanPhilly

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 12:36 PM

Hi Michele,
I have terrible GERD problems and I was diagnosed with Barrett's, very scary. Be sure to get checked by a GI doctor and have regular endoscopies to avoid that. I also take two Nexium daily and when my insurance company gave me trouble about it my doctor swooped in and fought like a tiger to get it covered. It isn't garden variety heartburn, he said, it's life threatening... so talk to the GI people and see if they can help. They often have ways of getting this stuff pushed through. All the postings on here gave terrific advice, I know that I can avoid a lot of problems by self-management. Just one spoonful of ice cream at 7pm can keep me up all night. Not worth it! Good luck, Mary in Philly
Diffuse sclero; diabetes; hypertension; GERD with Barrett's

#29 michele chere

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 02:21 PM

Wow! A big thanks to all of you for your advice and great suggestions. I've tried most of your recommendations except for the pepcid ac and gaviscon. I just purchased the gaviscon and will try it next. I've been going through intense itching/hives for a couple of months and am hesitant to start a new med until that settles a bit more. I'd give anything if the elevated head of the bed thing worked for me. Any incline, even if it's a 60 degree incline is not enough to keep the acid from coming up.I broke out in a bad rash with the omeprazole. I have discovered what foods I can and cannot tolerate, so that's good. I do not eat after lunch because I do so much better on an empty stomach (even though the gastro dr insisted I should eat 3 times a day. He said the food helps to dilute the acid some). I was actually going 24 hrs without food a few times thinking if no food was in there, then the acid wouldn't back up. WRONG! I'm so sorry so many of you have suffered this same thing, but I'm so grateful to all of you who have found what works for you and that you can pass your tips on to the people like me who are still floundering trying to find our solution. Your input has helped me ten times more than my gastro dr!Thank you, thank you,thank you!
One more question...I will see my rheumatologist on Tues to talk about starting Methotrexate. Will MTX affect my reflux? If it's gonna make things worse in that dept, I'm outta there!
You all are so great with your help and support. Thanks again!
Sending Happy thoughts to all
Michele Chere

#30 janey

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 03:20 PM

Michele,
I was on Methotrexate for 3 years and had not effect on my reflux. If any, it might have made the symptoms more tolerable. I hope you find some solutions for yours. Good luck with the MTX.

Big Hugs,


Janey Willis
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#31 truman

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 01:12 AM

Michele:

That's funny in that they took me off the Nexium and put me on the Pepcid AC for my intense hives/itching. It has some sort of antihistamine properties.
Tru

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#32 smurfette

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 02:02 PM

The deal with the Nexium is economic - Nexium is a left handed molecule that was developed when Prilosec was coming off Patent and could become available as a generic and thus would be a lot cheaper and made by other drug companies. Nexium is still only made as a Brand name med, not OTC yet in any strength so it is still very expensive. Also it happens to work better for some people (me for instance). Some insurance companies require the doctor to specifically order it by name and will only allow you to get that specific drug-and not pay only for the generic and cheaper similar drug-after forcing you to try the other similar drugs that are cheaper. Economics not patient concerns rule this market as we with these lovely diseases find out over and over again. So you can eventually get the Nexium, but only after suffering with pills that don't work as well for you and wasting a lot of time being uncomfortable.
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#33 Karenlee

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 02:06 AM

Thanks Mary, I got the link from you thru Shelley.
So this stuff works just the same as Prilosec? I will try it. Thanks again.

Karen

#34 bookworm

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 04:36 AM

You're welcome, Karen. Omeprazole doesn't just work like Prilosec; it is the same the as Prilosec. It's the generic version.

Mary in Texas

#35 KarenL

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 05:39 AM

Without a doubt, going to bed with an empty stomach is most important. It's best to stop eating at 6:00 PM for the most part. Also, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate as well as ice cream and other dairy are the worst culprits. Always eat tiny meals and take an antacid like the highest dose of Zantac right before bed. Taking your prescription acid reflux meds exactly as your doctor prescribes (such as, with or without food and at exactly the same dosage, not too much or too little) is very important. Take your morning dose as soon as you open your eyes, before coffee even. Another thing that's safe that I have found helpful is digestive enzymes. Good luck, it's so scary to wake up like that not to mention gross tasting!
Peace,
Karen