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Asthma, gerd and proton pump inhibitors

Hi all, I was hoping to ask you guys about your gerd treatment experiences? Which meds have you tried and which was most effective? My docs are trying to aggressively treat gerd to help the lungs and larynx heal but this is a tough fight! I miss my favorite foods and caffeine! 

Specifically has anyone tried dexilant and been able to get it covered by insurance? Without insurance it is $400! My doctor tried writing for it, but it was auto substituted to protonix. He noted better experience with dexilant in controlling tough gerd. If protonix doesn’t help, I’m considering sparring with my insurance to try to get it covered! 😈

thanks for reading, em

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  • LK

    I've been on at least one reflux med that I don't recall and then have been on pantoprazole 20mg and then 40mg once a day but that still didn't help enough so my ENT added Pepcid AC in the evening and that had helped a lot.  I asked my pharmacist about it and she said many patients are on the one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.  Still have some reflux if I eat a large meal or spicy things but overall it's much improved.

    Maybe there is a coupon or copay card that will reduce the cost of that med?  My pharmacist is good at looking up those things.  She found one for my Breo and another med.

  • Shea

    Protonix works great for me– and started working pretty quickly too. I had tried other reflux meds like zantac every night– and I would need tums after every meal, it was a constant bother… but protonix has made it better. 

  • Melissa G

    Bekah has severe Gerd and asthma. She takes Lansoprazole and Carafate for the Gerd. For several years she was also on Ranitidine too but the GI dr took her off of that last year. 

    Have you tried adjusting your diet to help too? No spicy or acidic foods….

  • dory2005

    I take pantoprazole 20mg for my reflux, and most of the time it works well. My DS was born with severe GERD, and he's been on ranitidine for most of his life. Now that he can't have any pepper spices due to a food allergy, it's getting better. 

  • kmcnamara68

    Hi, I'm new to the site, but not asthma, or GERD (I'm 51). A pulmonologist I saw in 2014 first introduced the idea of the connection to my flared asthma at the time and GERD at that time. In fact, I was scoped about the same time and diagnosed with it. I have tried many PPIs and H2 blockers, but I think the real cure is through diet. I haven't been good about that, as the pills kept up with my bad beer drinking and tobacco chewing habits for quite a while. Not anymore. I gave up the chewing habit at least 2 months ago, but still drink quite a bit of beer on occasion. Not good. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to cut it out again and try a low carb diet. I've seen much research that it definitely can help with many things, including GERD. If diet could help instead of drugs, why not give it a try?

  • Emelina

    Lisa, thanks. I can ask my doc about Pepcid as a back up plan if protonix doesn’t do the job! Great idea, I’ll look around for coupons. 

    Shea, I’m glad protonix brought you relief! 

    Melissa, thanks for sharing Bekah’s experiences and regimen. I’ve really been trying hard with diet. I gave up caffeine, soda, started smaller meals, avoiding laying down after eating, and drink more water instead of orange juice or lemonade. My Achilles heel is tomatoes but even my consumption of tomato products is down. 

    Kmcnamara, welcome to the forums and good luck with the low carb diet. I like your thinking. I used to think just pop the pill and everything’s better, but really, everything in medicine involves both medicines and lifestyle/diet changes. Good luck to you!

  • LK

    Em,  I don't recall if you sleep with your upper torso elevated?  That is one thing that also really helped me with my reflux.

    Welcome Kmcnamara68!      Hope what you are doing really helps!

  • Emelina

    Ahh! Thanks for the reminder Lisa! I’ve tried right side down side sleeping, but I gotta fix the bed! 

  • LK

    That reminds me of something Em.  Way back when I took a First Aid/CPR course I seem to remember something about how the stomach is situated.  Something about if a person is on his left side there is less reflux??  This was many years ago so I don't know if I am recalling it correctly but I have found that for myself if I lay on my left side I have less reflux than if I lay on my right side.

  • Shea

    My theory– and Im not sure if there's much literature out there or if it is true at all so take it for what its worth– I do well with my coffee if I have a tiny bit Of food with it, AND have it with organic half and half creamer. That helps me deal with the acids better. I do OK with tomato sauce IF I use it very lightly and have both cheese and some sort if pasta. Same with mexican– a little bit if mild salsa is fine IF I put sour cream and guacamole too– the oils coat and the sour cream balances the acid with a base… Possibly. And I even do well with my famous jalepeno poppers– youd think theyd annihilate me BUT I stuff them with cream cheese and wrap them in bacon and the bacon grease coats and the cream cheese cuts the spice so it sonehow balances itself out for me snd never bothers my stomach. Lemonade gives me heartburn. Ginger ale– especially the real kind that is high in ginger and pineapple juice– bothers me. But I still have them both occasionally. I did cut out alcohol completely a while back and feel better for it– it bothered my system on multiple levels and Ive been better off without it. But caffeine is my friend. I cannot even consider parting with it. 

  • Marie E Natzke

    I need my caffeine as well. I read that if you cold brew your coffee (which I do)it isn't as acidic as it is when it is hot brew. 

  • Pljohns

    Sometimes GERD isn't spicy food but rather fat content in food.  DH found that out.  He has been on GERD meds for YEARS and the fattening foods are far worse for him than the spicy ones.  

    I've been on and off GERD meds for a few years as well.  Dexilent worked great but the doc's pulled us off because of the long term kidney issues.  i used protonix for a long time and it worked well.  For now, I'm using OTC famotadine and it works well.  Every once in a while (usually only when I'm on pred and or budesonide) I'll have to eat tums with it but not normally.

    EM-most insurances will deny newer meds and require you to use older meds, like protonix, for 30 days and then the doctor has to document a failure on it-breakthrough GERD, increased symptoms etc.  Once that's done and sent to them on a PA form, they will normally cover it.

  • Emelina

    Shea, oh man jalapeño poppers sound so yummy. I like your strategy of mixing the foods. I’m still trying to figure out a way to make the lemonade ok. I’ve completely eliminated caffeine, but will probably start drinking it again when work starts. 😬

    marie, cool, thanks for the cold brew tip. 

    Lynn, thanks too for the fatty food tips. I think overall this new gerd diet will help me in other ways (better cholesterol?). Ah, ok lynn, thanks for the tips about new vs older meds. The prednisone makes me cantankerous. What? I can’t have what my doctor ordered? it’s especially painful to jump through hoops now that we’re on cobra

  • Melissa G

    Em, it comes down to the cost of the medication. You just never know sometimes what the insurance will cover and what they won't. 

  • Breatheeasy

    Mom has the worst GERD issues forever now. She was just diagnosed with a small hiatal hernia. 

    Rabeprazole worked the best for me. I’m thinking I could have a hernia too. I need to go get an endoscopy.

  • Shea

    Em, lemonade often gives me heartburn too. And it is weird because I read that although lemons are acidic, they can do something to help your stomach acids lessen, and can sometimes have a good effect for GERD– although I think they need more science and studies to prove that. 

    From my personal expeeience, making Arnold Palmers (half lemonade and half unsweetened tea) doesnt bother my heartburn as much (plus it gives some caffeine ) Also I read not to drink alot when eating and to chew very thoroughly. 

  • Breatheeasy
    Melissa G posted:

    Oh my Breatheeasy! Will your mom have to have surgery?

    No they don’t do it if the hernia is small

  • K8sMom2002

    Em, I know I'm famous for suggesting daily journals and tracking symptoms, but sometimes foods in combo can be worse or better for folks, as Shea has mentioned. And as Lynn pointed out, tracking symptoms or issues after you've started a med can help you and your doc decide if a med is working for you. 

    If you're doing a calorie or food journal for fitness, you could also use that — it might save you some time!