A few years ago when I was 20, I was diagnosed with GERD. I had complained of terrible chest pains that sometimes made my left arm feel strange. The only thing that made the chest pain go away was to lie down on my side for awhile.
The doctor didn't run any tests other than an EKG to make sure it wasn't a heart problem. He did feel my stomach and chest (checking the esophagus I assume) and asked if it hurt.
He prescribed Prilosec which I took for a few weeks (I think) before he switched me to prescription Xantac. I was on that a few weeks or so and then he took me off it.
I didn't have any problems for a year or two then the chest pains returned but they weren't as bad. That doctor had moved away so I went to another one who wouldn't treat me for GERD as he didn't think it was a problem. A few months later I went to another doctor at another practice and he wouldn't treat me either. Neither did anything other than ask me questions and told me not to eat junk food which I generally try not to eat anyway.
So now, a few years later, I have no job and no health insurance so I can't go to the doctor if I wanted to.
My throat keeps getting sore and my ears sometimes burn. I rarely have chest pains anymore. I'm sure the sore throat is from acid reflux. None of my many other health conditions would create those symptoms. I think I have LPR in addition to GERD. I'm also having more trouble sleeping than usual (I also have sleep apnea).
I've been taking OTC Xantac once or twice a day for several months but I don't think it's working. What OTC product should I try next? Should I maybe try Prilosec for maybe 2 weeks then switch to Pepcid AC for a few weeks? Or should I just try the Pepcid AC?
You could try Pepcid first and see if it works for you. It helped me for many years. Prilosec relieves my heartburn but the side effects really bother me: stomach pain, gas pains, bloating, diarrhea, etc. Not everyone has the side effects, but I'm very sensitive to medications. Last night, I took Mylanta maximum strength liquid before bed and it helped a bit. Hope you find some relief.
The only OTC PPI is called Prilosec OTC but it has a very poor reputation for helping with LPR.
I know it may be hard to afford without insurance, but you really need 2 doses per day of a prescription PPI to relieve the LPR symptoms.
They are: nexium, prescription-prilosec, generic omeprazole, aciphex, prevacid, and zegerid.
Sometimes the pharama companies have programs that will help uninsured patients pay for the prescriptions. The company called Pharmacy Checker helps you find the best drug prices by comparing all the prices at national pharmacies.
Remember, to relieve LPR symtpoms, you need 2 doses a day of the maxiumum strength capsule from that brand. Since each brand comes in different capsule sizes, for instance: 20 mg and 40 mg, you will need to take 2 pills of the largest dose of whatever brand you choose.
But first have your doctor give you free samples - their medical supply cabinets are usually stuffed with the PPI samples that drug reps give them. T