I'm really unclear about why the ENT prescribed Vicodin, but didn't prescribe the standard treatment for LPR.
They can't cure LPR, or treat the real cause (weakened esophogeal spinchters), but by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, you can dramatically reduce the amount of acid that gets into the esophogous and laryngeal area, thereby stopping the burning and coughing.
LPR is treated with the same medication that are used to treat its cousin, heartburn. Theses meds are called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs for short). A proton is just a bare hydrogen atom - and acidity is defined by protons. So by inhibiting the protons, you are reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.
Heartburn patients take 1 PPI dose per day. LPR patients must take 2 doses a day. I'm not kidding when I say this is standard treatment, and your ENT doesn't know squat if he isn't prescribing double dose PPI therapy for you.
About 90% of LPR patients are successfully treated with PPIs. Usually that means the burning and coughing go away significantly enough to resume a normal quality of life standard. Many people experience 95% relief too. You'll likely never be completely back to normal, but plenty back to normal enough to really enjoy life again.
So there are a bunch of different PPIs on the market. Which one to use? Based on my experience, and my monitoring this board like a hawk for 2 years, most LPR patients get the best possible relief from Nexium and Aciphex.
Zegerudm Prevacid and Prescription-grade Prilosec are the next group. Protonix typically does not work for LPR. Finally, there is an OTC pill called Prilosec OTC. This is not the same thing as prescription-grade Prilosec and isn't even manufactured by the same company. Look for the thread about Prilosec OTC I started - I asked if anyone had any success on it who had LPR and noone did. I'm telling you this because OTC is the cheapest stuff, but to spare you the agony of fruitless experimentation, please listen to me when I tell you that it doesn't treat LPR. It does treat mild-moderate heartburn, but it's no powerful enough for LPR.
So here's my opinion about the order of medications, interms of effectiveness:
5. Prescription-Grade Prilosec
6. Protonix (don't bother)
You should experience significant relief from your LPR in the first week of taking the meds if your body responds to that particular medication. Sometimes you need to experiment, but you can hedge your bets by trying the meds in the order I gave you.