Long term use of Protonix?

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PWro
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/12/2008 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All!
I am new here and so glad to have found you. about 5 years ago I had an endoscopy and found that I have a hernia which is causing my severe GERD. After trying a number of drugs, I found Protonix to work the best and have been on it ever since. My primary care doc just keeps refilling my prescriptions and says that I probably will have to be on it forever. I am wonder how long any of you have been on your meds? I am wondering if I should go see a GI specialist again or just keep with whats working now. Thoughts?? Thanks in advance!

rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 1/12/2008 11:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey PWRO

I'm newly dx'd with GERD and was given many diff meds to try before finding Protonix was best for me. I've been on it for about three months now and it works pretty well! I wish u the best with this med long term. My GI doc gave mine to me. So far so good!! Take care.
rhonda
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PWro
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/13/2008 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Rhonda!

Did he tell you how long to take it for or are you just seeing how it goes? Good luck to you also!

 


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 1/13/2008 12:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Again PWro

Yeah, just seeing how it goes. As it is now...this is in the 'see what works' stage still. I'm so newly dx'd that the meds are all still being worked out. I had NO signs that there was anything wrong except for a prob with things getting stuck in my throat. I casually mentioned it during a recheck for other probs (IBS) and it went from there. As it turns out i've had it a long time and it's progressed to Barretts Esophogus. Who'd have guessed! I'll let u know what i find out, but it really sounds like u will know much more than me. My doc felt this was a good 'stronger med' when the others failed to work. Best wishes to u!
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
 
Things that make u go hummmm......
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
*One day without sunshine is like...um..well...night?*


HappilyWrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 1/13/2008 8:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I was on Protonix for 10 years - and then came the time it stopped working and I had to go stronger.

My GERD issue required a Nissen fundoplication as well as hiatal hernia repair because my LES (lower esophageal sphincter) was not working properly. I realize you just have the hernia, but you asked about info from anyone on meds for a long time. I've been medication free for 12 weeks as of tomorrow. I didn't realize how lousy it made me feel until I experienced life without a daily PPI dose and without heartburn.

Here's some food for thought:
*Taking PPI's reduces your body's ability to absorb nutrients you consume, such as calcium. Notice there are now vitamins being marketed that are geared towards people taking PPI's.
*The Protonix manufacturer states on the website that they do not have clinical tests for long term use. It was only intended for short term use.
*PPI's prevent acid in your stomach - this acid has a purpose, one of which is to kill certain bacteria before it gets to your intestine - if the bacteria gets into your intestines, you can develop an overgrowth of bad bacteria which can cause symptoms of lactose intollerance. I personally had this experience. The GI was able to diagnose this overgrowth, provide an antibiotic, and currently I can drink a glass of milk with no ill effects.
*Add up how much you spend on prescription copays for Protonix.

Ask the GI about repair of the hernia. Why just keep treating the symptom by ingesting drugs forever if you can resolve the root of the problem by surgery? Of course, surgery is not an option in all cases and I realize that; but if it is an option for you then you may want to pursue it.

If you do have surgery, then take the monthly Protonix copay and put it away each month - eventually you'll have enough $$ saved up to treat yourself to something wonderful and you won't have had to alter your regular budget.

Lucy007
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 1/13/2008 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking PPIs since I was about 16.  I'm 26 now so I have taken them for about ten years.  I am doing well and they work good for me.  However, I just recently have been suffering some unexplained GI problems and it looks like the conclusion (in my mind anyway) is going to be its the long term use of these drugs.  So I just decreased my dose from 40mg/day to 20 and its working well.  I agree with happily wrapped bc I have lived with this for so LOOONNNG.  However, MANY people have taken these drugs for months to a couple years and gotten off them successfully.  To me, surgery is an absolutely positively LAST resort treatment for this problem.  Unfortunately I'm almost at my last resort :(
 
Happily wrapped...can I ask you a question?  ... How long did you take PPIs before getting the surgery.  Also, did your doc help you determine that your gi problems/lactose intolerance was a result of long term PPI use.  My GI just says all of a sudden I must be lactose intolerant after 26 years of eating dairy with not one problem.  Poof, now it hurts my stomach???  I think not.  Do you think taking probiotics will help with any bad bacteria in the intestines?  Im headed to a homeopathic doc tomorrow but Im losing hope and praying that I can just hold out long enough for a less invasive surgical procedure to come about.  Thanks for your insight!!  I se eyou have been very helpful to us all on this board :)
 
 

HappilyWrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 1/13/2008 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Lucy007:
I took Protonix for about 10 years. about 2 years ago, it stopped working. I didn't do anything about it at first, just kept taking it and feeling miserable. When it got to the point where I could only sip tepid water because swallowing anything else hurt and created heartburn, I went to a GI. From the time I first got diagnosed with GERD up to this point I had not kept in touch with the GI who initially diagnosed me. When I moved to a new town and found a new primary physician, he just kept refilling my prescription for Protonix. When I asked him to suggest a local GI, he did and that GI is the one I've been working with for about a year and a half.

An endoscopy was done by this new physician and showed no Barretts, but serious damage inside the esophagus. He started talking about my being a good candidate for surgery - this was my introduction to the fundoplication procedure and the one that is done endoscopically. The GI wanted to put me on Nexium but I stated I had tried it before and it didn't agree with me - it gave me severe cramps and made me feel sick. While discussing digestive issues, I mentioned being lactose intolerant. The GI said sometimes an overgrowth of bacteria can cause a person to not be able to tolerate Nexium and also show signs of lactose intollerance. So he ordered a test - it's a breath test where you blow into a bag to get a baseline of the gasses you exhale, then drink a nasty drink, then breath into separate bags every 15 minutes for 3 hours to collect your exhaled breath. If you have an overgrowth of bacteria, it will show up in your exhalation. Low and behold I was off the chart with bacterial overgrowth. He prescribed an antibiotic. Two weeks later, I was enjoying a glass of milk like I hadn't been able to in years. Then I went on Nexium with no problems. And yes, the overgrowth was due to bacteria that is supposed to be killed by stomach acid getting into the intestines and running rampant in an environment that they weren't supposed to get to in the first place.

I do believe in probiotics, however, I use them in conjuction with antibiotics. The antibiotic will get rid of the overgrowth - as well as the good stuff. So I take probiotics along with the antibiotic to ensure when everything gets "nuked" I'm replenishing the good before the bad can take hold.

I spoke to both my GI and surgeon about the less invasive endoscopic procedure through the esophagus that someone posted about on this forum. Because it's a newer procedure, I was uncomfortable with it. The research I did found that it was not permanent and had to keep being redone after a couple of years. I wanted a chance for long-term relief.

I also tried the naturopath route several years ago, but my reflux was too bad to be controlled naturally plus the hiatal hernia contributed to my misery. I do see a naturopath physician regularly as well as a regular MD. I find they compliment each other quite nicely.

Hope this answered your question.

Lucy007
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 1/13/2008 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for your response.  Like you, I have just been getting nexium refilled for the last ten years of my life.  I never actually dealt with this issue - never even changed my diet - and continued smoking.  I am unfortunately still looking for a good reputable GI in my area.  One that knows a lot about this problem AND the meds and side effects.  Anyhow, thanks again for your response.  It makes me feel less alone and less scared about all this.  :)  Be well!

PWro
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/13/2008 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for everyone's input. I, like you Lucy, do not want to resort to surgery so I guess that is why I just keep taking these drugs.  I am 32 and have probably almost been on closer to ten years now that I think about it. Time just flies! Let me know if you find any good GI docs and what they say, I will do the same. I am on the hunt for one myself! Thanks again!

TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/14/2008 8:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I do hope you guys find good GI doctors, as it is so important to have a good doctor. One you can trust, and one you feel totally confident in.

I wish you both all the best in your search.

And, PWro...I'd like to give you a warm welcome to healingwell. This is a great place for information and support, and I do hope you stick around!!!
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