HI Cynthia**I've been on Protonix 40mg 2x a day for a few years now. Protonix is an acid inhibitor. It stops the stomach from producing so much acid, thus relieving your "burning" pain. Yes, it will take a while for it to kick in. It won't stop the pain immediately. It's not designed for that. I have Erosive Acid Reflux Disease, also known as GERD. I'm wondering if your doctor took a urine sample. Also, I'm surprised Acid Reflux would be diagnosed without seeing a gastro and having a scope run down into your stomach to check it out. That's how I was finally diagnosed. I had some problems with heartburn with my Crohn's disease, which is expected. I was on Zantac for a few years, then went to Prilosec and when diagnosed with Acid Reflux by my gastro I went on Protonix. I've had no problems with the medication. Not that I can notice, that is. When I flare up the pills don't do their job like I wish they would. I have to take Carafate liquid to relieve the pain from the erosive areas of my esophogus and small intestines. I have many chronic disorders/diseases going on inside me.
You say you have no burning sensation. That's strange. Heartburn and Acid reflux almost always give you that "heartburn" feeling. Your chest pains make me wonder. Many years ago I had pain in the chest and I swore it was a heart attack. Pain persisted even with pain meds. I FINALLY got checked out (had a bad doctor in those days) and it turned out to be my gallbladder. You wouldn't associate the location of the gallbladder with the chest pains but it was. I had surgery to remove it and the NEW doctor was amazed at how infected my gallbladder was and was glad the surgery had been done right away. Without any "heartburn" sensation, I guess I'm surprised at your diagnoses. Anxiety attacks, which I also have, can bring on the feeling of chest pains. Some people actually rush to the hospital suspecting they're having a heart attack. Anxiety can make you feel groggy and listless but I can't say that the Acid Reflux has ever made me feel that way. I just have the pain like heartburn.
If your symptoms continue, even on the Protonix, I'd go back and see your doctor again. I think more tests may be in order. Also, to help the doctor and yourself out, start keeping a log. Note how you feel, any pains you have, what you ate, etc. I know it's a pain to do but it really helps the doctor come up with a better idea of what you're going through. There are a lot of parts to our bodies and sooooo many things that come along with your symptoms. And NEVER rule out the posibility of heart problems. Don't want to scare you but so many doctors overlook chest pains in women. They call it stress or "all in our heads". Keep searching until you find the right answer. I just don't think Acid Reflux is it. You just don't seem to have enough of the symptoms that go with it.
**Laughter is our best form of medicine**