So I'd been having GERD symptoms for a very long time but never really recognized them (regurgitation, burning throat, excessive burping, sour taste in mouth)as being "GERD". I went to my family doctor two months ago and he prescribed pantoprazole 40 mg daily. I've been taking it faithfully and whenever I miss a day my symptoms seem to return the same day I have missed the tablet (usually along with a stellar headache). On my last visit to the doctor I asked how long I should expect to be on the pantoprazole and he indicated I should remain on it "indefinitely". Now, I have not had any testing (eg, endoscopy or acid testing) and my doctor is treating based on the symptoms alone. I have two concerns:
1) Is the long-term use of pantoprazole safe? How long is usually recommended by a doctor? Is it typical to be on it "indefinitely"?
2) Should I be having any sort of testing to determine if any damage has occurred to my esophagus? Is treating based on symptoms alone typical?
I trust my family doctor but he does seem a bit "casual" about this issue and I'm just not sure if that's normal or not. Any advice or thoughts appreciated!