GERD Worse on PPI's

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/9/2009 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had terrible experiences with PPI's.  I've tried Nexium, Omeprezol and Provacid and all are worstening my GERD! THe doctors don't believe me and I don't know what to do.  Tums and Rolaids are the only things that help.
Any ideas as to why this is?
In lots of pain,

Post Edited (artichoke) : 4/9/2009 2:20:42 PM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 4/9/2009 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry you are having so much pain. I did experience degrading relief from PPI's. I don't believe they made my symptoms worse, they just stopped helping. The only thing that helped was Rolaids or Malox chews. That was about the time a 24 hr Ph study showed the GI's the PPI's didn't help for me and they recommended surgery. Have you tried Achiphex?(sp.) My son uses this and it works really well for him after Prevacid failed.
I have dealt with the unbelieving Dr.s also. It can be very frustrating. I would look for a second opinion if that is possible. I do understand how painful this condition can be. I hope you find some relief. I was told by my doctors to use Tums, Rolaids, etc. as much as I needed to do to having Barrett's. Luckily, for me the surgery has almost eliminated my heartburn issues. Do they have you taking it once or twice a day? I was always told to take it twice a day, 30 minutes before I eat. I guess it is supposed to get a head start on the acid before food is introduced.

Take care,

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/9/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I have not had that experience. PPI's didn't solve my problem, but they helped it a LOT. I had to take 40mg Protonix, but I still had breakthrough, and was using Tums and Maalox to cope with breakthrough.

I ended up getting the Nissen surgery, which has been amazing. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to gastritis, so I'm finding the need to continue PPI's.

In short...I don't know how PPI's are making you worse. You may need an adjustment, or try a different one.

It's more likely you're worse because of some other cause...maybe you've been eating something or taking some medication that has flared up your stomach and thus your GERD.

I hope you get to the bottom of it. Try to take a deep breath, and relax.
You will figure it out. Try to track your symptoms, and your diet/medications, and see if you can find a pattern.
If you like your doctor, you can go back and discuss your symptoms.
If you don't, try to find another that you can work with. I had to change GI docs before I found one who would really listen to me and take my symptoms and thoughts seriously.

Good luck, Artichoke! Hope you feel better soon!

I've seen your posts in other places, and want you to know that I'm wishing you the best with your swallowing issues.
I hope you're finding some resolution and are doing better.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 4/13/2009 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Artichoke:
PPI did not work for me either. They in fact made things worse as you say. It appears that our bodies natural reaction to drugs and especially one that block a otherwise natural function in the secretion of acid is to create more acid.  I went through one after another before a doctor prescribed an old school medication called Sucralcarafate or Carafate for short. This worked wonders on my gastritis. Bear in mind I did change my diet and watch what I eat and also exercise and work on that enemy called Stress. It is amazing how much stress agrivates the stomach and yet we dont feel stressed.
Establish for your self a regular eating schedule and eat healthy. Avoid any trigger foods because they only add to the stress and stomach issues.  Watch the Tums as overuse can be bad for you to.
You have found a good support group here there are alot of caring folks here also.
Good Luck

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 4/15/2009 5:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm new here but just wanted to say I tried all of the PPI's and only protonix (pantoprazole) worked for me none of the other ones did much. Also a strange thing a friend at work said he tried the generic and it didn't work as well as the orginal protonix. What a fight it is to get insurance to pay for protonix. I was in so much pain I had to call the insurance company my self and pleaded with them. Now I'm back on protonix after being off for 2 years and the same issue with the insurance. Anyway if you haven't tired protonix try it takes a few days to get going and make sure you take it on an empty stomach. I would forget and eat somthing it doesn't work as well one other thing if you heart burn is worse at night then take it one hour before you eat dinner every day. I found that to work better then taking it in the morning because most of reflux was at night. When I first had GERD it was going all the way up in my ears and causing middle ear infections my ENT first gave me protonix and had me take it 2 times a day for 2 weeks to get it under control. My GI thought that was overkill but it got it under control fast. I know how you feel its no fun to have acid burning you.
I hope you feel better.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/13/2009 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
People claim meds don't work or this and that but we do not know the whole story. It takes a comprehensive method to deal with GERD. I started using Aciphex myself just a couple of weeks ago but I know my GERD would still affect me in a worse way, or the meds would be rendered ineffective if I didn't do all the other things you need to do in dealing and living with GERD.
Lifestyle and diet changes MUST be adhered to. Anyone who expects to take meds to take care of their GERD without doing anything about their lifestyle and diet will most certainly have symptoms come back sooner or later.
GERD is mechanical: We all know if the LES is not working properly, this allows acid to do its damage and consequently cause all of our horrible symptoms. For me, this means the head of my bed is elevated on books about 6 inches. I know if I didn't do this, I would be in trouble as a flat bed would simply allow stomach acid to creep and wash into places in does not belong. Acid does its damage at night and we feel the effects during the day! This also means not bending over or wearing very tight clothing or belts around the waist which can cause abdominal pressure and literally squirt acid up your esophagus. Just relaxing my belt at work while sitting at my desk helps. The worst part for me as I work out all the time is that I now have to avoid heavy exercises and bending movements. I cannot even lie flat on a bench anymore!
GERD is physiological: Our own acid is the culprit as well as the faulty valve or LE sphincter. This means avoiding foods that relaxes the LES. We all know them. For me, the biggest one is chocolate, which of course I love. Coffee too is one of the worst for me. I now avoid all meat, fatty/fried foods, soda, and heavy starches like potato and certain breads. Overeating is also a big no-no, which is bad for me as I bodybuild and the decrease in calories has caused me to lose weight. Of course, do not eat before bed or prior to exercise. All this has been a blessing in disguise as it has made my eating habits better and diet a lot healthier!
My GERD came upon me quite suddenly. I've never had digestive problems. I attribute the cause mainly to stress and anxiety. I believe the cure lies here. I am now working hard to change the way I deal with daily/work issues that cause stress and life in general in such a way as to lessen the harmful effects when we allow our bodies to go in the fight or flight mode. All that adrenaline and cortisol wreaks havoc on our system and eventually something will give. The physical symptoms that are manifested from this damage is many we all know: chest pains, tremors, palpitations, limb pain, muscle tingling/numbness, and of course GERD. I can testify that allowing myself to become "stressed" going home in traffic and getting angry at someone driving poorly, can suddenly cause all kinds of problems for me. One of which is a rush of acid that I feel and the subsequent GERD effects for the rest of the day and night.
There is NO miracle cure or the perfect medicine. Please do not cry and look for sympathy on this or other forums when you are not doing all the above! if you insist on eating the wrong foods, drinking alcohol or too much caffeine, YOU WILL continue to experience GERD pain. If you do not protect your body to compensate for the part of your system that is not functioning properly, YOU WILL continue to have the worst of GERD. If you do not look at your life and yourself carefully and begin to exert self-control on anger, rage, negative thoughts, YOU WILL continue to have GERD.
Remember that GERD is a phenomenon in industrialized nations and in high paced societies. This should tell all of us that the way we live, work, play and most importantly, deal with one another need serious adjustment as our own bodies are telling us that the current way we live and our way of life may not be so great after all.
I only wish the best for all of my fellow GERD sufferers...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/13/2009 3:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the GERD/Heartburn Forum.  Thank you for sharing your story with us and you have some good points.
All any of us want here in this great forum is to see our friends heal from this disorder.

Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn  &
*~* *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
"I am not a mental health professional, nor do I play one on TV, I just kind of talk like one!"

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 10/14/2009 11:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Tenorino: Everything in your post is exactly on the same page as me. Thanks for the share.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/28/2012 1:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I have the same problem. The more ppis I take, the worse it gets. I have tried starting and stopping several times, and it always is worse with the medication. The tums seem to help and I also take Gaviscon which helps a lot.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 9/29/2012 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
There have been some people who have felt worse on PPIs who have theorised that this is because they are actually suffering from an underproduction of acid - certainly some people report good results with apple cider vinegar or betaine hydrochloride. I think for the majority of us with gastritis and pain, adding anything so acidic just causes more pain. However, if you haven't tried ACV and PPIs aggravate things, it may be worth a brief experiment, if you're brave enough!

New stuff: GERD, Recurrent cystitis/Overactive bladder
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/23/2015 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey artichoke,
This is an old thread but I've been searching to see if anyone has had the feeling that PPIs were making them worse, as this is my feeling.

I noticed my first reflux a couple years ago after a surgery when I drank soda, beer or ate chocolate. I avoided those things and continues on with my life and felt great. Still had tons of energy and exercised almost daily and was in great shape.

A few months after that I had a very very bad bout of diarrhea that lasted for a few days. I went to the Dr and they put me on omeprazole. To tell you the truth I start feeling terrible almost right away. My diarrhea went away, but I had terrible side effects fom the meds like fatigue, bloated stomach, gas, burping, etc. I figured it was the meds because they only started after taking the medicine. Those issues continued to bother me for months until I felt worse and finally got an upper endoscopy. That showed nothing but "a very small hiatal hernia" in which the Dr said he was "surprised if I had any symptoms at all."

Everytime I tried to stop the medicine my reflux was the worse symptom. So bad that everytime I ate ANYTHING I got immediate reflux. I never had reflux before the medicine. I continued with the meds, but tried different types and nearly every one under the sun.

Now it's over 1.5 years on the meds and I'm getting stomach pains, occasional bouts of diarrhea (which is why I started the medicine) I still get occasional gerd. I've lost weight and feel exhausted throughout the morning after taking the meds. Last week I got a CT scan of my entire abdomen and blood tests. Everything came back fine. There's really only a couple things left to try... test a stool sample for bacteria/parasites or it's the darn medicine. If the stool tests come back negative then I will be so pissed that I wasted nearly 2 years of my life and thousands of dollars because of bad medicine side effects.

In my opinion: it could very well be the meds making you worse. Read the side effects of the meds on any website and you'll see there is a chance they cause the very thing they are trying to prevent.

Good luck, I hope your issues were resolved.

Post Edited (Robobob) : 10/23/2015 3:57:17 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/17/2016 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Same problem here. Tried 40 mg Nexium, 30 mg Lansoprazole and 40mg of Aciphex after being diagnosed with erosive esophagus.

Although they helped my cough slightly, I went from having Silent Reflux (where i had no heartburn) to chronic heartburn. As soon as I go back to ranatadine 600mg daily the heartburn reduces although the cough and asthma type symptoms I'd been getting come back.

My reflux seems to be triggered my anxiety meds bizarrely. Caffeine actually reduces it!

Waiting to see a gi follow up, but barium meal showed esophagus spasms.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 11/17/2016 5:29 PM (GMT -7)   
sounds like your a good candidate for surgery.
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