Please, I am need of advice...

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I am from the US, but I have joined other Patient boards online and this community is so helpful.  

I am not usually a heartburn sufferer, but I was recently put on Verapamil for my migraines.  It's a calcium channel blocker, and it is NOTORIOUS for causing reflux/GORD.  

After about 10 days of taking it, I noticed some serious heartburn starting.  I continued it for a few more days, and then it was just awful.  I had to stop the medicine. But I'm afraid it was a bit too late and I did some damage.  Calcium channel blockers relax the LES, and therefore, allow acid to creep up into the esophagus.

So, here I am a little over a week from stopping the Verapamil, and the pain is still there.  I should say, I cannot take PPIs...I tried them years ago with a bout of heartburn, and they give me a horrid headache that I cannot get rid of.  So, I am stuck with H2 blockers.  I have been taking Zantac (ranitadine), and tried Tagamet (Cimetidine) last night to see if it works any better, because I'm not getting any relief.

I really don't understand if you're supposed to take the H2 blockers at breakfast and bedtime, or before meals.

My pain is mostly behind my breastbone, but does travel up my neck at times.  It's mostly not burning, but actual pain.  It's always worse after I eat.  And I've hardly been eating anything but oatmeal, chicken, veggies, etc.  

I noticed last night that it was really making me anxious, and I started to get very upset about it, wanted to cry.  So, I took a klonopin  I have here (for interstitial cystitis), and it really calmed down the pain.  Now I think anxiety is helping me to feel worse.

Some questions please:

1. Since this was brought on by the verapamil relaxing my LES, shouldn't it go away now that I'm off the med?  Or might I have done permanent damage?

2. Is there any other way to make this discomfort subside besides H2 blockers (since I can't take PPIs)?  I've heard of DGL Licorice.  I also take Rolaids, Tums, Mylanta and am going to buy Gaviscon today.  

Thank you so much if you can help me in any way.  I am really suffering and don't know what to do.



1 like, 5 replies


5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. Uve written so much that its hard to remember it all.

    Stress increses stomach acid production so try and control it.

    The gerd diet is for longterm use and not a quick fix. Never lay down soon after food. Raise yr bed so u sleep in semi sitting position. Extra pillows arent enough. The elavation must be at least from the waist up.

    There are more than 2 types of ppi but if ure certain they upset u then H2blockers are the same thing just not as powerul. It may take time for them to work. Were u prescribed them or u self medicate yrself?

    Do u reflux or just feel pain after or during eating?

    U can have irritated inflamed oesophagus.

    Id go steady with tums or gaviscon if ure taking h2blockers.

    There should be at least 3 hours break between taking h2blocker and gaviscon.

    H2blockers are meant to be taken at least 30min before main meal or meals depending how many the individual needs to manage symptoms.

    It can also be taken just before bed instead of a larger dose of gaviscon which is aimed to relief night refluxers.

    If u had reflux for a few weeks there wont be serious damage done.

    Do u have a doctor to discuss it in more detail? They may want to run some tests.

    Symptoms of acid reflux can take a while to go away as everything is out of balance.

    I been on ppi over a yr only now my body can manage on 1 tablet instead of 2.

    Stay strong and do ask more if i forgot someting.😁

    • Posted

      Katerina, thank you for your quick response. I have not been to the Dr for meds.  I just bought the H2 blockers from the store. 

      In the beginning, I was having reflux where it would burn when I would burp.  But the last few days, I don't do that anymore.  I just have pain now, around my sternum and up to my neck.  It moves around. I just bought some Gaviscon liquid today. It's very thick.  

      Why does there need to be a 3 hour break between Gaviscon and H2 blockers?

      I do have a doctor, and I was going to wait a little longer to see if I should make an appt.  I feel like he's going to tell me to do what I'm already doing.

      Thanks again for your advice.  I know one thing - I can hardly eat so this is one way to lose weight!  Although not a way I want!!


    • Posted

      The time gap between the meds is because gaviscon can counteract with what h2blocker does. They work slightly diferently.

      If it hurts u to eat it seems it could be oesophagitis. Irritated inflamed oesophagus.

      Im not a doctor so cant give u diagnosis but here in the uk they say if you have had symptoms of acid reflux 3 times a week for 2 or 3 weeks and no better see a doctor.

      Tell them uve been on meds and diet and no change. Must tell them eating hurts.

      Endoscopy will be a good idea.

      I feel for u girl as i been ill for over yr and only just now my body decided to spare me some pain and grief.

  • Posted

    I had after a stressful event, a feeling like a stranglation in throat. I went to ENT, he said acid reflux/globus. I told him I had no pain or burning. He said it was silent reflux. Put me on Nexium.a few weeks in got horrible acid. Couldn't blev it. Now I was in pain. I got off the ppi. Got horrible but stuck it out until I read where I could have low acid. So started with 2 tsp of organic apple cider vinegar in half cup of water. I take it every morning g. I now do not suffer at all with acid. Globus only when I am stressed. Occasionally if I crazily eat spicy, I will get mild symptoms, but nothing like before. I asked ENT if he thot it was ok to take the acv, he said sure, it's homeopathic. Even though I failed to tell him at last checkup that I was no longer on ppi. My checkup looked's what I did. Hope u can find something that helps you..wink

    • Posted

      Hi Terrie, yes I have heard that it can be not enough acid as well.  I have also read about taking apple cider vinegar, and it seems to help some people.  I don't think my problem is low acid, simply because I believe the Verapamil I was taking relaxed my LES, and allowed the acid to enter my esophagus.  So now, I'm trying to heal that.

      I hope you continue to feel good!


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