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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

Debra- I was on Prevacid 2x a day for a little over 5 months. I did well with that. At about 5 1/2 months into treatment, I called the doctors office to let him know I was feeling better (not symptom free, but better). I wanted to know if my progress was normal with LPR or what I should be expecting. BOY WHAT A MISTAKE!!!! I love my ENT, but he is very, very busy, and works a lot with throat cancer patients. Since my problem isn't life threating, as many of his other patients are, I don't like to bother him if someone else in his office can help me. He was not available when I called, so his office staff switched me over to his resident assistant. She is from another country, and her English is not very good. I don't think we communicated well in our conversation. Anyway, she thought I wanted to stop taking so much prevacid, and switched my prescription from 2x a day down to 1x a day.

Though I don't think I got worse with one a day, I didn't make as much progress either. It was like I "plateaued" in my treatment. In the meantime my insurance company dropped prevacid from thier perscription list. I received a letter from them that I should switch to OTC Prilosec... (often not strong enough for LPR) They did however still cover Nexium. I called the doc back to switch from Prevacid to Nexium (as per the insurance company), and asked to go back to 2x a day since the one a day wasn't working as well. The nurse who does the prescriptions didn't want to go through the hassle of getting "pre-authorization" from the insurance company to get me 2x a day again. She kept telling me that I needed only 1 a day as the insurance company suggests. That's the standard dosage for heartburn (again as per the insurance company), not LPR. You don't need pre-authorization for 1x a day and thus it's easier to get a script from the insurance company.

It took me 4 phone calls, and 2 drop-in visits to the office over a period of 3 weeks to get this nurse to do her job!!! Finally, since I was "yappy" as a chihuahua nipping at her heals about this, she finally got the pre-authorization from the insurance company for 2x a day for me until May 2006.

Bottom line to all this is--[B]DO NOT GO OFF 2x a day until you are very sure healing is complete from any acid damage in your throat!!! [/B] Trying to get back on the correct dosage of meds. for me was very difficult. The insurance companies just think you have heartburn and want you to take OTC Prilosec, so they don't have pay for benefits. They make it such a hassel for the doctors to get a script of 2x a day of a stronger medication, that the doctors staff don't want to do it. The result is that the patient is the one who ends up with the short end of the deal.

If I feel like I am healed in the future, I am just going to drop to one a day without telling the doc's office what I am doing, or I fear I will end up with the same problems again. Eventhough LPR isn't a "serious" disease it is very uncomfortable (as you well know). Why should we be miserable when there is treatment available. It's just that the insurance companies don't want to pay us our benefits, and thus make it such a complicated, time consuming, hassel for our doctors offices to get us what we need!!! I am ok again for now, but when I go in to the doc for my next visit I am also going to tell him how un-cooperative his nurse was. Just because I am not a cancer patient and thus not urgent, I feel I should also get the medical care I need. How frustrating!!!

Sorry this got so long, but I hope to warn you through my experiences. Hopefully this will help you as you guide yourself through your treatment. Also--try chewing gum. It is very soothing to the lump in the throat feeling as we wait for the long term treatment to work. Just this week I have added digestive enzymes from the health food store to my treatment also. I'll let you know if it helps! Good Luck, and keep us posted on your progress!

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