Reflux symptoms suppressed by antidepressa... - Anxiety Support

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Reflux symptoms suppressed by antidepressants?

Catatvet05 profile image


Hope everyone is well.

Could anyone please share if they have had good results of taking antidepressants to treat functional heartburn symptoms: regurgitation and burping, etc. I’m also starting to get pains in my chest again- really sharp.

My functional heartburn is not under the acid reflux term though symptoms do exactly match of someone suffering with GORD.

Has your reflux affected you in anyway such as thinning of teeth, general well-being, your burping/ regurgitation is becoming difficult to shift?

I’ve been subscribed Citalopram but hesitating as to whether to take it? I’ve been on Amitriptyline along with similar other antidepressants, this drug did absolutely nothing for me.

Really could do with some information and some comfort that this will end?

It has been just over 4 years now since it started after my dad died. I lost my job just before he passed away.

I’m currently looking for another job - figures crossed for a happy ending.

And for all of you.

28 Replies

I could of wrote this myself 😭

I have all the same symptoms also no acid comes up into my throat so it isn’t acid reflux which is off cos symptoms are exactly the same. I take sertraline and amitriptilyn and mine is a lot better on the two I hardly get the chest pain anymore feels odd to swallow still tho. It’s absolutely exhausting isn’t it.

That’s good news. I have regurgitation which means acid is constantly in my mouth/coming up, hence my teeth is thinning. The doctor say it’s not acid I’m experiencing but my teeth say differently (and so does my dentist!)

It’s Interesting that you take both? How are you feeling- I had terrible adverse affects from Amitriptyline: weight gain, fatigue, constipation, nightmares, etc - it never ended.

I know it will hopefully take a few weeks for medication symptoms to ease after taking it.

Also, how long did you reflux symptoms start to ease once you started taking your medication? Thanks for sharing.

I get bad reflux, constant sore throat, heartburn. My doc has diagnosed me with a hiatus hernia over last 2 weeks. Being referred to hospital for camera etc to confirm although been told appointment will be a long time with covid. Can I ask does anyone think methotrexate causes this. My symptoms coincide with starting to take it. Can just be a coincidence.

Catatvet05 profile image
Catatvet05 in reply to HamHammy

Could be? Could you read up on the adverse effects? Medscape is a good app for this. HH can give reflux unfortunately. I think it’s about maintaining and watching your diet to ease symptoms, maybe? Take care.

Thank you for the app. Will have a look. Nothing I do gets rid of the throat but you are right monitoring what I eat plus not eating late in the day helps a little.

Catatvet05 profile image
Catatvet05 in reply to HamHammy

It can do but I do recommend trying silico gel for reflux symptoms. I take it along with slippery elms and probiotics for the gut - definitely can see the difference.

HamHammy profile image
HamHammy in reply to Catatvet05

Great, thank you. I shall give these a go. Plus good advice re water. Is that whilst taking the tablets to take 2 cups of water?

Catatvet05 profile image
Catatvet05 in reply to HamHammy

Yes drinking lots of water with tablet.

HamHammy profile image
HamHammy in reply to Catatvet05

Thank you

I was prescribed citalopram a few years ago and unfortunately it caused the most extreme indigestion and acid reflux from the first day. It felt like I had a rod down my oesophagus. I tried to put up with it but after several nights of trying to sleep sitting up I had to stop taking it. I went back to the doctor who said digestive issues can be a side effect and agreed it was not a good idea for me to take it. Not everyone gets the same side effects but they were too extreme for me. Good luck with your treatment.😊

I read another forum that the cause of reflux with this med was due to not drinking lots of water. Once they drank 2 cups of water the reflux/ heartburn symptoms eased/ disappeared. Thanks

I started taking Citalopram yesterday and had heartburn! Doctor say it’s not an a side affect and it’s not written down on leaflet nor on medical app. Once I eat more, drink more, I think it helped to remove the pain? Don’t know why it happened ? Could be an acidic tablet? Last thing I need is more reflux issues.

My digestive problems didn't stop until I came off Citalopram after 10 days of taking it. They were severe. Nothing I did relieved the problem. It is listed as a common side effect on the patient information leaflet, so the doctor that said it wasn't is wrong - but they usually are in my experience! I hope you can get some relief soon.

Hi, I just started taking Citalopram and yes I get heartburn. However my heartburn seems to ease when I drink 3 cups of water. If I don’t my chest becomes painful and it’s hard to swallow. My current burping is form functional heartburn not the antidepressant. I’m taking Citalopram in hope of getting rid of functional heartburn symptoms. X

It's important to note often when chest pains come back during 'hard times' they are often caused by high anxiety episodes. Heart burn can be caused by anxiety but is simply reduced with over the counter heart burn tablets or liquid. Sharp pains, pressure pains, numbness in arms, chest, or sensitive chest for example is all prime examples of heightened anxiety with those without heart issues in the family. I have been diagnosed with a damaged nerve that runs across the chest region, when I say diagnosed, they think, there's no technology that exists that can doctors everything that is going on with the nerve endings in your body but its their best guess.

When I'm anxious the pain is immense, and it 'always feels' different, but that's the brain tricking me. Humans are not very good at recalling what pain felt like because pain is an emotional response and our brains are not wired to recall pain in the same way we can remember other things. Often anxiety based chest associated pain is delayed by many days, so it can catch you off guard.

Amitriptyline is one of the best drugs for treating nerve related anxiety induced pain, every one is different and finding the right dosage takes a lot of time, and a doctor that knows what they are doing. I only got a result in the UK by going to a pain doctor at a hospital, the GP's just kept giving me anti-reflux tablets and blamed the chest pain on GORD too, that was after I had heart tests for 2 years!

Amitriptyline turned my life around, it hasn't made it perfect but without it, I would not be sleeping. It is a great off-label sleeping aid if you get the right dosage. I know people who take 10mg, 40mg, 50mg, and even 100mg, but truth is you can go even higher! I personally take 50mg at 7pm, and by 11pm, I'm a sleep, and I feel less pain the next day, repeat that, your pain lowers, it treats nerve related issues, while giving you a good and safe sleep aid.

Citalopram is a hit or miss, if you do not see improvements, then you increase your dosage up to 40mg a day, this is a slow process, as often your symptoms get worse before they get better, so they start you on a small dose. If you have reached 40mg, and see no improvement, then you need to switch anti-depressant. There is dozens of different types because they are not effective for everyone, so finding the right one can take some time.

Reflux or GORD is often misdiagnosed to people suffering chest related pain which is not linked to the heart. Many doctors are not trained in anxiety induced pain, its real, it exists, if your stressed, and anxious for an extended amount of time, it will develop into mental issues or physical symptoms, or both.

Now let's say it is reflux, there's things you can do, first of is weight, if your BMI is high, or you have a big belly, that is a major cause. I get reflux over 15 stone, if I keep below that weight, I'm good. If I eat at night, I get reflux, if I eat to much gluten, I get reflux, you see where I'm going with this? often, its caused by other factors, or a mixture of factors. I'm not saying your not having GORD, but its an easy and lazy for doctors to put that down on paper.

The first thing I would ask for is a camera down into the stomach to ensure there's nothing in the stomach causing the reflux, and the throat (oesophagus). Since SSRi's (Citalopram) and Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline) are not really assoicated with long term GERD or GORD, only when used with NSAIDs which at this point your doctor should of told you to avoid such as "ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, celecoxib, mefenamic acid, etoricoxib, indomethacin, and high-dose aspirin.

You should know if its GORD if you get relief from heartburn liquids, they should almost instantly give you some relief, if they don't, the pain is likely assoicated with something else, such as your nerve endings, caused by anxiety (pinch your chest skin, does it feel more reactive than say on your lower belly?)

Catatvet05 profile image
Catatvet05 in reply to SimonUK

Yes I’ve had tests doctors can offer. They all say including the consultant that I don’t have reflux rather functional heartburn. I’ve eliminated many foods and am on a very simple diet. Nothing seems to work and CANT shift regurgitation - it’s bother me ALOT not to mention my teeth.

Amitriptyline at 30 gave me serious constipation along with other terrible symptoms. I was on it for seven months and saw no change in my symptoms. I was diagnosed with HP last year and whether that was missed in the first place I can’t say. Had nother endosp this year - all results seem clear.

SimonUK profile image
SimonUK in reply to Catatvet05

How quickly did you move to 30mg? and how long did you stick at that dosage? its perfectly normally to get dry mouth (on-going) and constipation will normally pass after a few weeks every time you increase the dosage.

In regards of the thinning of the teeth, it should be preventable, through while not a dentist I am sure there is a coating you can get on the teeth to protect the enamel or consider getting crowns on the teeth that seem to be wearing the most. Denists are normally the ones who discover GERD/GORD before doctors due to the thinning of the teeth, have they talked over treatment? rather than avoidable?

Also, as someone who has GERD like symptoms mostly when stressed and overweight, I used a CPAP because my snoring got so bad my partner would thump me in the night so I got help, and got a CPAP, not only do I feel more refreshed but my oxygen levels stay higher throughout the night from 90-93% range, to 92 - 96%. Also, you may not be aware but CPAPS reduce GERD, regurgitation and reflux for some patients to almost zero. The pressure not only keeps airways open, but it helps keep foods and liquids down, so if you have regurgitation during the night, a cpap can be beneficial, or at least worth a try.

I Got All Of My GI Problem’s From The Antidepressant’s.


I was on 30 for around 6 weeks maybe longer? I couldn’t go to the loo for a few weeks and when I did it was far too painful so I stopped treatment. I should of seen results after 2-3 months.

My dentist has not offered me anything even I’ve asked. Hd had offered me night guard though my dentist at the same practice refused it. Are caps permanent? They have offered selant once it ends because it would crack - ones I’ve got already dissolved/ falling out. Think caps would look not great because of the contrast? I’m based in the uk.

I’m not over weight but am slightly under. Are you talking about an oxygen tank? Don’t think nhs or my doc would offer that? Could enquire.

Thanks so much for your time.

Hi first off I reccomend you try bicarbonate of soda - not sure what you call t in US - baking soda ? The thing is bicarbonate of soda is alkaline and this is the cheapest first resort in treating heartburn add half a teaspoon to water twice a day

Heartburn can be the result of estrogen dominance, allergic reaction , or medication

Thank you- I tried this constantly for 2 weeks. It’s an odd thing I have - apparently and according to tests that I’ve taken my level for testing acid is fine and so was my endoscopy results. The only evident I have for having reflux is my teeth wearing down. Odd.

Too much dopamine can cause heartburn , amitriplin promotes dopamine I think ? an antidepressant if it contains serotonin could counter that Otherwise you could be allergic to something

I’ve been tested for wheat but because my diet is limited i don’t think it is. The only thing I cannot eat that makes me very ill is rice. Makes me very fatigue and body is in pain.

I just can’t stop burping!

You could be allergic to a medication

Not on medication at the moment . Apparently it’s anxiety related?

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