Heartburn with Imbruvica : Just curious if... - CLL Support

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Heartburn with Imbruvica


Just curious if anyone suffers from heartburn since you e been taking imbruvica. I've been taking it for a little over a month now and my heartburn is absolutely horrible. Can I take an antacid on a regular basis for this! Thank you, Debbie

28 Replies

Hi Deborah

I've been on Imbruvica for just over a year now and had a spell of heartburn for 2 months or so in November / December. It felt like a start of an ulcer to me. My doctor put me on Omeprazole and told me to raise the head end of my mattress by putting a pillow under the mattress. This solved the problem by the end of December, I'm off Omeprazole now.

I never know whether this sort of problem is directly related to Imbruvica, or CLL or just advancing years!

Hope that you improve soon.


in reply to David73


I am not on Imbruvica but was suffering with Gerd. I took your advice and put a pillow under the head of the mattress and no more Gerd. I believe this Gerd was making me cough in the am.

I feel great now and no meds.



Hi Deb

I too had some heartburn for a while and was given Omeprazole .I also drank ginger tea ,and still do have a cup most mornings .

I seem to lose one side effect and go onto another but nothing is too major .

I have been on Ibrutinib for 10 months now and am doing well .


in reply to PE1234

Seems like this Omeprezole is the answer. Gonna research it a bit and talk with my dr.

Hi Deborah, I'm sorry about your heartburn. I've been on Ibrutinib/Imbruvica for 20 months now. I don't remember having heartburn but I drink lots and lots of water/fluids/green tea everyday. That may help alleviate or prevent your heartburn...?

Thank you I drink lots of fluids but haven't done the green tea may try that out. And probably should drink more water. Thank you!

I too had the dreaded heart burn/indigestion for the first couple of months on Ibrutinib. Then I started drinking the recommended 2litres of water a day and taking the pills with food at breakfast lunch and dinner. This seemed to stop the problem.

Water is even causing me heartburn/indigestion. I try to drink as much water as I can but I know I should drink more.

I take all 3 pills at once one time daily, that's how it is prescribed to me. I was also told its best on an empty stomach or eat nothing atleast 2 hours before taking them. The pills themselves seem to cause heartburn!

I never heard of Ibrutinib only once a day, it's only been 3 times a day and with food.


Go their website and read it, if you choose. It is 3 pills, given once a day with a glass of water. Do not chew them or break them. You must swallow them whole.

I'm sure your physician knows this if you did not. Are you taking the medication? If so, please contact your physician. You maybe taking it incorrectly.


That's the directions I got and as close to the same time as possible every day and on an empty stomach and nothing to eat awhile after taking it

Yes, it is an issue for me as well. I was on ranitidine but it was not adequate so I changed to omeprezole 20mg. I am aware of potential long term issues with omeprezole but I have decided for now to use it.

Dennis, Auburn, AL, 17p-

I, too, have had horrible heartburn, but I didn't know it was related to Imbruvica. I was already taking omeprezole, so my doctor said to take it two times a day rather than one. Sometimes it helps, and sometimes it doesn't.

Is Omeprezole prescription?


Omeprezole is over the counter in the States. It is generic for Prilosec.


in reply to Meesh31547

There is a 40 mg omeprezole.

While I'm not on Imbruvica, I do get heartburn and found that omeprezole no longer worked. Dexilant had fixed my heartburn and reflux. Not cheap but very effective.

in reply to E-Lynn

Is this Omeprezole by prescription only? I've never heard of it.

Thank you E-Lynn

Try Nexium 40 mg. ask a GI doctor not a general physician. I have been having GI issues since I was in my 20's. Now I am 57. I had many endoscopes during these years but Imbruvica has made my issues worse. I have reported all these directly to FDA. I suggest all of you do the same assuming you live in US. Nexium should be taken on empty stomach at least 1/2 before meal. I suggest taking it in the morning. There are newer PPI medications such as Dexilant 60mg that works all day. I have been taking PPI for so many years with no adverse events. I do CBC monthly and the rest every other month. So far so good. Good luck. The important thing is to stay with Imbruvica.

I would talk to your doctor about different ways to take ibrutinib. Some take it in the AM, some in the PM. I believe that some have posted that they take it with food, which might be an issue with absorption. Work with your doctor to find what works for you. One issue with long term medications is compliance. Many patients, not exclusive to blood cancer patients, find something about their medication bothersome and eventually take it incorrectly, change the dose, or stop taking it, but don't tell their doctor. Better to work with your doctor who may be able to suggest a solution to the issue.

Hi Debbie,

The symptoms of GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) commonly includes the pain described as "heartburn" but if your doctor is not including the conditions of hiatal hernia and hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria for those patients who have "silent" GERD you may not be treated properly by medications that reduce stomach acid. If you have too low acid production you may be encouraging H. Pylori growth which is cause of ulcers. Omeprazole, if taken too long, can cause other serious problems so make sure you get a proper diagnosis.

Curiously, Achlorhydria or Hypochlorhydria which is too little stomach acid production causes brittle fingernails. As anyone on Ibrutinib knows, brittle fingernails are a side effect of this drug. I do not suggest there is a correlation of low stomach acid to the taking of Ibrutinib but it is interesting. I had been diagnosed with silent GERD by two ENTs and put on an antihistamine and Omeprazole which made me sicker. I through out the acid lowering meds and started taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before my dinner and the symptoms went from very bad to very mild in about a week.

The majority may have classic GERD but for those who are not getting relief from anti acid therapy you might explore the explanation of too little acid as causative.


CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero

Have you been tested for h.pylori.... might want get that done there are some links to it and ITP in CLL.


No I haven't. What is that?

CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero
in reply to Deborah1363

Its a gut bacteria involved in ulcers etc... ask your GP to test you, simple breath test... there are also links in CLL to falling platelet levels..

More on ITP


Yup heartburn here too. I was told Zantac 75 or 150 but no more than 150 twice a day and before pills and on an empty stomach.

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