Heartburn (MS or Medication?)

I’m increasingly having a problem I never used to have, which is heartburn after eating, and especially after drinking strong coffee.

I know some will say: “Well don’t drink strong coffee then”, but I love it, and have always done so (not many cups a day - about three).

I do take quite a lot of oral painkillers - different permutations of all three, of ibuprofen, paracetamol, and codeine. However, at present, and for the past several months, I am well short of the maximum prescribed dose, and don’t always take them every day. The heartburn doesn’t necessarily coincide with days or times I’ve taken painkillers.

I’m also taking baclofen, 3x20mg daily. These ones I always take. I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed heartburn or acid reflux as a possible side-effect of baclofen? It doesn’t seem to be reported as such: on the contrary, it appears baclofen is occasionally prescribed for acid reflux.

I often wash the baclofen down with strong coffee, so is it the coffee, or what I’ve taken with it?

Or does it have nothing at all to do with diet or medication, and is just another insidious little trick MS is playing on me?

I reckon I ought to take out shares in Gaviscon and Zantac, the rate I’m getting through them. I only ever used to have them in the house for one-off binges such as Christmas.


Drink tonic water, I suffer as well and my uncle told me about it, he said the quinine helps, I’m sue that was what it was, anyway I’ve used it for years and it always works

Hi Deanne,

I do like tonic - and the quinine is helpful for another MS-related problem, which is cramps. However, I don’t have any in the house at this moment.


Hi I can’t help wondering if it could be linked to the ibuprofen…the only reason I say this, is because hubby suffers too as a result of it and has to take omeprazol now to cope with it. Xx

Hi MrsH,

Whilst I do acknowledge the possibility, I wouldn’t have thought I’m taking it regularly enough, or at high enough doses, for this to be a problem. One of the reasons I have such a variety of painkillers is so that I can ring the changes, and not be stuck on one thing continuously - thus reducing the risk of side-effects.

The ibuprofen are the high strength 400mg ones, but I don’t think I take them more frequently than every other day, and just the one tablet.

I’m positive I haven’t taken any at all today, although I have had some paracetamol and codeine - but that was more than six hours ago! The heartburn came on just 20 minutes after a sandwich, coffee, and baclofen.



Hi Tina, I suffered heartburn very badly until recently. I’m only on Amitriptyline… and in fact wasn’t even on that when the bad heartburn started. It got so bad that anything and everything gave me acid. A glass of water would do it.

I had constant sore throat from the acid coming up into my throat while asleep & a couple of time it had me choking as it came up into my nose (not pleasant!)

I was keeping the Gaviston company going… believe me!

I went to the GP eventually and she prescribed a 15 mg capsule of Lansoprazole. I take one each morning half an hour before anything else (coffee or breakfast).

It’s like a miracle drug!!! I have not had heartburn once since I started it several months ago… and that included the Xmas period!

The GP said she would prefer to send me for tests to see what’s causing the acid… but I heard nothing more about it. Anyway, I assume if it was something more serious it would have shown itself by now!

I personally think that so many of us on here suffer with acid that there is a link with MS. After all, if the MS can affect everything inc bladder and bowels than why not digestion and stomach acid?

Hope this helps,

PatB x

Hello Tina, I hope you are ‘fighting the good fight’,and making some headway.May I humbly suggest you see your GP and suggest OMEPRAZOLE.I take one tablet each morning and in over 12 months have had no heartburny or,bilious feelings and not the slightest desire to find a Rennie.I take a fair old cocktail of drugs and adore spicy food.

If the stuff was available over the counter, they’d never sell another Rennie or bottle of Gaviscon.

Best wishes,

Wb x

Not sure if MS or meds but I have same problem- I take Gabapentin and Baclofen, and now Omeprazole which is a god send x

Most painkillers are rough on the digestive tract and the longer you take them … etc. Getting older doesn’t help either. My guess is that, if you talk to the GP, he/she’ll prescribe omeprazole or similar whch will do the job for you and probably save you a bit on OTC stuff in the process. That’s worth doing anyway, because any change from ‘normal for you’ in this department (as in any other) is always worth checking out.



I have had 2 separate episodes of horrendous acid reflux. On one of the episodes I spoke to the triage nurse at my gps and described the pain which was radiating up my neck and into my jaw. She was very concerned I was having a heart attack although I was quick to tell her I wasn’t! My gp on both occasions did a test for H pylori and both were positive. I was treated with antibiotics and the problem quickly went away. I was told that many people have H pylori, but because I had taken ibuprofen for so many years I had damaged my stomach lining. I know now that I can’t take ibuprofen as I end up with awful pain again. It may be worth mentioning it when you see your gp. Hope you feel better soon. Deb

Hi, like the previous reply, I also thought i had a heart/angina problem. i was having chest pains which ended up making my teeth hurt! GP sent me to a cardiologist and he dx`d me with acid reflux.

I take 15mg lansoprazole and the problem still occurs, but rarely.

best see your GP, eh?

luv Pollx

I have seen somewhere that this could be caused by a failure to control the various sphincter muscles that separate the gastric juices - and that failure is down to MS.

I get this after certain foods (rich, spicy, ice-cream, and a lot of the things I enjoy). A Rennie a day keeps the acid away!


I’m with wb, I told the gp about my shares in gaviscon and he put me on Omeprazole.

One tablet a day and not a scrap of heartburn since…marvellous stuff.Saves me a fortune.


I’ve had 5 bouts of acid since my whole neuro issues started. I’ve taken lanzeprazole and gaviscon. Ibrubrofen is defo not the best if your prone to heartburn/acid. Try and take your pain meds after food if possible and have some gaviscon too to protect the lining. Don’t lie down after food and don’t eat overfilling meals. Eat little and often.

It’s a difficult one to know for definite whether it’s the MS. The there’s nothing obvious documented I know there’s quitte a few other MSers that have acid/reflux issues. But as Geoff said one the ideas that have been suggested is to do with the sphincter valves.

Hope it’s improving - mines been agony when it’s happened. Touch wood it seems vastly improved since the last lot of tablets but we’ll see.



Hiya Reemz,

Interesting you should post this today. I’ve been absolutely terrible this afternoon - not with acid heartburn, or with pain at all - but with so much gurgling, rumbling, and sploshing, I was worried I was going to have severe diarrhoea.

I had a lunch of sushi - not the raw fish, which I could understand might be a bit rough on the digestion, but teryaki beef. Not much to it, apart from the finely chopped beef and some pretty bland boiled rice, so shouldn’t have caused a major upset. Don’t they even say to eat plain boiled rice, for an upset stomach?

Then took some paracetamol and codeine - NOT on an empty stomach - prior to going out for a brisk walk.

Not been the same since. :frowning:

Glad I wasn’t in company, as the sound-effects have been industrial! Despite not being painful, it’s been very uncomfortable, as I could feel everything moving, the whole time. I’ve taken the complete works: Gaviscon, Zantax, and Windeze (twice).

Interestingly, tonight, when I ate something that should have upset my stomach (spicy sausage pizza, washed down with mojito!), I haven’t had any such bad reaction. So apparently, plain cooked rice is a no-no, whilst spicy pizza washed down with strong, spicy rum cocktail is OK.

Can’t make head nor tail of this.

Now feeling quite inebriated, as I’ve had more than 2.5 measures of spirit, along with baclofen, diazepam, and codeine. (DON’T tell my doc! ). But other than that, the best I’ve felt all day. My stomach doesn’t seem to mind all the garbage I’ve put into it this evening. It only minded when I had a light and healthy lunch.



I have to say my heart burn and acid issues are independant of what I ate too. I had symptoms after plain porridge! Then had a 7 course indulgent taster meal at an indian and was fine. I completely agree it’s all a bit wacky. I had acid issues over 13 years ago which lasted a year and I knew what my triggers were and I could control it just by what I ate and never had any issues again because I was so on the ball - until all this neuro stuff. Now like you I can’t predict what food is going to set me off.

My Fiance laughs and says there must be a pigeon in my tummy!



I’ve got to go back to gp’s tomorrow as I’m still suffering with my throat and upper chest. I have been taking 30 mg lanzaprozol for about 3 weeks now and it doesn’t seem to have worked at all. I had to stop taking it a couple of days ago as I was feeling so unwell with it. Had diorreah, was constantly nauseous amd terribly dizzy and tired. I’ve still got this annoying urge to cough as if someone has punched my throat and is forcing the cough out of me. When I have to use the inhaler he prescribed me also, I find it so difficult as I can’t muster up a deep enough breath to inhale it properly. Trouble is that it’s causing an uncomfortable pain now in my chest which has spread to my shoulders and across my upper back. Feels like a cross between someone pressing on me and when you’ve been bruised. I just seem to be short of breath and that gets worse if I go out in the cold. I don’t know if this is heartburn or acid reflux as I’ve never suffered with them before. I do sympathise with anyone dealing with these sort of issues as it’s really debilitating. yuk :frowning: