Pros: Prevacid 24-hour does what it's supposed to do.
Cons: Too much packaging! What's wrong with one bottle per sale?
My burning question: Why do I have a muscular ache inside my neck (similar to what it feels like when crying) when I sing?
The answer: You have acid reflux (heartburn).
This made no sense to me at all. I was expecting him to diagnose polyps on my vocal chords or tell me that I’m a hypochondriac. What does acid reflux have to do with a sore neck?
There’s a question that I shouldn’t have asked an ENT specialist. He showed me the video he took when he ran the camera wire through my nostril and focused on my vocal chords. It was bad enough that I had to endure the odd, uncomfortable sensation of a wire running down the back of my throat. Once forced to look at my insides, I found myself following directions to sing. Never before in my life, have I performed under these circumstances. I started to sing “Over the Rainbow” and soon realized that my vocal chords were gunky.
Thanks to my personal “Nova” episode, I discovered that my brand of acid reflux rarely forces textbook symptoms of fiery pain. Instead, it quietly bathes my vocal chords while I sleep. Like an oyster, my body produces mucus to protect my vocal chords from acid baths. The doctor gave me a sample of prescription Prevacid along with a prescription. The sample lasted about a week, and within a few days of starting it, I was able to sing pain-free once again. Unfortunately, my insurance wouldn’t cover Prevacid, nor would it cover a generic version. It only covered a generic version of another brand name drug. Although the drug my insurance would cover didn’t really work all that well, it was better than nothing.
Between September 30, 2011, and January 6, 2012, we had no health insurance at all. My doctors were kind enough to help me by phone so that there would be no charge for an office visit. We were trying to come up with a way to keep up my prescription regimen without insurance, and my doctor mentioned that the generic acid reflux drug I took went “over the counter.” I went to the heartburn remedy section, and there it was. Right next to it was Prevacid 24-hour. I asked the pharmacist if this was the same strength as the prescription version. She told me that this prescription also went over the counter. I bought a 28-day supply that night.
Within a few days, I could feel my throat muscles loosen up again. I’m not singing arias, but I wasn’t very good at that anyway. I can enjoy singing without pain or discomfort.
The chemical name for Prevacid is lansoprazole. Each capsule contains 15 milligrams of the chemical and the following inactive ingredients (today – formulas have a habit of changing every time a news release announces a possible danger): colloidal silicon dioxide, D&C red No. 28, FD&C blue No. 1, FD&C green No. 3, FD&C red No. 40, gelatin, hydroxypropyl cellulose, low substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose, magnesium carbonate, methacrylic acid copolymer, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, starch, sucrose, sugar sphere, talc, and titanium dioxide.
Prevacid 24-hour comes in three quantities: 14 capsules, 28 capsules, and 42 capsules. The dosage is one capsule every morning before breakfast. Takeda Pharmacies, the manufacturer advises 14-day courses of treatment and suggests contacting a doctor before taking the drug for an extended period. For that reason, the packaging contains 14-capsule bottles. That means the 28-capsule and 42-capsule boxes contain 2 and 3 bottles, respectively. I’m a little put off by the overblown packaging. I hope that the distributor, Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., will someday come up with green packaging. In the meantime, recycle those little bottles.