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Elevated ammonia levels

Digestive Health | Last Active: Feb 25 1:06pm | Replies (48)

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Thank you jK for responding. My husband has been taking both lactulose and rifaxan for the last 5 years. These are as not effective as they once were. I now go to 2 doctors. The new one put him on zinc supplements which is a drop in the bucket. These drugs and supplements except for rifaxan are from the 1950's. Rifaxan is costly but the expensive drug that I am trying to get my husband is RAVICTI.
Drug companies will not help you with the cost of the drug after you are on Medicare. You have not hit this disgusting thing called the donut hole. I have MS and only use orphan drugs. I get no help from the drug companies since I am on medicare.
So this past year, my husband and I spent $15,000 for medicine. Yes I have applied for assistance but if you get it is very little
I think the doctors are stuck in the 1950 because the new drug are so expensive.
Jk is your cirrhosis caused by hepatitis? Please take that new drug that cures it. Again very expensive but worth it.

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Replies to "Thank you jK for responding. My husband has been taking both lactulose and rifaxan for the..."

@chrissey My cirrhosis was caused by NASH -- nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which happens if fatty liver is not treated. With the diet in our country, this is getting more and more common and has not generally been tested for. I know that it is advised now that if a person has any risk factors -- overweight, diabetes -- they do testing. As it was, by the time I was diagnosed my hepatologist said I probably had cirrhosis for 10 years. Its symptoms start out vague.

I did take xifaxan and did hit the donut hole. When the hepatologist first put me on it I thought I would just take it on months when I really had to be OK, for instance when we might be vacationing or something, but my husband wanted me on it all the time. It was worth the sacrifice, it kept the HE episodes away for about 10 months. When I finally had an episode again I had to add lactulose back into the mix.
I had a liver transplant in September 2016. Hallelujah! When I was hurting in the hospital my husband would joyously remind me
"no more lactulose!" I hated that stuff.
So does your husband have cirrhosis, and is he a transplant candidate?

@stella25 As I mentioned above, it does work, but not nearly as well as xifaxan. I am not familiar with the newer drug that chrissey mentioned. Lactulose makes most people a bit nauseated for a while after taking it, but it helps if you take it in some juice, like cranberry, or soda water which was what I used.
Please feel free to ask me anything else about it... been there.