older man with heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion

Q. Do you have a diet for helping me survive omeprazole detox? Your book Best Choices alerted me to the dangers of the drug and I want to end my addiction. When I forgot to take the drug two days in a row, I experienced heartburn hell.

Earlier I tried to take myself off the drug, but I could only stand it for a week. Now I can’t skip one day without wanting to die.

A. Stopping powerful acid-suppressing drugs like omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium) or lansoprazole (Prevacid) can be tough. (We have written about this problem before.)

In one study, even people who had never had heartburn before developed it when they abruptly stopped taking omeprazole  (Gastroenterology, July, 2009). The fact that rebound heartburn symptoms can be even worse than the initial problem being treated explains your difficulty stopping the medicine.

In another study, some healthy volunteers took placebo pills while others took pantoprazole (Protonix) for a month. When they stopped their medicine, those who had been on placebo had very little change in their digestive symptoms, while those who had taken pantoprazole had significant digestive distress (American Journal of Gastroenterology, July, 2010).

Company in Your Misery

You have plenty of company. Many visitors have reported trouble getting off omeprazole or other PPI drugs. KH reported:

“A few months ago I went to my doctor complaining of occasional nausea and stomach pain a few hours after going to bed. After having a blood test done to ensure nothing serious was going on, she suggested that I take Prilosec OTC for a 28 day cycle to repair my stomach lining. It seemed to work great! Last week was my first week Prilosec free and even though I only took it for 28 days my body was a mess.

“I had nausea and stomach pain frequently, had bad headaches, felt weak and generally had no energy. I went back to the doctor at the end of the week and she suggested I go back on the Prilosec. I have been really hesitant to do so because she gave me no end date, only told me I should keep taking it as long as I needed. I found this site just in time! I will definitely be looking up natural remedies to cure my issues.”

Joe discussed this phenomenon with NPR reporter Richard Knox several years ago. Gradual reduction of the dose, if possible, is a good tactic.

Tips for Getting Off Omeprazole


The effort to stop the medication is worthwhile. Such proton pump inhibitor drugs (PPIs) have multiple frightening side effects, especially when used for a long time. The most recent bad news on this front is that such medications can increase the risk of a heart attack by about 20% (PLoS One, June 10, 2015).

In addition to avoiding the foods that generally cause you heartburn, you might want to experiment with a low-carb diet. One small study found that when obese individuals followed a very low-carb diet, similar to Dr. Atkins’ recommendations, their reflux symptoms improved and they had less acid splashing up into the lower part of the esophagus (Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Aug. 2006).


A number of people have reported that eating a small quantity of almonds after a meal can ward off symptoms of heartburn. Dr. Crystal wrote:

“I have a new patient with severe heartburn. (I find taking a person off their allergens usually clears it up permanently.)

“I saw her yesterday and she had a strong aggravation during our visit. I watched her stop it almost immediately with 2 almonds. She says it works every time.”

We should caution that some individuals report almonds make their symptoms worse, although many report that it helps as much as medication, if not more. Stella suggests sipping almond milk for reflux relief.


Some readers are enthusiastic about broccoli as a heartburn remedy. One fellow who calls himself Luke Skywalker reported that cutting out meat, flour and sugar and drinking a cup of freshly made vegetable juice twice a day was his ticket to alleviating heartburn symptoms. Another visitor wrote:

“During the first two weeks I ate 1/2 cup of broccoli a day (sometimes raw, sometimes cooked). I was able to stop taking Prilosec.

“Now I make sure to eat broccoli at least twice a week. I haven’t had any problems with reflux in more than a year.”


Other possible dietary remedies include fermented foods. One person wrote that drinking homemade sauerkraut juice eased symptoms quickly, perhaps due to the beneficial probiotic microorganisms in sauerkraut. Such bacteria have been shown to relieve digestive symptoms (Gut Microbes, Nov.-Dec., 2010).

Other remedies that people have tried and liked include eating half a banana, drinking bitters in club soda, swallowing a spoonful of yellow mustard and chewing sugarless gum. There are even studies demonstrating the value of chewing sugar-free gum to fight reflux symptoms (Journal of Dental Research, Nov., 2005; Journal of Dietary Supplements, June, 2015).

Herbal Remedies

One very helpful botanical medicine is deglycyrrhizinated licorice, DGL. Glycyrrhizin is one of the active compounds in licorice and gives licorice root its sweetness, but it can cause side effects such as high blood pressure. Removing the glycyrrhizin allows other ingredients in licorice to go to work calming heartburn symptoms. The usual recommendation is to take DGL twenty minutes before each meal.

Cayenne pepper extract is less common as a heartburn remedy, but a number of readers have testified that taking cayenne pills or adding Tabasco or other hot pepper concentrate to a beverage can prevent or reverse the discomfort of heartburn.

Another botanical medicine that is often very helpful is ginger. Ginger has been used for centuries to ease digestive distress, especially nausea but also reflux symptoms. We suspect that ginger is responsible for the benefit so many people have noted from using “Persimmon Punch.”

Surprisingly, many people find that taking apple cider vinegar in a glass of water alleviates symptoms quickly. And of course, dissolving a half teaspoon of baking soda in four ounces of water and drinking it is an old-fashioned but effective heartburn remedy. Don’t overdose, though and don’t combine the baking soda and vinegar; that would create a dramatically foaming concoction reminiscent of a grade-school volcano project.

Our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, has details on many of these remedies.

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  1. Christy

    I’m 27 years old and have been on Omeprazole for about 8-10 years now. First started on 20mg, then after few years went to 40mg, and then was taking (2) 40mg a day on top of tums or whatever else. I got a scope done about 4-5 years ago: I have a hiatal hernia and esophagitis.

    I recently had someone ask me why in the world I have been on this for so long that you’re not supposed to be. So I started to research and realize I’ve caused so much damage to my body. I am in shock about how bad this medicine is for you. Anyway, I’m on my 2nd day without it. I’ve read and read and read not knowing where to start with my diet and other supplements to take.

    So I cut out all soda and coffee. I’m only drinking water, that’s it, and trying to watch what I eat. Today is my 2nd day off, and I feel terrible: bad chest pain, fire coming up my throat, feel and look so bloated. I’ve taken one Ranatidine and papaya and tums. I NEED HELP FROM YOU GUYS. I’m so upset and don’t know which direction to go and what to take or eat. Please help!! :(

  2. Paul
    Boulder Creek, Ca.

    Been having reflux issues since my 20’s.
    At the time I was told that a hiatial hernia was the culprit.
    Of course, things were good or worse depending on what I ate.
    Along come Prilosec and my worries are over!
    Instead of a 20 mg tab, I discovered that cut in half (10 mg) worked as well as an entire tab.
    But you know, after a couple of years and weird physical changes, I decided to get away from Prilosec.
    Boy… was I in for a shock! All the typical reports of magnified burn and discomfort are not exaggerated.
    Then my employment contract ran out and I was unemployed. This meant staying at home and doing projects and chores, etc.
    Within 5 months I had lost 20 lbs. and was OFF the Prilosec!
    No dietary changes at all except less junk food from the vending and lunch trucks.
    Still do a mild bi-carbonate of soda to take the edge off, but that is all!
    So I don’t know about anybody else but it appears getting out of commute traffic of 2 hours a day along with escape from the natural cadence of dealing with road idiots, made a difference on this end.
    End of Story

  3. Barbara
    Manchester. U. K.

    So relieved to find this site and realise I am not alone !! My doctor took me off Omeprazole a few days ago and I have been trying to do it “cold turkey”. Will be following some of these tips!! Bless you all x

    • Cheryl

      I was on Omeprazole 20 mgs for one year and insisted on getting off of it. The doctor agreed to drop me down to 10 mgs but it was less than two weeks before I stopped entirely. From day one I did not experience the rebound effect, to my amazement. It has been two months and I have not had any problems. Prayer certainly was the major factor no symptoms arose since I was dealing with gerd, hiatal hernia, and severe gastritis inflammation. Secondly, I began drinking an 8 oz bottle of S. Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water daily (though not as often lately). It has a lot of alkalinity to it and if I feel the least touch of an acidic stomach, I drink a few sips to combat it and it works fast. I don’t tend to feel anything acidic during the day but there likely is a small amount at times. The only thing I notice is a little of that frothy white mucus first thing in the morning but then much of the day it is clear. What I am dealing with since being off of Omeprazole, however, is too much saliva forming in my mouth . Reading about that on the web does indicate gerd as one of the causes of it. Hopefully this saliva problem will dissipate in time! Best wishes!

  4. Brian

    I took Omeprazole for 8 1/2 years. It started when I was having daily heartburn and I went to my physician, Originally I was advised to take a two week course. It helped greatly, but once the two weeks was over, the heartburn came back with a vengence. I went back to my physician who said, if the meds work, keep taking them. For the next two years I consulted my doctor and each visit was told to keep taking it. In year three I switched doctors and was told to go see a specialist. I was scoped and the specialist found nothing. His advice was to wean myself off as quickly as possible. That began my journey of trying to quit this medcine. Originally I tried cold turkey, and that was a night mare. I had many sleepless nights and discomfort. I tried every home remedy available, from black liquorice extract to venegar, etc. etc. but no luck. I tried taking a pill every other day, but no good. After many failed attempts I stopped trying, but i didn’t stop reading and educating myself. The one thing that I learned was that I’d never really asked why I had gotten so much heartburn in the first place. I have since then concluded that I did 3 very specific thngs that contributed to the original problem. 1. I took NSAIDs in high doses daily 2. I consumed massive amounts of artificial sweetner and 3. Ihad recently quit smoking. Ironically, in my attempt to quit smoking I switched to diet sodas which caused headeaches and upset stomach, so I took Alka seltzer and advil by the bucket full. That combination coupled with the fact that I was now producing less saliva daily ( yes smokers produces significantly more of this ) caused wretched heartburn. Ok so now I know what to avoid, so how do I get off of the meds? Here is what I did. I bought a pill cutter. and I cut 1/4 off of the pill and kept the cut of portion. I alternated a whole pill and a 3/4 pill for 6 weeks. Then i just took 3/4 pill a day for 6 weeks. then stepped down to alternating 1/2 and 3/4, so forth and so on. I am now 3 years without a pill an doing great. I can even eat spicy foods and acidic things

    • Char
      Bay Area, California

      I am trying very hard to get off Omeprazole!! Been on 20mg for about 11 months. Never did have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The doctor was “convinced” that I did since I’ve got chronic coughing and a hiatal hernia. Stopped Omep for 3 days. Had HORRIBLE rebound reflux!! Food came up to the top of my throat, burning like I couldn’t believe!! Solid nausea. Hours and hours like this. All night. Back on the Omep as soon as I knew I wouldn’t throw up.

      My titrate plan for getting off: Open capsule, and take out 9 of the 18 pellets. That was Day 1, so 10mg instead of 20. Next day, take 12 pellets, so 2/3 the dose. Next day 9 pellets. Today, Day 4, I took 11 pellets instead of the 12. I want OFF this drug!!! I will continue down. Probably 9,11, 9, 11, then 8, 10, 8, 10, etc. I will update here!! I hope I can help others, AND I hope I have a positive outcome myself!!

      It was only a week ago I had that horrible rebound effect. Which was when I said “Never Again” to this hideous, insidious drug!!

      Other disturbing symptoms: my feet have been numb and tingling for 2 months. Saw doc about it. Tested then for diabetes; don’t have it. Doc had no answer. Hands are now starting to tingle and go numb. It’s the Omep, I’m near positive. Also getting some edema in hands.

      Lifestyle changes I MUST make while titrating down: NO eating in the evening, period! Lose weight, like 30 lbs! Start exercising!!! Get Slippery Elm powder to take, plus other herbs to coat, soothe esophagus, etc. Research them.

  5. David
    Corpus Christi

    I want to get off Omeprazole. I’ve been taking omeprazole for 7 months 40mg/day, after internal bleeding, black blood. Exam, camera down the throat, showed inflammation of the stomach. Lab tests came back negative regarding a sample from stomach. I’ve changed my diet dramatically, lost over 25 pounds, only occasionally have stomach pain, not much pain, just uncomfortable. Still, afraid to stop the medication, don’t wish to have the bleeding again, emergency room, colonoscopy or the test down the throat, but want to get off Omeprazole.
    I have always been a worrier, am starting meditation, will not take pills for this.

    • The People's Pharmacy

      Getting off omeprazole requires patience, but it can be done. Now that your bleeding episode is behind you, ask your doctor for help weaning off gradually, and read our Guide to Digestive Disorders for tips.

  6. Linda

    I need some help, please. I am currently weaning off of Omeprazole 40 mg, twice a day. Have been on this for 3 years for gastritis, hiatal hernia and GERD. I am down to 1 pill every other day now, and I do not have heartburn, but a very full, bloated feeling in my upper abdomen area. I also was told I have gallstones and my gallbladder needs to be removed, but I refused. Does anyone know why I am so bloated and what the pain is from? Is it from weaning off of Omeprazole, or what? I cannot stand the feeling and tempted to go back on the omeprazole. Can anyone offer any help? Thanks!!

    • Carol

      Linda, several years ago, I also, had the full, bloated, and miserable feeling across the upper stomach and my doctor treated me for depression . It soon went away and I got off the meds.

    • Jeanie

      I’m hooked on omeprazole as well and and in the process of weaning myself off. But in regards to your bloating, I suggest asking your doctor, or doing research on digestive enzymes, not to be confused with probiotics. I had my gallbladder removed and experience lots of abdominal bloating both before and after removal. My surgeon suggested digestive enzymes. When I take one the bloating dissipates within minutes. Sometimes I want also add a Gas X till as well. But research a lot.

  7. Carol

    I have tried to quit the medication, and I too, have had unbelievable indigestion, sore stomach and some depression. I had to start taking it again.

    • Cornell

      After the first hellish week, I went back on Prilosec for 2 days. Then I found this website. I have been helped immensey by your suggestions, comments, etc. I was fortunate to find a grocer that carried candied fruit, and bought papaya. I forgot to mention that I have completely lost my appetite. I haven’t been eating vegetables, and ate a lot of very delicate cheese. Now I have a good supply of vegetables, and yesterdays main meal consisted a mixture of carrots, green beans , and corn. I also drink tea, and lots of water. Yesterday evening I took a chance and drank a nutritional drink that I drank when I couldn’t eat. I have had NO problems. My stomach is calm so far and I seem to feel calmer, also. I don’t have as much back pain, and painful arthritis. I shopped yesterday, and for the first time, woke up without feeling my body wracked with pain. Today, I’m skipping the Prilosec and will let you know what happens. Hang in there, folks. You’re in my prayers.

      • Carol

        I have been off Prilosec for about 4 weeks, and I am getting close to success. I had my first cup of coffee this a.m. but it doesn’t taste right, and not as I remembered it. I also had a slice of cake. I chew Tums after I eat, and drink lots of water. I also eat mild cheese, and use olive oil with butter spread on my vegetables and bread. I rarely feel acidic symptoms and have pretty much over cramping pains after I eat. I still eat dried papaya after eating. I feel very fortunate and thankful.

        • Carol

          I wanted to add to my recent post:
          I still don’t have much appetite, in which case I drink a nutritional drink and eat better the next day.

  8. Eric

    Hello! I am 44 years old and I have been on Prilosec for close to 10 years. I recently started drinking lemon and honey in warm water every morning to help lose weight. The only problem was that I was introducing more acid into my system which gave me more heartburn, but knowing that the lemon and honey was natural and the Prilosec wasn’t meant that I had a decision to make. So I chose to get off of the Prilosec, and like many of you I went through a week of hell.

    If you choose to get off of Prilosec PLEASE don’t get discouraged because after your week of hell you will notice things have changed with your body. For instance the first thing I noticed was that it seemed that my stomach went from feeling like a bowling ball to feeling like a soft ball and I lost six pounds within a week. Secondly there were foods that I would eat while on Prilosec such as Italian beef that would give me heartburn anyway, and now I can eat it without any problems. Third when we would go out to eat I would always feel like I was going to throw up, and only eat about half of my food, and just sit there thinking about whether I need to go to the bathroom to throw up or not. This feeling does not allow you to have a pleasurable evening.

    I could go on all day about how good I feel since giving up Prilosec, but I’m sure it is different for everyone. This is my advice on how to succeed in getting off of Prilosec. Start with a half of a fresh squeezed lemon in a warm glass of water with 2 or 3 tbsp. of honey every morning. Just a reminder you will feel a little burn after you drink it but it will go away shortly. Stay away from soda, candy, and processed foods, as they seem to cause heartburn. Secondly a healthy diet is important, for example when eating at home only cook with the leanest beef that you can buy, and include fruit and vegetables. Why you ask? Think about grandma and grandpa, did they have heartburn? no, Why? because they didn’t have processed foods back then. It was meat, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit which all contain nutrients to stabilize your body’s ph level. The human body can only use the nutrients that you put in it, most if the nutrients have been cooked or boiled out of processed foods, therefore try to use as much fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat as you can.

    You might not totally get rid of heartburn or acid reflux this way so I have one more suggestion. Do you remember the old saying “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” ? Well in the afternoon or evening or after a meal if you start to feel like you are getting heartburn try eating an apple. Doing this somehow stabilizes the acid in your stomach and the burn will go away.

  9. Charles

    I changed from Prilosec to Nexium, on occasion, and I swear, man, that is like a bullet, a heavy military drug I might say as well, but I’m scared from my comfortable health condition and I think to go back to that Prilosec!

    • Danny

      Thank you all for the ideas and suggestions. I am starting today my way to get off Omeprazole.
      I am 49 years old and takings omeprazole for 3 years for ulcers treatment after a endoscopy. So four years later and heeled ulcers, but now I have I am trying to get off Ompz, because last year I started to have rip pain, a lot of back pain, leg cramps, and after a regular physical exam it was found a fat liver, and I don’t drink, I don’t eat junk foods, I exercise at least twice a week and was feeling little unusual tired. I had so I started to read about long term Ompz use and thanks I found this site.
      Hope I have success to get off Ompz. Thanks again.☺


  10. Lisa
    Rochester, NY

    As a chronic alcoholic, and a smoker for years, I went to the Drs. and needed something for my cough. He ordered prilosec and did not even bother to recommend how long I should take it for. Of course I quit drinking and smoking, so half the battle with GERD was over, however my cough continued. I found out later that using ppi’s is not safe in the long term and their are natural remedies for GERD.

    I take DGL before meals, aloe and peppermint caps on an empty stomach, apple cider vinegar and probiotics in my diet. Since I’ve had a flair up, I will start taking Aloe juice, and want to try that mastic gum. Hopefully I can get this GI problem under control and get on with my life!! Lisa

  11. Sallys

    I am still on my very long journey to get off of Omeprazole. It is very hard despite taking DGL and other remedies. I do find that three plain cream crackers help when the acid is very bad.

    For the person who said, “Just eat a better diet”, guess what – I do! I don’t eat junk food, I rarely eat meat or fatty foods, and I don’t drink soda or wine. Nothing helps when it is really bad, except the cream crackers!

    If this continues, it has now been about 8 months, I may go back to the doctors and try and take the Omeprazole every 3 days with DGL in the middle. I can’t go on like this, even porridge makes me ill. I am at the end of my tether with it.

    If I go back I will insist on a check of my Magnesium levels first, and then every 12 months.

  12. Rachel
    Silver Spring, MD

    GOT OFF PRILOSEC! I wanted to post my success story here. Especially after reading so many of these other posts and getting every little bit of info I could from them. Yes I had success, yes it took 8 weeks, yes it required multiple supplements, and yes there were some bad, nauseous moments.

    In a nutshell, here’s my history. For many years I had GERD or acid reflux. Took Prilosec daily for over two years but still had reflux and grit. Also took Tums as need, slept on my left side, had a wedge to elevate my head. I also became very constipated at times. It seemed like stomach motility had stopped, and food would just sit in my belly for hours. This makes sense since stopping stomach acid production would stop digestion.

    I had once, in the past, stopped Prilosec cold-turkey, and on the second day had the most unbelievable acid attack in the middle of the night. With acid welling into my mouth, through my nostrils. Uncontrollable coughing up lots of phlegm and acid into the toilet while sobbing and choking. Went on for over an hour until I scarfed down massive numbers of Tums and took the Prilosec. I think you have to experience this to know what I’m talking about.

    This happens because the acid producing cells in the stomach keep multiplying in response to Prilosec stopping acid production. So you end up with massive numbers of suppressed acid producing cells. When you finally stop Prilosec (or other acid reducing medication) ALL the cells start producing more acid than could ever be naturally produced.

    Here’s the quick version of what I did. Believe me, I followed other people’s advice on this, am grateful to them, and now want to help others with my experience.

    1) I bought chewable DGL supplements, papaya enzyme tablets, and Tums antacid. Plus a week long, daily pill dispenser container to keep me on track with the varying doses of Prilosec. 2 smaller pill containers to carry the DGL and enzymes in my purse while eating out. A pill splitter is also helpful.

    The DGL, Papaya and Tums “arsenal” was someone else’s idea. Thanks so much. Have this READY before starting as you will need it.

    2) I split the Prilosec tablets in half. I took the 1/2 pill every morning, first thing, for 2 weeks.

    3) I then filled my pill dispenser for every other day. I took the 1/2 dose every other day.

    4) I then split the Prilosec into 1/4 dose. This was trickier, but I used the pill splitter first, then a paring knife. I took the 1/4 dose for 4 weeks.

    NOTE: After 2 weeks, I had tried to go to every other day with the 1/4 pill, but I couldn’t do it. Too much acid and nausea. Also had another health issue during this period (Lyme diagnosis and antibiotics) so just went easy on myself.

    5) After 4 weeks at 1/4 dose, stopped taking all Prilosec.

    6) Off Prilosec and continuing with the DGL and Papaya, and regime of eating smaller and less protein-based meals.

    For every meal I took the chewable DGL before eating and Papaya Enzymes after eating. I did not skip meals or snacks – thanks to someone else’s advice. If you get overly hungry the acid starts filling and you get nauseous. I ate small meals, high in veggies, fruits and carbs. Do not overeat protein and fatty fried foods. Do not stuff yourself. Absolutely, do not eat before going to bed or late in the evening. Avoid red meat and eat small amounts of poultry and fish instead. Heavy protein requires acid to digest, and at this point your digestion and acid production are very messed up.

    Drink plenty of water and other liquids like tea or soup – but not so much as to overfill your belly. Whenever acid or grit starts welling up, sip some water. Carry a water bottle with you, and drink as needed.

    Take Tums as needed whenever too much acid is being produced.

    I had tried taking ACV (apple cider vinegar) remedy during this time, and realized this didn’t make sense. Just get off the Prilosec, not complicate this process. Pamper yourself, let this one goal be the main focus, and not muddy the waters with other cures.

    There was nausea at many points of this cure. Every time I reduced a dose, there would be a few episodes of nausea and dizziness. Usually around and 2nd and 3rd day. Just take more DGL and papaya, plus Tums. Slow down. Some of the dizziness happened after trimming hedges or scrubbing the tub or other housework. All the vigorous arm movements and stretching my arms seemed to get my belly jumbled up. Then I would get quite dizzy and nauseous. This also happened when I tried to reduce the 1/4 dose to every other day (see NOTE under #4.)

    There were a few times I simply had to use a Fleet suppository for constipation. With all the small meals, dietary changes, nausea, digestion not working – I needed relief. Again, be forgiving of yourself, and make getting off Prilosec your main focus. Do what you have to do to stick with the plan of reducing, then stopping Prilosec.

    If it gets really bad, on that day, just take another Prilosec DOSE. So another 1/2 pill or 1/4 pill. And forgive yourself, and stick to plan the next day. For me, there was a lot of shuffling of split pills in my week long container. Do what you have to do, and don’t let one day’s backsliding get you off track.

    I stayed on the 1/4 dose for 2 extra weeks because I needed to slow down at that point. Do what you need to do to ultimately get off. If that means extending a reduction period – do what works for you. I had planned for 6 weeks, it took 8. That’s not failure.

    (BTW – I had also started taking a high-quality vitamin B and high-quality magnesium supplement during the 2nd month. Look up what high-quality B is and high-quality usable magnesium is. Not cheap, but I felt some of my other issues could benefit from these. Not sure if this helped or hindered the Prilosec withdrawal. But one of the side effects of long term Prilosec dependency is B and magnesium deficiencies. ?.)

    Good luck everyone.

  13. J

    I went on a low carb but also take niacin nonflush 500 mg once a day and niacin regular 250 mg once a day at night. This is known to control acid reflux. I had the same problem trying to ween off omeprazole, but after niacin, I took omep 3 days a week for 3 weeks and then just stopped and had no problem at all. I had taken omep for 2 to 3 years, don’t recall. But yeh, it is really hard to get off of if you go cold turkey.

    So stay away from processed carbs and then after 6 months try the niacin thing. that’s what worked for me. of course always consult with your doctor before deciding to come off of any medication. :)

    • Lory
      United States

      I never had heartburn in my entire life prior to starting on Omeprazole to troubleshoot a tickle in my throat. Now, trying to go off it is indeed a special kind of hell! Thank you for the tips, everyone!

    • Georges

      Thank you for your feedback . Today is my first day getting off omeprazole 40mg a day after 2years . I’m following your plan and I hope it will work .

  14. Gary

    I was on prilosec for 8 yrs and started getting hip fracture. My doc said keep taking them anyway but I just stopped in one day and had no side effects and my hip felt better. I told him and he was upset and said to get back on them. I noticed samples, posters, etc all over his walls as he is a slave to the pharmaceutical companies and so I told him NO. He wrote me a letter telling me to find another gastro doc as I wasn’t a good patient that didn’t follow his advice (orders!)

    It has been 10 months now since I had prilosec and I feel fine with just some tums once in awhile for my hiatial hernia and gastritis.

  15. Jane

    I was on Omeprezole for three years – because of acid reflux. No problems- but heard it was very bad for you to stay on them because your bones start to thin and you leach calcium. I spoke to my doctor and he said no one should be on those things long term I tried to come off with little success – the acid reflux was 100 times worse.

    Then someone told me about Mastic gum that you buy in capsule form I took this along with pro-biotic and it did help – somewhat. Someone else told me about DGL capsules and these were fantastic ! I chewed one before each meal – problem sorted? Well no not really because I have just read that long term use of this is bad for you. I give up!! Looks like it’s back to the Omeprezole!!

    • Terry Graedon

      Jane, using DGL to help with the withdrawal from omeprazole should not be a problem. You might not need to keep using it forever.

  16. Jim

    I commented way back in 2012 about my then experience with Omeprazole and Nexium. This was before my Gall Bladder was removed, May 2013 (chronic Cholecystitis) with the gall bladder totally blocked with 21 small finger nail sized stones. As the surgeon had also found a hiatus hernia with signs of reflux during the removal, I was put onto Esomep 40mg tablets to take daily. The healing and recovery from the Gall Bladder removal including a re-section of the duodenum at the same time was pretty draining over the next 6 months..
    No improvement to my general health at all after 6 months, still the awful stomach pains, bloating, sleepless nights with leg muscle cramps each time I took a Nexium along many other side effects until June this year. I had by then then Googled “Side Effects from taking PPI`S Long Term” and what I found ( many sources) was symptomatic of what I was suffering, were the effects of long term usage (14 years in my case) of Omeprazol, Nexium, Patoprazol etc.. I discussed my finding with my own doctor and he said “stop taking the Esomeprazol immediately”. I asked him what problems I could expect by stopping them cold turkey and his answer was nil. OK. I stopped taking them but three weeks later had tremendous stomach pains going all round my back, was heaving like I have never had to do in my life before (I am 74). Emergency crew came, gave me a shot of morphine which stopped the pain and the heaving and carted me off to hospital for 5 days. Blood tests, x-rays, CT and MRI scans then a camera down the throat (5th day) showed nothing apart from a little gastritis, no ulcers, no reflux, nada. However I had again been put back onto Pantoprazol this time and three different hospital doctors insisted I take them “for my own good”. Stopping these things suddenly has not been an easy thing, the previous postings here I can only agree with. Stop taking them slowly.
    Having stopped the acid blockers all I get is a sour feeling rising in the throat sometimes after eating. Take a half teaspoon of baking powder or bicarbonate of soda in water, chew a Tums, or Rennie to deal with this. A soup spoon of ACV along with a spoonful of honey in water is very helpful.
    Aloe Vera juice is also great as is beetroot and or carrot juice as tummy soothers.
    Being off the acid blockers has given me a huge boost which I am positive will continue.

  17. SAB

    Thank you! I will add the Aloe Vera Juice. I was doing better for about a week and have suffered a setback. On the positive side the pain isn’t nearly as bad as it was in July, but the throat and chest irritation and the bubbling gas feeling have made a big hit on my morale. I will keep at!

  18. TF

    Get yourself also some Aloe Vera juice to drink in the moment. You will get rid of this. I found relief by taking digestive enzymes with every meal and giving up grains and legumes.

  19. SAB

    I was on Prilosec 20 mg 2x/ day for 4 months due to gastritis from taking NSAIDs. I found while on them I was having digestive side effects. So when my endoscopy came back clear, against my doctors wishes I decided to stop. I weaned myself off by pouring beads out 3/4, 1/2, then a quarter over 4 weeks. Every time I went down I would have mild reflux.
    When I stopped the pills completely I felt great! Better than I had in four months. So great in fact that I decided to eat spicy food. BIG MISTAKE. I have been slammed with the worst reflux and stomach irritation that has lasted 4 days and counting. I am guessing this was my final rebound that I exacerbated with the spicy food.
    I’m taking Pepzin, DGL, and probiotics (as well as eating well) in the hopes I can end this maddening pain. Anyone have a similar experience? How long did it last? I’m taking comfort that since most people don’t repost they have succeeded in ridding themselves of this awful medicine.

  20. SB

    I’m on Prilosec and have a history of needing something for heartburn, stomach difficulties, for a long, long time. I previously used Pepcid-AC and Rolaids/Tums for control, with varying degrees of full success, but with almost no acid reflux issues. I was in for a colonoscopy, and was asked if I had other digestive problems, I mentioned the long-term use of Pepcid, Pepcid-AC, and antacids, I was also then scheduled for an endoscopy.
    The resulting information led my doctor to prescribe Prilosec, 20mg once a day. I’ve been on it since mid-February 2014. I’ve quit taking any other drugs to help with heartburn. Within the time that I’ve been on the drug to date, I’ve had three horrible acid reflux events, where I had to sit up for four to five hours, sipping water, gargling with water, eating Tum/Rolaids, coughing, spitting, the whole thing, until I could lay elevated on my back in bed to go back to sleep so I could go to work the next day. I know you’ve all been there. It’s not something I would wish on anyone. And, I already knew that the antacids interfered with calcium absorption as about 8 months ago I fell and broke my leg and wrist, and after a bone-scan, I am diagnosed with osteopenia.
    I haven’t taken the prescribed drug, and I’d been hoping to help my chances of better calcium absorption by getting off all antacid medication. Didn’t happen. With all this said, I woke up today feeling horrible. I’ve been able eat or drink anything since being on the Prilosec, and needless to say, I ate and drank too much or ate the wrongs things and drank too much or both and was miserable.
    I am bloated, lethargic, nauseated, and more and just feeling lousy all around. I came to the internet for suggestions on getting off of Prilosec because this horrible sickness never happened before I got on that drug. I’m not saying that I don’t have a lot to improve to help myself, I’m just saying that this drug isn’t helping me in the big scheme of things. I’m going to change my diet, try to cut back on the drug, use some of the suggested supplements, and even do the wheat/grain and dairy products testing to ensure that I’m not reacting to those things too, in order to get my life back again and feel better and hopefully get healthier.
    I’m going to try my best to do this and I hope in a few weeks or so, I can tell you how much better I feel and what I had to do to get there. Good luck my friends with your choices in this regard! I wish you the best success! And I hope to be able to tell you of mine soon.

  21. CAH

    To w.d.–I’m glad for you that your experience was such a positive one, but many others (myself included) have had a far different result when discontinuing one of the PPI drugs.
    The heartburn I had after stopping Prilosec was worse by far than my initial problem. It took a number of trial and error efforts and some grit to finally get away from it completely. I would not tell everyone to expect the same experience–because, as you pointed out, not everyone does. But for those who do get the “rebound” effect when stopping the drug, believe me, it is miserable and real.

  22. w.d.

    The cold hard facts are you don’t need to ween off prilosec. I had GERD/heartburn/acid reflux for 2 years. I thought u needed to ween off after reading all this online. Talked to 3 different docs and they all said u DON’T need to ween off. Just watch what you eat. I stopped drinking soda. stopped eating spicy foods, stopped eating as much junk and changed my diet completely. My Gerd/AR is gone. Once in a while if I slip up and eat something to risque I get a little heartburn but that’s normal. I take a tums and I’m good to go. Stop worrying about weening off and change your diet. The results will be remarkable!!

    • Joe

      Seconded. I’ve done the same, and I’ve seen pluses that go above and beyond my digestive system. I’m currently on my way off Prilosec (I even went and got approval from my Dr.) while taking probiotics and hope I don’t have rebound. 16 days after halving the dose the only symptom so far is heightened anxiety, but that’s nothing I haven’t dealt with before. Fingers crossed for the rest!

      • LDee

        I have been on Omeprazole for over 7 years and I need to find a way to get off of it. I tried and I only lasted two days…the pain led me back to taking it. I am wondering if slowly lowering the dose and adding some of these natural remedies (ginger tea, apple cider vinegar) is a good start. Any thoughts?

  23. MLH

    I’ve been taking Prilosec for about 10 years for acid reflux. Decided to finally get off them about 2 months ago, so slowly started cutting back to 2/3, then 1/2, then a 1/4 pill every few weeks. I’m currently about to complete my first week off of them, and symptoms aside, I’m already noticing a big difference in how I feel.

  24. BW

    Ive been on omeprazole for past couple of years now for reflux. I had them previously but lost weight, stopped them with no problems. Losing weight again and want to stop the meds as I have been having a lot of muscle spasms, cramps and tickle in back of throat. I can usually go about 4 days before pain starts. Am currently taking 20mg every 2 days and seem ok. Have asked GP to prescribe 10mg capsules and see how I go. Hopefully if I lose another stone there will be less pressure on my hernia.

  25. Dave

    S.F. – I also thought a weaning method would work for me. I have been on Omeprazole for a year – 20 mg capsules twice a day. I had radically adjusted my diet and eliminated most acid foods. I created a schedule and spent time each week opening the capsules an removing the tiny medicine beads, and then put the capsules back together. I created a schedule to step down by four beads each week, every other day. This was going well for 5 weeks and then suddenly -bam- big rebound affect. I experienced a lot of acid that caused reflux and pain in lower abdomen area. So I went back on full strength. Very disappointed. I would really like to get off this drug soon. Anyone else try this method with successful results?

  26. GGF

    I have been reading this post with interest and have started to ween myself of Omeprazole, which I have only been on for about 6 months. Acid reflux was causing some terrible symptoms that are typical but rarely talked about: neck pain, coughing, sore throat and muscle pain.
    Now to the interesting part… I finally found out that I have a problem with gluten. I don’t know yet if it is an allergy or full blown Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease that can do mad damage to the lining of the small intestine and can cause, you guessed it, acid reflux. After going gluten free all of the symptoms have subsided, and if I accidentally eat gluten, even a smidge of it, the symptoms instantly reappear. The lesson here is to pay close attention to food allergies, especially grain allergies. Reactions to rice, soy, wheat, oats and barley are pretty common but they are such staples in the American diet that one hardly thinks about them.
    I tried quitting Omeprazole cold turkey, but no dice. I was back on the meds in two days. It has been causing my mouth, nose and throat to dry up like a have been dining on sand and concrete dust.
    I am going to try some of the methods posted here. Will keep you updated. Thanks for the great advice.

  27. RDaniel

    I have had a Hiatial Hernia for 35 years. I had a panic attack and went to hospital, took too long for doctor to attend so I went home and eventually discovered that it was my diaphragm reversing from concave to convex making me short of breath. But the hernia was getting bad so I went to the docs. She promptly prescribed me Omeprazole. I had gastroscopy, ECG, bloods, chest X ray the works, found nothing. Meanwhile I have shaky legs and lower abdomen, unable to pass wind, feel just crap all the time for five months, thinking I’ve got some rare cancer they’ve missed etc.
    Eventually I realised that the only ‘constant’ in all this was the meds., I stopped them and have gradually recovered, I’m fine most of the time but seem to have mild ‘attacks’, instead, some of it is trapped wind but it’s loads better. It has taken 2 months and no one told me to come off slowly. Another doctor gave me Ranitidine but as soon as I realised it was the same stuff different brand name did not take them either. The doctor tried to tell me it was IBS an stress related. I replied, well, I’ve been a professional counsellor for 25 years, I think I know how to manage stress. Doctors and drug companies are only interested in pushing stuff at you, they don’t care about me as I’m 63, I’m not bothering to go back. I’m managing the reflux with sensible eating and liquid Gaviscon double action now. I’d love to know if anyone else has had the empty feeling and shakiness in lower abdomen and upper thighs, the Internet is full of lies about ‘no side effects’ that’s utter rubbish.

  28. Eh

    Hi carol
    I read your story. I just want to add that I am on PPIs had my gallbladder out last year and have been to varying drs over the two years because I felt very very I’ll. All tests were negative and I had had a gut full pardon the pun. The last time I was bellied over and a random dr prescribed Zoloft… if I was feeling stressed out and anxious due to my chronic pain this now doubled my stress!
    I rang the dr that night and told him straight out that I didn’t need drugs I desperately need to find out what was causing my chronic symptoms! I was now on a mission 2 wks with the help of a gfriend who’s hubby is a dr inset out to do many more tests. I however randomly decided to do a lactose and fructose test and voila I am fructose intolerant and have been feeling on top of the world…. I saw my gastrinteroligist and he quoted you are a very clever lady! Albeit my lengthy 2 year suffering chronic pain. I now am on a mission to get off nexium. I will succeed as I am a very determined individual.
    I just simply wanted to share this with others….to never give up and never let drs sway you into thinking you need I call them tranquilizers unnecessarily….. Unless of course you really need them! I hope my post can help others. Ruby Joh

    • Hilda
      Lehigh County

      I’m on your side. I have been on Omeprazole for about a month, only to have bad side effects such as insomnia, anxiety attacks, and nightmares. I won’t go out because of blurry vision. I cry myself to sleep. I have dry mouth and feel like I can’t breathe, so I use my nebulizer. I hope I will be healed.

      I just stopped this med, and I think it is still in me cause because I still feel the same, and it is is not the buspar or asthma meds. I have been doing well on those. It is the meds for gastritis, and I have another month before I can see a gastritis doc, which is why I stopped meds on my own. I thank God I do not have asthma with this mess.

      • Kamla

        I was on Omeprazole for a month for abdominal pain.
        I ran out of the stuff and decided to get my repeat of the medicine. I had been feeling a little dizzy and had blurry vision and felt lethargic and was wondering what was causing it until I read the symptoms of this tablets.

        I stopped right away and started drinking heaps of water and eating lots of vegetables and fruit like apples and pears. I do not feel the pain but still feel a little dizzy every now and then. I promised myself no more of these tablets .

  29. Sunday

    My dosage was 20mg omeprazole for four weeks to treat a suspected H-Pylori infection causing stomach ulcers.
    I have completed this treatment two weeks ago, and since stopping the pills I’ve become very constipated.
    I know most of you have been using this drug much longer than I, but I’d like to know if anyone with who has been taking omeprazole for a similar duration has encountered this issue?
    Many thanks.

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