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Getting Off Omeprazole

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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. In one study, even people who never had heartburn before developed it upon stopping this type of medication (Gastroenterology, July 2009).

A low-carb diet can be helpful. So can remedies like almonds, broccoli, "Digestive Tea," "Ginger Pickle" and "Persimmon Punch." We are sending you our new book, The People's Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, for details on all of these.

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I have been trying for years; I have written here a few times and discussed the things I have tried, all in vain. I get rebound acid, which is like (especially when tummy is empty) my belly filling up with frothy, foamy acid; it fills my belly and then crawls up my esophagus; I have tried taking every other day; ha! tried so many things; this last attempt was in Dec of last year; went to my Dr and him that my Gall Bladder Surgery DR said to get off the PPI's!!!!!

So, my Dr. Rx'd me a honkingly huge 300 mg tablet of ranitadine; he warned me of the possibility that I had BETTER EASE myself off prilosec and maybe start with half of each and then go to ranitadine...... I thought, piece of cake, after all it IS a 300 mg tablet; outta work with out the tapering; WRONG.

By the next evening, I was bent double. Back to 1/4 tab of ranitadine at bedtime and 1/2 prilosec in mornings. Barely works; time passes......

I am now to where I use my pill splitter and take a prilosec and half it, then slice the pieces to where I have four teeny pieces; I take one each morning on an empty stomach; I can not skip any days, but at least I only take 1/4 a prilosec daily.

I found that drinking mineral water, initially before or with meals (now once a day) has allowed me to go completely off Prilosec with no ill effects from severe heartburn.

Try eating apples. I had the same problem with prevacid, left it off completely, started eating an apple instead and it took about a week & half but my heartburn is gone for good! the Doc doesn't buy it but it worked for me. I use Fugi apples.

I can share my personal experience, after many, many years of Prilosec--and wishing like others, to stop it as I began researching the risks of long-term use, as well as the question of whether or not it was really necessary--or the symptoms the dreaded "rebound."

My plan was to very, very slowly decrease the Prilosec, so I started by taking it every other day, and did this for a month--taking "Tums" for what symptoms I had, then, the second month, every 3rd day, etc. I am about ready to stop it altogether--and take over the counter Zantac for any symptoms, or OTC Tums.

The worst "rebound" symptoms were month one, but manageable with this regime. Small meals, staying away from "triggers" like very spicy food, chocolate, coffee after the breakfast cup, fatty foods (especially at dinner time). Use caution bending over after eating, don't eat late in evening, no tight clothing, raise head of bed. The comments here on PP were very, very helpful--a number of folks wrote and shared their experiences--as well as the published information that I wrote to PP and purchased. I also need to lose some weight, as I am plump: this I haven't tackled seriously yet, but will.

I recently successfully weaned myself off of Nexium. Over a 30-day period, each night I would carefully open the capsule, pour out some of the little white beads, tightly close the capsule back, and then take the pill. I started with just a little poured out and did more and more each day until by the last few days there was very little left in the capsule.

It still took my tummy a couple of weeks after that to adjust, and I did have a few unpleasant but manageable bouts of heartburn. DGL before meals was very helpful, and I took famotadine (Pepcid AC) as needed. Digestive enzymes also came in handy. I'm now two months free of Nexium. I still use famotadine for occasional flare-ups.

I, too, experienced significant rebound when trying to wean myself from Prevacid. My solution has taken about a year but, so far, has worked for me. First, buy a bag of empty capsules. Then, open the 30mg Prevacid and reduce the amount slightly by pouring into an empty capsule. Stay on that reduced amount for several weeks, then reduce the amount slightly more. When I reduced the amount to below 2mg a day, I was able to stop the medication all together. Now I only need an occasional tums for minor discomfort. So far so good!

I too have taken PPIs for years and worry about taking them. I seem to remember that when they first appeared on the market, patients were cautioned to only take them for a limited time. When I asked my gastroenterologist about this, he denied that such information was ever given. Two years ago, I devoted and entire summer to getting off Prilosec, by taking Ranitodine, vinegar and honey, meditating on the assumption that my heartburn was caused by stress (not very likely), etc., etc., but nothing worked, so I am still taking my daily dose of PPIs.

Can you tell me, since my physician won't, and I don't trust the information coming with the drug, what the possible long term side effects are?

Many thanks, Lisa D.

Turmeric is very effective against heartburn.

I was on prilosec for a while then switched to zantac, then to pepcid. I prepared for getting off of all these GERD meds ( have had GERD for 35 yrs) by buying Aloe vera juice and keeping a bottle of tums everywhere. The first 2 weeks without any GERD medication were not great, but I started taking the aloe vera juice 2 oz 3-4 times a day, keeping some at work also for the bad times.

At the end of 2 weeks, no more heartburn. I do have a hiatal hernia which will cause reflux when I am working in the garden. I take tums when needed for that. If I drink hot tea, sometimes that gives me heartburn so I use the natural products of DGL, aloe vera juice, or the tums. It has been several months now and I really feel great. Hope the aloe vera juice works for others.

Twenty-five years ago the nurse-midwife I was seeing suggested red delicious apples for heartburn. It worked for me then and they still work as an immediate relief for mild to moderate heartburn. It only takes about 1/4 of a small apple, including the skin. I would love to know if it works for others.

My husband has had stomach problems for years. He had a hernia about 5 years back, which led to an operation and a "patch". About 3 years ago, he began feeling pains on his right side. He would feel bloated. His doctor prescribed omeprazole, even though he didn't really seem to have heartburn. After numerous trips to the doctor and complaints of stomach pains, it was determined to be his gallbladder.

He had a golf-ball sized stone and his gallbladder was infected. 2 years ago, his gallbladder was removed. We thought that would be the end of it. His side felt tender but was told that his body needed time to recover from the trauma of surgery. He continued to have pain, bloating and irregular bowel movements. He stopped taking omeprazole due to reading online as to the various side effects. Plus, he believed that he wasn't really suffering from heartburn at all so why take it?

For the past couple of weeks, he's been horribly bloated, unable to release any gas and in pain. This made it harder for him to eat, as he was so bloated and "feeling full". When he did manage to eat small bits of food, he felt immense pressure on this chest and thought he was having a heart attack. He would try to burp but would end up vomiting his food up into his mouth, barely digested. If the food did manage to stay down, he became even more bloated and his insides felt like they were ripping apart.

It was if his entire digestive system had slowed to a crawl. It got so bad he didn't eat for 3 days straight. Presently, my husband has a new GI and is going for both an endoscopy and colonoscopy. He went to the hospital yesterday (per his doctor b/c the pain got so bad) and after urine and blood work (plus an ultrasound), they found nothing. My husband is so frustrated, especially when 1 doctor suggested it might be all in his head. We are hoping either the endoscopy or the colonoscopy will show something.

My questions are this:

* how long should 1 be on omeprazole for? I've seen up to 14 days. I know my husband has been on it longer than that.
* if a person doesn't have heartburn and takes omeprazole, are they doing long term damage? My husband pondered that perhaps the reason why he couldn't properly digest his food was b/c he had neutralized all his stomach acid when it wasn't necessary.
* does anyone have any information on gas entrapment syndrome? I can't find anything really reliable
* based on my description above, any thoughts to what his problem might be? Perhaps due to his sudden stoppage of omeprazole? Any insight anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

I have been taking Omeprazole for a few months. I notice my fingernails and toenails are cracking and becoming brittle. Could this be a side effect of Omeprazole? Have other readers noticed brittle nails after taking Omeprazole?

My suggestions: read all you can find on line (but don't believe everything you find, be sure to check facts where you can be sure they are reliable, and ask your physician any questions as well). What you described didn't sound like my experience in stopping Prilosec, but of course, everyone is different. From your description, I would ask my physician about the possibility of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as well as research it on line myself. The more you learn, the more you can ask questions that will help to find an answer. Hope you are successful, and your husband is feeling better soon. Your new GI doctor sounds like he is willing to take the steps to help you find answers.

Thank you, Carolyn for responding.

We've searched online and there are some cases of people who when through painful withdrawals upon stopping omeprazole. While I cannot find a definite timeline for taking omeprazole, I am noticing that this is not a drug one should be on long term. Plus my husband didn't have acid reflux or GERD, he had more like intestinal/abdominal issues so we're really not sure why he was put on omeprazole in the first place. I did find a site online about the side-effects of omeprazole and one of the complaints was abdominal bloating. The funny thing was that while the article states that the drug is the cause of all the excess bloating, continued use would decrease it. How does that make any sense?

Thankfully, my husband found a relief from all the bloating - charcoal caplets. His GI suggested it and it has definitely made an improvement, more so than Gas-X or any other over the counter gas medication. He is scheduled for his procedures over the next 2 weeks so let's hope all goes well.

RE: acid reflux. The problem may not be "too much acid." it could be the esophageal sphincter has lost tone. I had reflux as part of larger, autoimmune, condition, both of which (the autoimmune disease and the reflux) were fixed by acupuncture. No drugs at all. It took two years, but that was 11 years ago, and I've not had a relapse.

Has anyone successfully gotten off omeprazole?

One of the important functions of stomach acid is to make proteins digestible. If the proteins in your diet are not getting the acid treatment, they may not be absorbed properly. Since our nails need protein as a building block, there may be nail abnormalities due to the protein shortage.

There are other nutrients that need the acid, also. I suspect that long-term use of PPIs does more harm than good. When the medicine first became popular, I wasn't needing it but I highly suspected that the loss of stomach acid was detrimental to digestion. Anyone who studied even Physiology 101 would know this. So I can't believe that the medical profession would turn a blind eye to this for long-term use. Tums are a different story, because they don't interfere with the natural functioning of the stomach. They are like just eating something.

Big Pharma wants to sell stuff, Doctors jump on the latest things without much thought, Patients are just sheeple. However, I can empathize with doctors who have to explain things to patients who don't have a grasp of basic physiology. I once had to explain something to my grandmother, and she never got it.

I came across this quite by accident and pray it helps with your heartburn as well. I was taking a nightly Tablespoon of Lecithin Granules (health food and vitamin stores carry) as a nutritional supplement. Mind you, these are the nutty tasting granules not the capsules, which may work too but haven't tried. One particular evening I had a bad case of heartburn, which much to my surprise, disappeared on contact upon swallowing the lecithin. I haven't seen this remedy anywhere else and this has become my family's go to cure that works every time. Hope it helps!

Yes, finally after a long and careful process have stopped it all together. Now occasional Zantac or Tums for a while, and being careful of diet choices, small meals, etc. Lots of folks have written in with ideas that have worked for them, too, with success stories.

Just wanted to update my husband's status...

He is currently feeling much better. We're still not sure what exactly happened. He stopped taking omeprazole completely (we're still thinking him going cold turkey is what caused his problems, in addition to taking it over a long period of time) and has been taking charcoal caplets as well as natural digestive enzymes (you can find these items at any Vitamin Shoppe or GNC). THAT is what is working for him, in addition to smaller meals and documenting what causes any indigestion or pain. He does get a bit of heartburn from time to time but nothing that would require taking omeprazole ever again.

While he is feeling much better, he will still be having both procedures done this week and next. It's best to be safe and know if there are any serious problems. I'm still amazed that after all his complaints and all the doctors he's seen that not one (except his current GI) ever suggested any of these types of natural, over-the-counter herbal remedies.

Moral: always double-check any pill or procedure your doctor is trying to talk you into. There is information out there, you just have to be diligent in finding it.

Omeprazole is not intended to be used long term. My father has been on it 15 years and I now believe it is the culprit behind his chronic nerve pain. Long term use of PPI's can cause B12 deficiencies which can cause nerve damage. You are not supposed to suppress your stomach acid. It is needed for healthy digestion.

PPIs can cause us to encounter nutritional deficiencies due to undigested foods, inflammation of the gut, nerve damage from lack of b12 amongst other withdrawal symptoms from trying to stop. Wean off slowly or switch to Zantac and do every other day for a while.

While you are tapering use digestive enzymes with each meal and every snack. Start on a good daily probiotic like sustanex or culturelle. Ease inflammation with fish oil. My father is currently taking the digestive enzymes, probiotic and is temporarily on prednisone for gut inflammation (his bloodwork showed inflammation). When he tried cold turkey his reflux got unbearable. Just taper off and start with the enzymes and probiotics.

Ive been on Omeprozole for 11 months and I am suffering from insomnia and other neurological issues due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies because of this drug, I have started weening myself off this drug with the knowledge that the heartburn will return, but I think this drug is causing me a lot of harm. I am alternating between omeprazole and zantac and supplementing this with oatmeal and apples in the morn 1hr after taking meds lets hope this works.

I've just stopped it this week after many years, as initially I was prescribed it because I was taking a NSAID. I recently stopped the NSAID as it was causing all kinds of side-effects. However, this last two days I have certainly been aware I'm not taking Omeprazole any longer, and like others am so bloated. I've decided I'll take it every other day, then try twice a week to see if I get off it that way. I had no idea there would be an issue with stopping it, especially as I have only been taking it to protect my stomach.

I am just coming off only 14 days of Omniprazole because I have heard so much of the side effects-- and after day 5 of coming off it, my stomach feels so inflamed and of course, the stomach acid is back in a big way. I wanted to share however what has worked in the past for me -- Definitely anyone with this issue should take digestive enzymes -- and eat PAPAYA! Yes, fresh PAPAYA is the best kept stomach acid secret - you need the kind from Mexico for the best results- make sure its ripe and eat it as much as you can each day -- nothing has helped cool down the inflammation and reflux like papaya -- of course that is why you see 'papaya enzymes' --

Good luck- its not easy having this ---

I'm on day 9 of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) instead of my Omeprazole. I cannot begin to tell you how amazed I am at how I feel. I have been "sick" almost every day for the last five years and even before that, I had started gaining weight and feeling terrible. I've been on Omeprazole since 1995! That is when my weight gain started, now that I think of it. I have lost five pounds and one inch around my middle since I started the ACV last week. The bloating I used to suffer daily is gone completely. I have more energy, my mood is improved (imagine that- improved mood resulting from not feeling sick all the time.)

I DO still have acid reflux. But nothing like I had while I was on Omeprazole- some nights I'd wake with a mouth full of acid and cough for 2 hours. I had developed a cough from the reflux, according to my doc, and that is almost gone now. I take a rolaids or tums when I have reflux and I have been taking an average of 2-3 per day. Once after every meal. And the heartburn GOES AWAY almost instantly.

I started out with 2 tablespoons of ACV and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda 3x a day and it became clear pretty quickly that this was too much. I went down to 1 tablespoon and 1/8 or less of baking soda twice a day. I add a little Stevia to sweeten, add some pureed fruit drink (like Odwalla or Naked Juice- the mango is especially good) and top it off with some water. I seem to have some orthostatic hypotension in the evenings now (when you stand up and you feel dizzy) but I always had low blood pressure and I know I read that ACV lowers blood pressure. But I feel amazing. Just amazing. I am ready to go off my depression meds soon (with my doctor's approval and assistance!) because I am sure that I will not need them any more due to feeling so much better physically.

The best side effect is I am no longer hungry every single second of the day. I used to eat, and then an hour later I'd be so hungry and I'd feel upset and shaky until I ate again. I was eating 7+ times a day. I felt so bad about myself and I got so fat. I felt like there was some sort of blood sugar issue but the doctors wouldn't listen to me. Now I am eating 3 times a day, much less than I used to, and I have a small snack a couple of hours before bed. OVERNIGHT this happened. It's truly amazing.

My doctor gave me this 6 week plan:
Week 1: Alternate 20mg of Prilosec (Omeprazole) with 100mg Prilosec
Week 2: 10mg Prilosec
Week 3: Alternate 10mg of Prilosec with 80mg Pepsid (Famotidine)
Week 4: 80mg Pepsid
Week 5: Alternate 80mg Pepsid with 40Mg Pepsid
Week 6: 40mg Pepsid

I have been on omeprazole for nearly 8 years. I dint really question it when I was younger. Until I started getting bloated feelings in my right side about 4 years ago. then I started to question my health. Took me until 4 days ago to stop taking the omerazol. As every time I tried before the heart burn would come back twice as bad. Over the last year I have become more aware that I am not the person I used to me I am more nervous than before a lot less out going and always concerned with my health. I have found doctors to be dismissive of my worries and sometimes felt they were very patronizing.

We live in a society where we are made to think doctors know best (at least that's how I've always thought) but if they know best why have the not tried to help me get better they have time and time again written prescriptions for me but even after asking I have never been referred to a chiropractor for my bad back or a dietitian about a low acid diet.

All I have found out is from the internet and other sufferers of acid re-flux. When you tell a doctor you have been on the internet I'm sure it turns them in to patronizing robots. I've been told a lot by doctors not to believe everything I read on the web.
I'm not stupid I don't believe everything but I do believe omeprazole can be bad for you.

I am on day 4 without omeprazole I've been eating only low acidic low fat food (here's a good list of foods to eat and not to eat) lots of apples bananas and almond. I've had aloe vera juice and licorice and so far the heart burn is mild. My stomach has been hurting a bit but I have been trying hard to make my posture better so I cant say if it's the extra acid in my stomach or the muscles starting to work better but I am very hopeful that I wont need to go back to omeprazole or any drug like it.

It's been great to read I'm not alone in the challenge of freeing myself from the clutches of omeprazole.

The posture is vital. It definitely helps to keep the shoulders back and the diaphragm area open.

It's been a month since I posted my story and I have tried a bunch of things but I have really had to scale back how much I eat. I used to eat once cup of Irish oatmeal with a couple tablespoons of ground flaxmeal and one tablespoon of pure maple syrup for breakfast, but I find that gives me heartburn now. However, half that amount does not.

I eat my "largest" meal prior to 5pm and then have a small amount of soup or some nuts four hours before I go to bed. I have to say, I am eating half again how much I was eating when I last posted that I was eating half of what I ate on the Omeprazole. I've gone mostly vegan and I never thought I would say this but- I love what I am eating. However, I am still having trouble at night. No matter what I do, I have heartburn at night. Sometimes chest pain. I now understand why people sometimes go to the ER with chest pain when it is acid reflux (yes I had my heart checked.)

So I am just trying to eat less at a time and find pleasure in other things. Food was my life- not bags of chips and twinkies- but I was a real foodie and the loss of wine really hurts (I just can't do it anymore. It really screws up my stomach. Even just on special occasions.) I just found decaf green tea that is decent so I am going to make that and ice it and have that instead of wine. The food part- you can really get gourmet with vegan. Dairy is already sort of disgusting to me and I find myself avoiding it. When I do have it, it's pretty obvious it upsets my stomach even with Lactaid.

I think I am definitely at what is normal for me now, vs on the Omeprazole. Now I have to see if I can eat less food and go as vegan as possible and I am taking digestive enzymes and probiotics. I haven't tried the aloe vera juice. Maybe I should try that.

Thank you everyone for posting all this information. I'm currently at half dosage on my lansoprazole. I'm taking papaya enzymes, eating a very low carb diet and drinking yogurt that has probiotics. I'm also able to consume kimchi (a high probiotic food) regularly. Coupled with teas, things have gotten better.

As I reduce the medicine, it's been rough, especially since I had to switch from nexium to lansoprazole, but aside from my stomach getting upset sometimes, I really feel better. I still have the odd feeling on the left side of body, but it disappears more often than it used too.

I have read and listened to your program with interest for years..thank
you for all your wealth of information.

I searched on the website and could not find a recipe for the ginger,
cinnamon and persimmon tea that you recommend for acid!!!

I hope this helps someone. I have been taking omeprazole for several years (about 4 I suppose) to help my consistent and very painful acid reflux. Knowing how bad these types of medications can be for us long term, I tried all kinds of things recommended online to help cure acid reflux. I tried DGL, papaya enzymes, different digestive enzymes, ACV, "Heartburn Free" orange peal extract, "Acid-Ease", eating almonds, celery, blah blah blah blah blah. Nothing helped to the point where I experienced long lasting relief.

I noticed something though... every time I went on a vacation, my reflux would all but disappear. I was told this could have been because of stress, but I knew that was bologna because my job is not stressful. So, I finally realized what it was that was causing the issue.... Frozen and canned foods. Maybe its the preservatives, maybe its the ridiculous amounts of added sodium, I don't know. All I know is that I eat of lot of homestyle PREPARED meals on vacation that I generally do not eat while not on vacation. Also while not on vacation, I barely ever ate breakfast, and would have morning reflux, even after having Ginger tea and other remedies of that nature.

The "cure" was simply to eat a nice full breakfast (eggs, a biscuit, maybe some hashbrowns - whatever), and nice full lunch, and a nice full dinner. The quantity of the meal does not matter in my case. I can gorge myself silly and not get reflux when I eat full meals consistently. When I do feel a little reflux coming on, I just know it is time to eat and it goes away after eating.

To sum up what worked for me to get off omeprazole after being on it for years:

Even though it is significantly more expensive, don't eat frozen tv dinner types of meals. even the really delicious ones like pf chang's. none!

Try and stay away from canned foods as well that are loaded with preservatives, ie: the cheap cans of ravioli, etc. make your food or go buy pre-prepared meals.

When you feel reflux coming on..... eat. if you can avoid it, don't drink with your meal. Drink about 20 minutes after your meal.

Don't drink carbonated sodas. Just drink water only to start out until you start feeling some relief, then maybe you can have some light teas or something.

Some "george's aloe vera juice" is a good investment. You can use this as a water replacement. It tastes just like water and will help a little bit with mild reflux symptoms. It is not a cure all, but it helps.

I have been off of Omeprazole for over a month now with no intention of going back. As a side note, I experienced some minor to moderate stomach pain for a few weeks after stopping, to the point where even drinking water caused my stomach to hurt. This has since gone away and has not returned several weeks later.

Can mild depression accompany getting off Prilosec?


My 91-year-old mother has been on omeprazole (Prilocec) for a couple of years. Her nails are a total mess. Now we know the possible culprit.

I would say yes that depression is certainly a part of coming off Prilosec or Omeprazole. I was put on Omeprazole in 2000 after carcinoid cancer. The side effects over the 12 years were awful so I cut back 6 months ago from 20 mg daily to 10mg every two or three days and since 15 days I have stopped taking them altogether after having had an endoscopy done which showed my stomach to be in excellent condition.

Two weeks have now passed and I have had indigestion usually in the night, some reflux and last night a sleepless one with depression which I hope is quickly going to pass.

For those of us who have had to take these acid blockers, I can recommend two books to read.

Safer Solutions to Gastric Distress, Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec and other acid blockers by Martie Whittekin, CCN
NO More Heratburn by Sherry A. Rogers, MD.

Just to end up, both the doctor who did the endoscopy, it was he who found the carcinoid tumor in 2000 and my own family doctor who issued the Omeprazole have no suggestions as to the implications of long term use of these acid blockers.

I was on them for 15 years. I now have Vitamin D and B12 deficiencies. I've gotten sicker and sicker since I went on them and I have been off since Jan 2012. I started Vitamin D3 3 weeks ago and B12 shots last week after blood tests revealed the deficiencies. Almost all my joint pain and fatigue is gone. I went to see a Naturopath who suggested I go wheat-free for five weeks, then challenge it (eat some wheat and see if I get sick.) She also put me on powdered DGL which I am to mix with a couple teaspoons of ACV before every meal (you mix both of them into water and drink it.)

The DGL powder has L-glutamine in it, which she says heals the lining of the gut. I have been doing this the last 7 days and I haven't had any heartburn at all except for a little bit when I over ate one night and chewable calcium antacid took care of it. She says she heals people all the time with this mixture. I feel better than I have in 13 years.

Thanks for this info which is very sound advice. I have ordered the DGL along with Aloe Vera gels and hopefully they will be arriving shortly. I have also read that Mastic Gum chews are also very helpful but have been unable to trace any locally (Switzerland) but will try to get some in England next month. I have Vitamin D3 in my daily Magnesium tablets and ACV is something that we use daily and have done for years.

Vitamin B15 I have in tablet form made from brewers yeast but had stopped taking them and all the other vitamin pills before the various tests I have been having since early February. The depression I mentioned in my last post has gone and hopefully will stay away. The Omeprazole withdrawal symptoms are definitely receding.

The side effects from Omeprazole started in 2000 and got really bad at the end of 2009. Indigestion, bloating, sleepless nights and so on. I was taking sleeping pills to counteract the wakening in the night and it became a vicious circle. My doctor was prescribing the acid blockers and the sleeping pills but was convinced December 2009 that I should double the Omeprazole dosage which made things even worse. Two weeks later he prescribed Nexium 40 mg which were even more awful, so much so that I was staggering dizzily all over the place. I took the Nexium for 5 days and took them back. He again insisted that I should continue to take Omeprazole.

It was only in January this year when my patience and that of my wife ran out that I insisted he make an appointment for me to see a gastro specialist who in turn did a CT scan, colonoscopy and then an endoscopy as he was sure that there were metastases around from the carcinoid cancer in 2000: Every test was negative for cancer and this is why I purchased Dr. Rogers book which has been a revelation and certainly opened my eyes to the nonsense and dangers of acid blockers.

I woke up on March 31st after a night of excessive drinking a little hung over. Had some soup, had a nap, felt a little ill, had a glass of orange juice and within an hour had horrible pain in the pit of my stomach and extreme gas pains and burping.

I tried probiotics, did not help. Ended up in urgent care 2 days later, doctor guessed GERD or an ulcer and put me on 40mg of Omeprazole, for 2 months. Pain was gone within days but I was STILL burping incessantly. After a meal, then especially 3-5 hours after. So bad I couldn't sleep and would have to pace the floor.

Requested an ultrasound after 10 days, all other internal organs are fine.

Burping still occurring, went to Gastroenterologist after 3 weeks. He told me to take the Omeprazole one more week, and then stop and see if the burping dissipates, that is could be causing the burping at this point. Anyone else had that issue?

I have been off of it 3 days. The burps have significantly decreased, but are not gone. I have not experienced any pain yet, which I am thankful for. But the burping is terribly embarrassing, and at this point I feel like it's going to last forever! Frustrating.

Also, I really can't afford the endoscopic procedure that has been recommended if this keeps up. I wonder how long I should wait to have that done?

Sounds like you might want to look at what you are eating, in a wide, general sense. For example, are you eating a lot of sugar (fructose?) If so, you might have a little bit of Candida overgrowth in the gut. What about wheat? Might be sensitive to gluten. All I can say is, stay off those PPIs. I am battling severe nutritional deficiencies due to having been put on those PPIs for 15 years. They interfere with your ability to process food and nutrients. Certain foods give me gas like soy, obviously anything carbonated, any kind of fruit at all (it just ferments in the gut), candy, etc.

What are you eating?

Chances are that you, and many others here including myself have the "Helicobacter Pylori" infection in our guts. Home test kits are cheap enough. I just got one for $38 online. This infection is known to cause most gastritis and ulcer symptoms. Have you been specifically tested for this?

How long would it take to wean my self off Prilosec? I Started on it on 4/1/12 and the dose was increased from 20mg to 40mg every day. I now have extreme dry mouth and have attacks where the gas backs up my throat and gets stuck. When that happens I can't breathe. Next, I burp than I feel better. Any advise I would be grateful.

I was prescribed lanzaprozole short term in 2006 & have been on & off it ever since... but increasingly 'on' because each time I try to come off the withdrawal is worse. Basically my tummy is on fire for days. I can't even remember why I was given it initially but since then I've been going to the Dr. more & more with odd stomach complaints: first it was esophegal narrowing, then hiatal hernia, then gallstones & mild appendicitis.

Now I have candida & chronic giardiasis too - both confirmed by tests. Before I started this medicine I had a sensitive tummy but now it is all but stopped functioning. The punch line is that 5 out of my 6 new ailments is linked to PPI overuse. But no Dr. ever explored that cause. So I am stopping it regardless of the agony this causes.

glad to hear others only suffered the withdrawal for a month as this may be a tolerable period.

My tip for relief is soluble magnesium although, nothing really calms that fiery, my-tummy-is-digesting-itself pain. Hate to think what the rebound may be doing to me... to all of us!!

I was hospitalized with Omeprazole side effects. Got off it and it was hard and I am still experiencing GERD but my symptoms seem to be coming down. There is new research that melatonin has some positive effect on GERD. Search on "circadian rhythm GERD" and you will find some scientific evidence that suggests GERD is a problem related to your biological clock. Fix it and you could maybe possibly fix GERD.

I have been of it a month now. Side effects were vertigo, light headedness, fatigue. I had the rebound reflux etc. I have stopped eating gluten and lactose, which seems to help. I have probiotics. Zinc helps digestion. I don't listen to people who say I could probably eat it, because they are. A strict diet of what works. I have concentrated aloe vera juice and juice green vegetables. Some mild indigestion but much better. the tiredness persists though, and I suspect nexium induced anemia.

I have suffered from GERD for a long time. One day I got up, started to walk 1.5 miles and stretched my body. I removed the following from my diet: No fat, butter, cream, only olive oil. No milk, a lot of water every day, like 1/2 a gallon. No alcohol. A lot of veggies and fruits, lean meat, ham and fish, and turkey, chicken, everything lean. No pasta. Now it seems difficult but what happened was worth it: I got rid of GERD. I would have a couple of glasses of wine, pasta, cakes, all in reasonable portions only during the week-ends. No food after 6 PM. Try it, you will lose weight (because GERD is a result of weight gain --- Eating too rich and too much) and you will feel much much better!

That list of foods to eat while having acid reflux sounds dangerous to me. Beer, cola, root beer is NOT good because they are carbonated which brings up the acid. Hot dogs are too spicy. Ketchup has tomatoes, too acidic. I would look for a more bland diet.

Hi I've written here before about my heart burn and I know everyone is different but I wanted to share my experience.

I stopped taking omeprazole about 4 months ago I stopped eating chocolate, caffeine, fizzy drinks, mint and acidic fruit and veg I also stopped drinking alcohol. I had also stopped eating wheat a year before. At the start I had to use orange flavour rennee mostly at night but now four months later I have lost weight and am going days without a rennee.

Things I stopped eating:

Chocolate mint alcohol because they relaxes the sphincter (the valve that stops acid going up the esophagus)

Acidic fruit and veg e.g. Tomatoes and oranges mainly but i just judge it on how much I'm going to eat and how acidic it is. less acid added to the stomach.

fizzy drinks as this apparently causes pressure in the stomach and increases the risk of heart burn.

I Start eating wheat free liquorice but not to much because it can cause high blood pressure there are lots of articles about liquorice helping with acid reflux

also I found a small amount of aloe vera juice each day helps.

I also eat lots of red apples and bananas.

The only things I drink are water fruit tea and the occasional apple juice or smoothy.

My main diet is rice and vegetables but I can have anything without the excluded foods.

I also sleep on my left side which helps stop the acid going back up your throat when you lie down.

It's a complete life style change but the benefits are hardly any heart burn, weight loss, and no omeprozole which equals good mental and physical health. I hope this helps some one as I was so upset on omeprazole and the side effects are horrid. good luck if your trying to come off acid suppressing drugs :)

I was prescribed omeprazole 8 days ago. I have found no relief in the indigestion and heart burn but now feel awful. My arms and legs are very sore. Me knees and elbows hurt all the time. I have began to panic about every little ailment I have and suspect the worse. I do not want to stop taking it as the doctor told me to take it daily for a month until they do a scope of my throat to see if there is any damage from acid reflux. I am only 28 and my body feels well past that since I have taken this medicine for a week. Does anyone know if these side effects will go away or should I stop the medication?

I was on PPIs for 20 years. I now have severe problems. I would stop them, and get yourself to a functional medical doctor or a naturopath and have them help you heal your acid reflux. In the long run, it will be cheaper for you to deal with it naturally now. Trust me. All those symptoms you mention- I lived with them for years and years before I made the connection between them and my PPI usage. I wish you good luck.

I am very interested in getting off of Prilosec and have read everyone's suggestions but what is DGL powder and where do you get it?

FORGET DGL, forget everything else.

JUST... CHEW.... GUM! (sugar free preferably)

Chew it after after meal, and chew it in between meals when necessary. No more reflux. No more meds.

I took prilosec for years and have been off easily and painlessly for about a year now. No looking back, and as a good side effect I always have fresh breath.


Did you go cold turkey, or wean off the PPI?
Thanks for sharing your story.

I would suggest weaning yourself off over a week or two try every other day for a week and then every 3 days with the help of orange flavour rennee/tums. What ever you decide you need to think about how omeprazol works. I'm not a doctor but I have read that this is how and it makes sense.

It suppresses the acid producing cells in your stomach which causes your body to produce more acid making cells which then become suppressed. (not having enough acid in your stomach has serious effects on mental and physical health due to poor digestion and not being able to get enough goodness out of food like minerals and vitamins) which means you end up with far to many acid producing cells. So when you stop taking the omeprozol the suppressed cells start to produce acid again.

As there are to many of them your heart burn/ acid reflux will be even worse than when you went on them in the first place.

It can take up to six months for your cells to get back to normal, there is no quick fix so while your waiting for your body to return to normal you have to be strict with your diet and life style.

Eat little meals, try eating red apple and almonds drink water, try liquorice (but not to much) try aloe vera juice don't drink anything fizzy this will cause heart burn as can caffeine chocolate and alcohol and mint try correcting your posture as poor posture can cause pressure on your stomach. as can being over weight.

I never found a doctor who told me there was a natural way and I did ask on countless visits to the doctors but they all basically said I needed medication. But I have not had bad heartburn for months. I've need a rennee from time to time but hardly ever.

I know that things are different for everyone one but this is how I got off omerazole it took ages but I feel normal again physically and mentally.

Steph--read through all the entries--a number of folks have posted detailed plans outlining how they successfully stopped a PPI, as well as helpful suggestions to try that helped in their case with symptoms.

Sorry... my question was specifically for TF565. I don't know if he/she will receive it. I wanted to know if you had gone off the PPIs before you started the vinegar/DGL combo, or if you tapered gradually. Hope this gets to you!
Thanks again.

Hi Caroline,
I went off cold turkey. I tried everything and nothing really worked- the ACV, the DGL, but the problem is I also have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and some people have suggested that this condition can make acid reflux symptoms worse. I see my doc tomorrow and I am going to also go on the Paleo plan for eating and see if that helps my reflux symptoms. I added digestive enzymes and they seem to help the reflux. There is a chewable papaya one that I find really pleasant and when taken after eating it takes care of the acid- but it has Mannitol in it- a sugar alcohol that feeds the bacterial overgrowth in my small intestine so I had to stop taking it. If you don't have bacterial overgrowth it might be great for you.

I think getting rid of stress should be the first priority if you are considering to quit Omeprazole. I have been suffering from stomach pain and high acidity occasionally since last 5 years. I have observed that during the times my stress level was low I was able to taper off the medicine quite easily. So, some meditation or other relaxation exercised can be very helpful.

I started on 10mg omeprazole a decade ago, did not fully stop acid, a few years ago, had really bad ulcers and doc put me on 20mg, this worked fine, BUT, the young doc looked at me and said take one a day for "the rest of your life"! 60'ish may seem old to him, but not to me, so trying to wean off them, find one every 2nd day works fine! point is 10mg a day not same as 20mg every 2nd day! My theory... you need a "concentration pulse" to switch off the acid? experiment is on going..... btw digestive biscuits are a gentle, "emergency" source of alkali if I forget Omeprazole for 3 days or so and start to get acid reflux...

An update on me- I am almost completely acid reflux free since going "Paleo"- specifically, not eating any grains. ANYONE suffering from any kind of digestive complaint should check out this book- "Practical Paleo" - you don't have to take my word for it and just buy it. Go look at it in the bookstore first. The first half of the book is almost entirely an explanation of how the gut works and what causes problems with it.

I quit Prilosec and have had no side effects unless it has affected my breathing. I have had difficulty with my breathing. Has anyone else? I don't know if this is a side effect or something else. It is not my heart as I had an ekg and bloodwork. I am already on wheat free and sugar free diet.

I am simply writing this in the hopes to help others trying to get off of omeparazole. I decided it would be best last week after about 5 years, and for 3 days was suffering with terrible gerd. I took DGL before every meal, but the relief was minimal. Then I spoke to a family member who had a heart transplant a few years ago. He takes so many meds it caused him terrible heart burn and his doctor suggested starting with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 1/2 glass of water mid-day (he didn't want him taking more due to the salt that would be bad for him) but said he could go up to 1 tsp. baking soda in a full glass of water. That this mix would also be good for his kidneys and not harmful.

I started with the 1/2 to 1/2 ratio, and felt relief almost immediately. For now I am taking that twice a day and it's like a miracle at how good I feel. Of course, everyone should check with their own doctor before starting this program, but I for one feel "cured" and know in the long run 1/2 tsp. in 1/2 glass of water is the plan I will be on for life.

Just wanted to share this easy, and painless method of withdrawal from omeprazole.

It all started 2.5 years ago when I turned 30. I was under an enormous amount of stress due to being ripped off 30k purchasing a mold infested home, being involved in my other home being completely flooded, and getting married. I used to be a pretty good athlete and exercised regularly, and took a lot of protein, vitamins, and supplements. I also drank a lot of coffee, and energy drinks.

August 2010, I started getting black stools and vicious heart burn. This lasted for about 3 months. In the meantime I went to the doctor and he said I must have an ulcer so he put me on Tecta (PPI). The issues I had at the time had been with bloating and chess pain, and of course black stool. I later got tested for an ulcer and esophagus cancer. All results came back negative. The first month on Tecta caused the black stool to go away, however, my slight pain that was in my chest moved up towards my throat. I no longer could swallow well, and whenever I would speak to people in a meeting at work I would lose my voice.

I thought for sure the worse, and figured I must have cancer and will likely be dying soon. The doctor has changed my medication 5 times and none of them work at all. The first doctor diagnosed me with GERD, the second diagnosed me with LRD (larynx reflex disease), and the most recent surgeon diagnosed me with IBS, and Anxiety. He says he doesn't even believe I have GERD at all. I'm so pissed that no doctor knows wtf is going on.

I've most recently been taking 40mg of omeprazole (20 mg twice per day), and still suffer greatly with bloating, shaky body, and severe throat, and esophagus pain. I also have pain under both my shoulder blades. 2 weeks ago I noticed that cereal in the morning caused me to bloat up excessively. I decided to quit dairy products. To my surprise, I was instantly cured... well at least for 3 days. I quit dairy and omeprazole at the same time and felt good for 3 days, but my heart burn like symptoms came back 10 times worse.

I was forced to go back on it again, but am now taking Lactase as well. I still have the same symptoms so I'm planning on cutting out gluten next. The specialist says that I will likely develop esoghagus cancer in the next 8 years if I don't get this resolved. I'm so frustrated because no one seems to want to help or knows what’s going on.

Don't listen to them! They told me the same thing when I was 24. I am now 41. I was on PPIs for 15 years and I am convinced they are what caused all the issues I have now. Go out and buy Practical Paleo and do what it says for diet and healing the gut. Just cutting gluten is not going to be enough. I quit the PPI cold turkey in Jan 2012. I went gluten free in May, Grain free (paleo plus potatoes) in november and THAT was the key for me. Also, if you have IBS symptoms, get tested for SIBO.

See if you can find a doc that practices functional or integrative medicine. I hope this helps. I was diagnosed with all the same things as you except the larynx thing. I am 90% better now. I have a few other issues you may not have, that I am working on but I feel great and rarely have heartburn. If I do, a sip of water takes care of it.


Thank you very much for replying. I've posted comments like this before on other blogs and never got a response. I would like to add a few more symptoms to my list. I'm not sure if they are all related or not.

Back in Aug 2010 when I developed black stool along with bad heart burn; once I got on Tecta which cured the black stool but caused my throat issues, in Oct of that year I was in a car accident that gave me a concussion. I started noticing painful lumps all over my upper thighs and stomach and side. Not all of the lumps were painful. I also started seeing flashing lights at night when I would go into my bedroom and shut off all the lights and shut the door. These flashing lights started causing me to experience severe vertigo.

The doctor said it was likely caused by the car accident and ignored my symptoms. He checked the lumps and said they were benign Lymphoma and referred me to yet another specialist.

The specialist performed surgery and removed the lump in my left side that was causing a lot of pain. The day surgery was not very pleasant. Anyways, after the surgery he said the Lymphoma was non cancerous and not to worry. I was so relieved and happy.

Within the next few months more lumps started forming trigger beside where the other one was removed. I never got any more of the lumps checked and continued on. The reason why I bring these other symptoms up is because I believe that they were caused by the PPI's. remember, I never had any of these additional symptoms before taking a PPI.

Today, I'm keeping an eye on the lymphomas and only have a few painful ones below my left breast. The doctor checked them and said that they were benign lymphomas again and not to worry. I haven't had the flashing lights in my eyes again for the past 3 months. I had my eyes checked and they said everything was ok and I should get an MRI. My doctor said it wasn't necessary and to stop worrying about it. But despite these additional symptoms, the worse ones are how I feel in my throat.

I can handle the mild heart burn and the stomach bloating (most times), but the weird throat sensations I feel when at work is really causing stress on me. I don't even want to speak to anyone anymore.

Having said that, I wanted to give you an update on my diet change. I'm on day 3 of completely going off all PPIs, and tums, etc... I have the exact same symptoms as I did when on the PPIs so I'm convinced they have done no good for me. I have added taking Lactate before meals, cut out most dairy, cut out all coffee (for 1 year now), alcohol (for 3 months), and eating smaller meals. I also started taking digestive enzymes, vitamin B12, fiber pills, and coconut oil for the past 3-4 days. I take roughly 12-14 vitamin pills per day now.

What I've noticed is I fell a bit mentally better, and my bloating has reduced some, but I still have the same GERD like symptoms as I've had for the past 2.5 years. If I don't eat anything, I get severe heart burn, and if I eat, I feel good for about 30mins after. I feel ok when I'm home and walking around in my PJ's for some reason. One last key piece I forgot to mention is yesterday when I had white crackers with salt I got severe bloating and heartburn that lasted 2 hours.

I will try the Paleo diet once I give my current diet a try for a few weeks.

Thanks for your help Moon.

Some people don't realize that they can't just stop taking the medicine, that they have to slowly cut the dosages back. When I tried to stop cold turkey it lasted for about a week. Then PAIN! By slowly lowering my dosage over a period of 3 months us a low carb diet, I've now been off off PPIs for a year now. I feel great!

Just remember that by being on these medicines for so long that your body will react negatively to the added acid. Slowly adjust. I also take papaya supplements after my meals and also a chew with probiotics. I truly believe that this helped my digestive system get back on track.

Just at day 5 of d/c'ing Prevacid - after being on PPI's for 7 years. I have severe reflux/ heartburn and a hiatal hernia complicating things. Changed diet to Wheat-Belly Diet (Cookbook - recipes are actually fabulous) recommendations - no wheat or any grains. Have been on low-carb for years, but if we did have bread rarely it was always whole grain and high protein. Doing better off the wheat, off chocolate and off mint.

The chocolate and mint cause a direct physiological change to the sphincter (tight band-like ring) between esophagus and stomach which relaxes the band and allows reflux of acid up into esophagus. Sleeping now propped up in bed at 45 degree angle - and hoping that doesn't last forever, but I am only on day 5 so of no meds; I will have patience.

Only sleep on left side or on back (elevated). Finish last meal at least 3 hours prior to bed. No coffee or wine during this phase until finally healed (more patience). They, as well as spicy foods, contribute to burning sensation if you're already in pain - but they don't have the same physiologic effect on the sphincter as chocolate and mint have - they just burn what's already irritated. Everyone here has been so helpful.

I will write back in two weeks with progress (hoping). Oh, I am managing also with digestive enzymes before and after meals, and Tums to follow. One effect of the PPI's (prevacid, nexium, protonix, etc) is that you don't absorb your calcium and prolonged usage can lead to Osteopenia or Osteoporosis. I have osteopenia and so that is a problem. Also the B12 can be a big problem. Get your levels checked and if low get the shots.

And while on PPI's make sure your Vit-D levels are in the mid-range or just a bit higher in the Normal range - not at the bottom or you won't absorb calcium; plus you'll have other issues with low Vit-D. Anyway, thanks all for your help.

Natural honey. Seriously... I swear by it. helped me.. any time I had a flare up coming off the prilosec I took about a spoon-full of local farmers market honey! also seemed to help with cough too...

I just wanted to share my experience with Omeprazole. I have always suffered on and off over the years with acid reflux, but was always very mild and always responded to Zantac 75mg, however in February this year it got very bad all of a sudden and even Zantac's would not work as well as they once had, I went to the doctor and he prescribed me a month course of 20mg Omeprazole once a day, and of course when I took it the very first day i got relief, the acid reflux had gone, well, I thought, this is a miracle!!

I got a repeat prescription after the first month had ran out and I was loving being able to eat and drink what I wanted, and I had no side effects, but then I decided to look in to how safe Omeprazole was, and I read what everyone else had read about how unsafe it was, it scared me.

So after being on it for 8 weeks I decided I was going to come off it, so I decided to start with every other day with a plan to every third day the following week etc, however I began to get rather scared of this drug being in my system at all, and not only that but my lower abdomen had swelled up- so after the first week of every other day I decided to come off them cold turkey, I didn't get any acid reflux but by day three of being off them I decided I should get some herbal back up, looking online I looked to see what was working for most people, so I bought DGL chewable Licorice tablets and Slippery elm capsules,This is what I did and am still doing now:

I began to take two slippery elm caps opened in a little warm water first thing on a morning, waiting about 20-30 minutes before I ate breakfast, then same again mid afternoon, then 20-30 mins before my main meal at dinner I took TWO DGL tablets, and then another two about 20 minutes before I lay down at bedtime

..and so far (10 days today!) there has been NO acid reflux (the most I had is a tiny slight warm feeling in my tummy which I got about day 5-6, but nothing bad at all, and the slippery elm and DGL sorted it out also and I haven't had anything since then!) which I am so amazed at because I am eating normal foods that I could not eat previously to the Omeprazole! I am also having a few celery sticks a day, most of the time after my main meal (about 2 hours after) and probiotic yoghurt.

HOWEVER I am rather suffering thanks to being on this drug, since coming off my lower abdomen STILL hasn't gone down, even though I don't feel bloated and my bowel movements are regular and normal, I have ulcers on the back of my throat (my doctor says it is a bacterial infection) but I have never had them before in my life!! I truly think these two things are due to some kind of "damage" the 2 and a half months of Omeprazole have done. I am hoping that eventually my tummy will go down and that the throat ulcers will go too.

I wanted to share my experience and what has worked for me so far and the withdrawal effects I have got form only being on Omeprazole for TWO AND A HALF MONTHS! I will NEVER go back on them again. I wish everybody luck and good health coming off Omeprazole and I hope what works for me, will work for you too!

Wickedlady, great info, thanks. I am going to try slippery elm.

You may have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth - SIBO, maybe as a result of not digesting your food properly while on the drug? Google SIBO and you will find more info. Best of luck.

Thank you so much Moonie, after looking it up you could be right! Luckily I bought some peppermint caps which is an anti fungal, so will start to take that an see how I go, thanks again, and hope you get some relief with the slippery elm :)

Well, I had a relapse last night after being off Omeprazole for 13 days , I was overly full even though I had eaten 6 hours before bedtime, and I began to feel very nauseous and I had acid from my tummy to my throat. I had to sit up until 4am and chew on some DGL to help with the burning, I don't know why this has happened, but I am finding it hard to be feeling so ill again, I still don't feel right this morning. I really don't know what to do now, my doctor here in the UK is useless, so I don't know what to do next, I have some HCL betaine with pepsin, does anyone here think they would be useful, or can anyone here help with any advice? Thanks all, I rue the day I ever started Omeprazole I feel like an old woman even though I am only 37.

Sorry to hear that Wickedlady. I have been there! When I (rarely now) have a night like that, I break down and chew calcium carbonate tablets (like Tums or rolaids- not sure what you call them in the UK)- not ideal but better than the other (PPIs.) I also sometimes take papaya enzymes if I ended up over eating. You chew 3 tabs after eating. Also, much of my stomach discomfort became better when I started eating a Paleo Diet. The only time I have issues now is if I break with that. Best of luck- hope you feel better soon.

Thank you Moonie :)

Thought I would give an update, I began taking the HCL betaine with pepsin and did the test, finding out I need 4 tablets with each decent meal (I take one or two with things like a chicken sandwich) and since being on them for a week- I have had ZERO acid reflux or burning in my tummy!! No matter what I eat! I am still taking the two slippery elm first thing on a morning, but I forgot today as we had the plumber round and I didn't suffer for not taking them, and I am still taking 2 DGL chewable tablets at bedtime just for a precautionary measure, so far so good, I really am glad that it seems I have too little acid, and that has what it has been all along and that there is something I can do about it!

I have also just bought a multi digestive enzyme that also contains probiotics and peppermint oil, so will see if that helps even further as my tummy is still distended, and my throat ulcers are still there- not as many but still there, I am hoping that after I have been on the HCL for a few weeks/months, that my tummy and ulcers will disappear.

You don't have to take the beads in the capsule: the instructions on the packet say you can open them and pour contents on to food. Ive been counting out the beads, and gradually reducing; so far so good.

I stopped taking omeprazole several months ago after about 10 years; it was casually prescribed after an endoscopy revealed hiatal hernia (my complaint was GERD). After the initial rebound I feel much better as far as the GERD but I have now a chronic feeling of a urinary tract infection (doctor says no bacteria in the urine however) and a lot of itching and inflammation in all of my shall we say bottom areas.

Is there any research regarding the long term use of PPIs causing a serious change in the gut microbiome which then wreaks havoc when you withdraw? I am trying various probiotics but no luck so far with the UTI-like feeling. Any suggestions as far as probiotics that really work?

Check out Karen R Hurd's book "And They Said It Wasn't Possible." Karen is a nutritionist who claims that beans, as in legumes, are very healing to the digestive system. This soluble fiber food attaches itself to the bile and removes toxins from the body. If we don't eat this, the bile recirculates and the bile becomes more and more likely to cause digestive issues... serious ones. (She has a facebook page too.) So I'm planning to eat beans (and vegetables-to help reduce acidity) as part of the regimen to wean off of omeprazole. I think there are alot of other good suggestions here too. thanks.

I have for a second time gone on Prilosec for approx. 3 months due to an endoscopy showing painful (but Benign) irritation in the esophagus. The Gastro doc said I had to go on it for at least 4 months to heal irritation. I caved and did what he said, even though past experience showed me with depleted B 12, magnesium, etc. I felt so good on the Prilosec at first, could eat anything without problems, it was awesome!

Because of this, gained weight (eating everything), and a month ago started with terrible side effects - jitters, anxiety, tingly fingers, toes and tip of tongue, fatigue, not sleeping well at night, just feeling awful!!! Five days ago, stopped cold turkey.. doing ok right now. very minor pain, (mine always hits between shoulder blades) gassiness, nausea.

Been using ACV, Aloe Vera, Digestive Enzymes, Probiotics. My question is how much of any of these remedies and at what time should I take them? I am frantic thinking the severe pain will come back since I DO NOT want to take and more Prilosec. Any help and also can't live without 1 cup of coffee in am, is that doable??

I had been doing well with the heartburn after doing L-glutamine and so on but I had some sort of relapse recently and I was taking the L-glutamine again and it wasn't working. Someone told me about mastic gum and said it was the key to her stopping her heartburn so I bought some yesterday and I already see a slight improvement. I wanted to be sure and share it with you all because I know some of us struggle no matter what.

Have been taking omeprazole 40mg daily for a number of years. Recently I've had gastritis. Have decided to come off omeprazole, after researching long term side effects and realising I have quite a lot of them.I have diverticulitis and a hiatus hernia, and have noticed some of the remedies suggested are not recommended if you have these conditions. Anyone out there who can help please.

Back in October of 2012 I came down with some sort of virus that caused some pretty severe gastritis. My gastroenterologist prescribed me 3 months of 40mg daily omerprazole. I didn't know at the time, but this drug is extremely difficult to get off of. I started reading online and found a way that helped me get off of it very slowly and with little discomfort. It took me around 3 months to get off the medication. To make life easier you will want a pill cutter and deglycyrrhizinated licorice which you can find on Amazon. If your doctor prescribed you hard pills, you can continue using them, otherwise you will need to purchase the OTC version since they are hard and can be cut by a pill cutter. Note that this method worked for me starting at 40mg from my doctor, you can adjust this method if you are on 30 or 20 mg dosage.

On the first day I used a pill cutter to cut one 20mg pill in half. The half pill plus a full pill equals 30mg. Essentially I cut my dosage by 25%. You wont feel any difference in the first day, but by day 2 or 3 you will begin to feel rumbling in your stomach and minor to medium level discomfort. This is expected as your stomach is starting to produce more acid. It will calm down over the next 2 weeks. If the discomfort gets too bad, you can take up to 2 deglycyrrhizinated licorice tabs per a day. And if you are starting to feel severe pain, take the other 10mg half of the pill. But be warned, if you continue to take the 10mg half pills, you are not reducing your dosage and will never get off this drug.

After 2 to 3 weeks, my stomach started to calm back down and the discomfort went away. That means my body became accustomed to the new dosage. It's time to cut the dosage down again. This time I take out one pill completely so that I am down to a single 20mg pill. The same symptoms will arise in about 2 to 3 days. Ride out the discomfort, drinking room temperature water to help dilute the stomach acid.

The drop from 30mg to 20mg was more difficult for me than the drop from 40mg to 30mg. So I continued on 20mg for about a month.

At this point I began to cut the 20mg pill in half each day. This took me down to 10 mg every day. The same symptoms of discomfort and bubbling in the stomach came back for a 4 or 5 days. This was the worst drop of the bunch. I continued on this dosage for another 4 weeks.

At which point I stopped with the remaining 10mg. I had some mild discomfort for 3 days but after that... I was done.

Good luck to anyone trying to get off this drug.

Then what do you do after the 6 week plan? Stay on the Pepcid or be drug free?

I did it. Here's how.

I bought a jeweler's scale, and empty gelatin capsules from Amazon.

I also bought a product called "mastic gum". think holistic medicine and "herbal supplements" are total BS, but this stuff worked, I believe. Use the scale and the gel caps to cut the dose of omeprazole.

Here's what I did.
Weeks 1 and 2: 2 caps of mastic gum every day, 1 cap of omeprazole every other day
Weeks 3 and 4: 2 camps of mastic gum every day, EXACT 75% dosage of omeprazole every other day
Weeks 5 and 6: 2 caps of mastic gum every day, EXACT 50% dosage of omeprazole every other day
Weeks 7 and 8: 1 cap of mastic gum every day, EXACT 25% dosage of omeprazole every other day
Week 9: 1 cap of mastic gum every other day, no omeprazole
Week 10: stop taking mastic gum
MEASURE CAREFULLY - the omeprazole is in little time-release beads inside the original capsules. Your measurements must be exact.
Now, I get heartburn if I eat too much, which is **as it should be**. Tums are my friend from time to time, but the frequency of the mild heartburn is going down.

THIS METHOD WORKS. I tried several times to just stop and could not.

I have been taking PPIs for 3 years, along with some other medication to empty the stomach. I'd become worried about taking them long term, but was in agony whenever I tried to cut down, so never dared to stop them completely. It got to the point where even the large doses I was taking were no longer working. I've also tried many herbal remedies along with the medication (aloe vera, dcl, dandelion root, slippery elm, enzymes etc.) Some have really helped, but only for a time.

I've been on 40mg omeprazole and 30mg of metoclopramide (stomach emptier) for 6 months, but my reflux just kept getting worse. I see a chiropractor for back problems, and mentioned it to her. She suggested just going totally detox on a juice only diet. I decided to just bite the bullet and give it a go, I couldn't take the sleepness nights and constant pain anymore so thought anything would be worth it. For the last 5 days I've had a banana, cup of coffee and homemade juices, all including red apples, and nothing else. I took half my medication on the first day but haven't taken any since. I've had no reflux whatsoever. Obviously I can't do this long term, but I'm hoping that this will alkalize my system and give me a reset. So far so good. Once the week's over I plan to do the juices during the day and have a small dinner, avoiding my trigger foods. Finger's crossed.

I was misdiagnosed with asthma for years until a pulmonologist put me on twice a day omeprazole - no more problems breathing especially at night and no more asthma meds needed.

I stopped taking Prilosec (40 mg/day) 13 days ago switching to hot water with lemon (an alkaloid, oddly enough) and 1 T baking soda in 1/2 glass of water to handle the extreme heartburn that now comes within 20 minutes of eating or drinking. I can handle that but what developed within 2 days and has now continued to date (11 days now) is constant diarrhea (also within 20 a 30 mins apter a meal). There is no sign of it stopping. Is this a normal detox withdrawal from Prilosec? How long will it last?

I am new to this site and trying to get info on the side effects of stopping Prilosec. What is DGL and HCL? I see them referred to in some of the comments.
Thank you.

People's Pharmacy response: DGL is deglycyrrhizinated licorice
HCl is hydrochloric acid. Some people take it in tablets to supplement stomach acid. Others prefer to drink a small amount of apple cider vinegar.

I've had lots of problems pre and post omneprazole.
Pre omneprazole:
Attacks of sever fatigue and diahorrea and occasional sleepless nights.

With omneprazole I was diagnosed as having Gastritis and given 40mg per day for three weeks and not eating wheat, coffee, spicy food and alcohol. Some symptoms improved but new ones appeared. Pain in the guts waking me up at night and acid reflux. I then left the country and went travelling for a few months in asia after a month symptoms had all but gone but reoccurred with stress, using meditation I could reduce the stress related symptoms.

I then reintroduced wheat spicy food and alcohol and stopped taking omneprazole the only symptom was the occasion constipation and sleepless night. When I got back to work some symptoms resumed sleepless nights, cramps and occasional bouts of fatigue. I quit the coffee and nothing changed. Enjoying my coffee again now. I quit alcohol and nothing changed. I quit wheat and nothing changed.

I have now been off omneprazole and still have occasional cramps and sleepless nights. Nothing has changed but at least I am not taking drugs. Umeboshi tea every night (which is highly alkaline) water with meals all help with acid attack as does lots of sleep.
Good night

I have had acid reflux/Gerd symptoms (bad acid/heartburn/trouble swallowing food/bloated stomach/rumbling stomach/gas feeling trapped inside stomach and esophagus) on and off for 5 years now. My doctor diagnosed me with GERD. He prescribed me Omeprazole 40mg per day. Have been taking it for about 2 months. Haven't had any problems really swallowing food, once in a while I will get some gas trapped inside and have to burp to feel better but now I am feeling really bloated and gassy like my stomach is full of gas and I feel like I'm putting on weight.

I have read a lot about prolonged use of omeprazole and PPI not being good for you and I feel as if that is what is causing my stomach to be so bloated and gassy. Am I wrong? I just know I want to get off it for good but i fear that as soon as I stop or try to wean off it my GERD and acid reflux symptoms will come back with a vengeance. Also my omeprazole is in capsule form (little beads inside) so I highly doubt I can wean back a proper dose with those.

Can I substitute over the counter prilosec 20mg in my weaning process or do the pills work differently than the caps? If anyone has a helpful weaning method with dosage that have proven to work to be off omeprazole for good I would greatly appreciate it. I am so tired of living in fear of not being able to come off this and I want to just watch what i eat and feel normal again. PLEASE HELP.

I have been on omeprazole for over 4 years had my op so didn't need be on them any more. Come straight off them been so unwell since coming of them I am either running toilet or constipated. Tum swells up and loads of wind but my reflux is sorted want to know if any one else as been the same and what advice would you give? I am on week 5 since having op and week 4 of not taking tablets. help

YES... I have been able to get off omperazole. I was put on these tablets for gastritis, after a couple of weeks the pain settled down and I thought brill, the doctor said to keep taking the tablets to prevent another attack, how long for I said and he said FOR LIFE!! I stayed on them for a year with many bad side effects.

I started getting a fast heartbeat and palpitations, (didn't think it was the tablets at 1st) I also started to feel really tired all the time, then stomach problems started... gas bloating... IBS, my resting heart rate was 85-90 when it should be 70 no wonder I was feeling unwell, went to the docs who looked at me like I was imaging these things but prescribed me 10mg tablets instead of 20mg for a month, (it is very important to reduce, don't just stop).

I started to reduce, I never had acid problems but I had now, I took half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a cup of water if I had a bad flare up, I also ate half an apple 4 times a day, I was able to manage to stay on 10mg for 2 weeks, then I stopped, I take DGL before a big meal to prevent gastritis which is brilliant! and I take 75g ranatadine which you can get over the counter when I have some acid and of course lovely juicy apples everyday. I feel 10 years younger, I have a normal heartbeat and a normal stomach no more IBS... it's the best decision I have ever made.

I was suffering from upper abdominal bloating that felt like it stretched across my upper abdomen. I also have acid reflux. the Dr. said that it could be a symptom of inflammation, and put me on Omeprazole 20mg. I have taken it for 3 days straight and on the third night after taking it, I started to feel dizzy and nauseous. I woke up this morning and am feeling not well like I'm coming down with something. I also feel lightheaded and slightly dizzy. I hate this feeling.

It's definitely the drug after reading countless forums. I am refusing to take it. This drug is not right. Symptoms like these are not healthy and who knows what kind of long term damage we are doing to our bodies, especially if people are having horrible reactions when trying to stop it. I'm done. I also felt like my hip bones and hand were aching when sleeping due to it which I have never had before. Very strange.

I was told by another Dr. that it might be my gallbladder, so why take something that is unnecessary? I'm getting an ultrasound on the weekend to determine if it is. I'm not having horrible attacks so I don’t think I'll need it removed (I hope). But symptoms like these should definitely light up a bulb in Dr.'s heads that it's not good. It doesn't seem like anything good is coming from it. How is it good if it might alleviate your heartburn, but cause severe multiple other symptoms?

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.

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 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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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