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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  1. Jim
    Reply

    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.

  2. SAB
    Reply

    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!

  3. TF
    Reply

    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.

  4. SAB
    Reply

    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.

  5. SB
    Reply

    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.

  6. CAH
    Reply

    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.

  7. w.d.
    Reply

    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!!

  8. MLH
    Reply

    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.

  9. BW
    Reply

    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.

  10. Dave
    Reply

    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?

  11. GGF
    Reply

    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.

  12. RDaniel
    Reply

    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.

  13. Eh
    Reply

    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

  14. Sunday
    Reply

    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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