Q. How do I get off Nexium? My doctor had me taking it twice a day and told me to cut back to one. I’ve had terrible heartburn, even though I started taking Zantac. Do you have any tips for dealing with side effects? How long will it take for the stomach to go back to normal acid production?
A. Although proton pump inhibitors like Nexium are useful in some situations, they can be very difficult to quit. Stopping acid-suppressing drugs suddenly leads to rebound hyperacidity.
You may need to reduce your dose even more gradually. Adding Zantac would usually be expected to ease heartburn, but there are other approaches you may want to try. DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) before meals, probiotics daily and persimmon-ginger tea at mealtime may help. It can take a few months for acid production to normalize.