Q. As a nurse, I’m concerned about the widespread use of acid-suppressing drugs like omeprazole. I’ve heard many patients talk about how bad their reflux is when they stop these drugs. Until recently I was not aware that there is a rebound effect. Do you have any suggestions about how people can discontinue such medicine?

A. Rebound hyperacidity is now recognized as a potential complication of stopping many powerful acid-suppressing drugs. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix) and rabeprazole (Aciphex) can trigger severe heartburn symptoms when people stop them suddenly (American Journal of Gastroenterology, July, 2010). One reader noted: “I have been taking Nexium for about three years. I tried to get off it and got the rebound effect. Now what do I do?”

Gradual tapering might be beneficial. Less potent acid-reducing approaches including antacids or natural compounds may also help get someone past the most difficult stage.

We are sending you our Guide to Digestive Disorders for more details on getting off PPIs and other ways to deal with heartburn. Visitors to our website report that deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) may help, along with ginger and persimmon tea.

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  1. Mark

    I’ve been on omeprazole for approx ten years, then came to realise that all my ailments that sprung up over those years may have been connected to the omeprazole.
    While searching the web I accidently found The candida diet (low Carbs, no Sugar)

    Very drastic measures but, when done gradually you should get too many side effects.
    (If only I hadn’t jumped straight in)

    I had 3 days of hell with the side effects of no sugar and low carbs (off my feet feeling sick)
    But afterwards I felt reborn (it was like I was in a fog for years and finally I was me again) well worth it for your body and for my hiatus hernia.

    I’ve cut the omeprazole from 20mg -10mg- breaking that in half to 5mg in only a month (made far easier due to the diet)
    I don’t get reflux at all at night, and hardly ever get heartburn.
    It’s now time to stop the 5mg and start the lemon in water, ginger and liquorice root etc

    I also use apple cider vinegar, organic coconut oil etc.
    I’m like a new person.
    Drastic changes to my diet made a massive difference to not only my reflux condition but, to my body and state of mind.
    In my opinion, if you want to get off those drugs you need to change your lifestyle and diet

    Word of warning!
    Consult your Dr before making drastic changes to your diet.

    I hope this helps you like it’s helped me.

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