a bottle of Nexium 40mg

When the acid-suppressing medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were first introduced, doctors were extremely enthusiastic. The drugs were extremely effective at treating ulcers and severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Before long, they were being used for much less consequential conditions. Many people were prescribed these drugs for recurrent heartburn.

The FDA, along with the medical establishment, believed that these drugs were unusually safe. That is why esomeprazole, lansoprazole and omeprazole were approved for nonprescription use. Since that time, researchers have uncovered a number of side effects that concern us. Not the least of these is that stopping Nexium or similar drugs suddenly can lead to unbearable withdrawal symptoms.

Problems Stopping Nexium:

Q. I am weaning myself from 10 years of taking Nexium. I thought it would be easy. Ha!

I asked my doctor how to do this and he said just quit and if you have problems, take Zantac. I am stubborn so didn’t want to take more pills but found that I was eating Tums almost like candy. Because of my symptoms, I broke down last week and took Nexium again so I am having to start over.

Without Nexium I experience heartburn, coughing (I had no idea this was related!), waking up at night, burping, etc. I had to take Zantac today. I’m going to try the apple cider vinegar with water also to see if it helps.

A. It is hardly surprising that your doctor did not have a recommendation about how to discontinue Nexium. There is very little guidance about how to stop taking powerful acid-suppressing drugs (proton pump inhibitors or PPIs) like dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix) and rabeprazole (AcipHex).

Most physicians have been led to believe that PPIs are extremely safe and could be taken indefinitely without worry. Over the last few years, however, we have learned that long-term use of such strong acid-suppressors might have unintended consequences.

Stomach acid kills unwanted germs. Without this barrier, there is fear that some bacteria might survive, creep into the lungs and lead to pneumonia. There are also data to suggest that the hard-to-treat intestinal bug C. difficile can flourish more readily and cause uncontrollable diarrhea when PPIs are on board.

Nutritional Deficiencies:

Then there is the danger of nutrient deficiencies including calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin B12. Without adequate calcium and magnesium there may be an increased risk for fractures. Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to symptoms such as nerve pain, confusion and memory problems, as well as blood abnormalities.

The latest concern is the discovery that acid-suppressing drugs may be linked to heart problems (Circulation, online, July 3, 2013). Researchers have found that PPIs lower levels of a natural compound called nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and makes them more flexible. If drugs like Nexium lead to stiffer arteries, that could cause cardiovascular complications, especially for people with existing heart disease.

Other Nexium Side Effects:

  • Headaches
  • Digestive distress, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, pancreatitis
  • Blood disorders
  • Skin reactions, rash (can be life threatening; seek immediate medical attention!)
  • Fractures

Stopping Nexium or Other PPIs:

So how can people like you phase off drugs like Nexium without going through hell? First, never stop suddenly! Rebound hyperacidity can cause unbearable heartburn. We know this because of a Danish study (Gastroenterology, July 2009). Researchers recruited healthy volunteers with no history of heartburn. They were randomly assigned to either Nexium or placebo. After eight weeks on Nexium, a placebo was substituted without the subjects’ knowledge. The conclusion: “PPI therapy for 8 weeks induces acid-related symptoms in healthy volunteers after withdrawal.” In other words, even normal people without heartburn can experience symptoms if the drug is stopped suddenly.

People who take PPIs for a long time can really suffer. The excess acid production can last for several weeks. That’s why gradual withdrawal over two or three months may be necessary.

Some people report that apple cider vinegar helps, even though it seems illogical:

“My doctor prescribed Nexium for me in my early 50s. My ‘reflux’ was a temporary problem noted during my annual physical, almost certainly the result of over-eating. I didn’t think my diet was bad enough to require taking daily meds for the rest of my life, but when I skipped a dose the indigestion came back with a vengeance.

“Finally I heard about apple cider vinegar to get off Nexium. I took about a tablespoon in water twice a day, and was off Nexium in two days. I had been on Nexium for about two and a half months. The apple cider vinegar was a quick fix for me.” Jim

Other people report that DGL licorice tablets can help ease withdrawal symptoms.

“Fifteen minutes before eating I would take a DGL licorice tablet. I also swallowed two digestive enzyme pills and a probiotic tablet with my meals. I gave up snacking after dinner. I still get an acid stomach once in a while, but I just take a DGL and it goes away. All this helped.” MJM

“I have had chronic GERD and gastritis since I took Nexium and had a horrible adverse experience with it. Since then I have used DGL deglicerized licorice, Aloe + L-Glutamine along with digestive enzymes. These could help you transition off your prescription medicine. Remember to not stop all at once, but to taper off slowly so you don’t get a rebound acid attack. Another old remedy is to drink boiled cabbage or spinach water between meals.” C.T.S.

Still others report success with Persimmon Tea, a traditional Korean dessert punch:

 “I must attest that my dad who have suffered from reflux for over 2-3 years and have been taking Nexium is totally off his medication ever since he started drinking persimmon tea! It’s amazing.” Shel

“I started using the persimmon tea/punch since my grocery started selling persimmons in October. I use fresh persimmons but I will find dried persimmons soon and keep them on hand.

“I mix the recommended amount of ingredients in the recipe using fresh persimmons and I leave the persimmons in the container. It takes me about 1 week to use all the tea. I drink about 3 or 4 ounces cold three times a day and before bedtime.

“I mix the morning tea with “Clear & Natural, Metamucil”. I took a sample of the tea to my doctor and he really liked it. He said he is going to give the recipe to his mother and if it works as well for her as it does for me then he will start giving the recipe to his patients.

“One more thing, I can now eat what I want; chocolate, coffee, bananas, orange juice and coffee. One morning I had a bacon & egg breakfast with buttered toast, orange juice and coffee. Not a hint of a problem! Yeah!” Ilene

For more details on how to deal with stopping strong acid-suppressing drugs, we offer our Guide to Digestive Disorders. The persimmon-ginger tea recipe is described along with tips from Tieraona Low Dog, MD, about getting off PPIs. Here is a link to our publications, including our Guide to Digestive Disorders. 

This article was updated on January 19, 2017.

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  1. Hevinlee

    Been on Nexium for some 25 years 40mg per day. I, too, am going off of it. Right now I am using Gaviscon after meals up to 4 x a day and bedtime like the label says. It sure beats starving and losing weight. I am also in the process of using CBD oil. Let’s hope we all have not damaged our kidneys with Nexium and pray that we find a doctor who is well informed of this danger of Nexium. God bless!

  2. Nancy

    After taking 2 , 40mg Nexium daily for 15 years for severe GERD, I dropped to 1 40 mg capsule per day. Have done this for 2 months and still having heartburn. Take tums, DGL and lots of water to get through. I want to take it down to 20 mg a day but my body just not ready. This is going to be a long road. Can I take Pepcid while still on 40mg Nexium every day? I am struggling.

  3. Lisa

    I could not get off Prilosec because of the rebound heartburn. I tried several times and gave up. Finally, after a bout of very bad stomach “flu”, I realized hadn’t taken any meds in days because I had been throwing up constantly. I decided to see if my system would reset after my illness to a normal level of acid, and it did. I never took the drug again and never will. would not recommend catching a stomach virus to help stop this medication, but it worked for me!

  4. Cheralyn

    I was diagnosed with acid reflux (GERD) when I was 50 years old after a gastroscopy and a biopsy of my esophagus revealed I had severe erosion in my esophagus due to the acid splashing up and an inoperable hiatal hernia. I used to eat TUMS like it was candy for many years! My Gastroenterologist suggested renatinidine and it didn’t do a thing for me.

    Then, a friend told me about Nexium, so, I got a prescription for it and took 40mg, once a day and it worked great! I have been on it for 10 years now and tried to go off it 3 days ago because I had known of the long term side effects and have experienced inflammation of the pelvis and aching joints, Osteoarthritis, etc. My Doctor put me on prednisone for a week to reduce the inflammation and also told me my liver has taken a beating, but I suffered such severe heartburn, I had to go back on Nexium again.

    I will go back to the Doctor next week and tell him I need a bone density test, along with me going back to my Gastroenterologist to ask what else I should do! Sometimes, I find you have to be your own advocate when it comes to certain medications. The pros definitely outweigh the cons for me right now and I hope to eventually wean myself off Nexium as I want to be medication free by the time I turn 60, which is next Summer! Wish me luck!


    I have a question…actually I change my country for my study….before 3 months in throats there is very burning sensation and hyperacidity then I went to a doctor she give me 40mg omeprazole for 1week then I was OK after some days it again started and I again started 20mg omeprazole….I take it everyday now but when I stop it the hyperacidity again started pls give me a advise how can I avoid hyperacidity

    • Nancy

      Have you tried taking Pepcid instead of omeprazole? Since you have not been on it to long this may work.

  6. Joy Chelminski
    Las Vegas

    I have GERD and have been on Nexium 20 mg for 20 years. I have read everyone’s concerns and problems about getting off this drug. I am now completely weaned off of this drug without any physician help because I have been advised that they say 20 mg is the lowest dose and it will never hurt me which is not true. I have been in the hospital twice 4 c.difficile otherwise known as c-diff. Not to mention that I have had broken bones which concerns me about having or developing osteoporosis.

    The primary care physician and gastroenterologist say that I am on the lowest dose and that I don’t need to worry about stopping my Nexium 20 mg. But we all know that they are wrong. I took Nexium 20 mg as prescribed daily and the way I weaned off of it was to buy the 20 mg tablets and split them and take 10 mg daily for two months straight and then take a split 10 mg tablet every other day for another two months period after that. For the last 2 months, I took the 10 mg tablets twice per week. This brought me to six months and I am now free from Nexium and its side effects. I did not take anything else whatsoever. The key is to wean off of this drug a very very slowly and no less than 6 months and preferably one year if you are taking a higher dose. Hope this helps.

  7. Annie

    I have been on Prevacid (Lansoprosal) 30 mg twice a day for 10 years. Five years ago I cut back to 30 mg once a day which is just half of total dose. I was fine for a few months or more then I began getting chest and back pain again. At first it was just occasional but within a couple more months it was very bad. My chest pain would come in spasms lasting a approximately 10 minutes minutes and ease up for about 4-5 minutes and pain return again. This pattern would go on for at least six hours straight, where I could not sit or stand but would just pace. It would always happen more in the evening so I lost a lot of sleep. I purchased an electric bed so I could try to sleep sitting up perfectly straight. I still could not sleep but would be so tired. This would go on for 6-7 nights straight at at least six hours each night. I had to take naps during the day to get some sleep.

    Mine was caused by acid damage. The symptoms are similar to having a heart attack. At first I didn’t know if it was my heart or something else because I had been pain free for about 3 months at least before symptoms came back. It took almost six more months back on the Lansoprosal to become pain free again. That was my second time of dealing with six months of severe chest pain going through to back.

    Now I am having a lot of groin and outer side of both hips pain as well which is also causing knee and shin and ankle pain as well as shoulder to elbow on one side. I don’t know if that is the arthritis or the osteoporosis causing it. I have both. I am 72 years old and am now planning to titrate down a second time. This time I will see if pharmacist can put my PPI in lower doses (20, 10, and 5 mg) with same amount total so that I can slowly titrate down over the course of one year so that my system can gradually get used to a little less PPi for a month at a time. Halfway through the year I will try to cut the days amount and just finish the year with at bedtime only. I am nervous about doing this, but I do not want to fracture my hips as it is dangerous and as a senior on a blood thinner for atrial fib, and embolism causing small stroke I would be at higher risk of blood clot after hip fracture and therefore higher risk of death. I intend to involve both my doctor and my pharmacist in this plan. One year seems a long time, knowing I am already having some damage in brain due to chronic ischemic microangiopathy or small vessel disease. PPI’s contribute to many other problems. There has to be a healthier solution. One med causes damage and it takes another to heal it, then that med causes even more damage. I wish I had never taken the first med a bisphomate that I was on for 15-18 years which is what caused the acid damage in the first place. Now doctors have learned you cannot be on it for more than five years and must have a two year break in between. Too late for me.
    All drugs should have to be tested over a ten year period before being given to public. We don’t know what will happen after a certain amount of time.

    I would advise taking a year to “slowly titrate back” with doctor and pharmacist involvement. It may take longer but hopefully it will work and stay healed.

  8. Roger

    I was raced to hospital with suspected heart attack only to find it was acid.
    I have had Barretts for over 20 years, and yes, it is really scary when you get the news that you have something that can get very serious.

    I had a Fundoplication, which basically tightens up that area to reduce the amount of acid that escapes the stomach, but on the first week after the operation, the stitches went putting me in a worse situation.

    I have tried ACV and it didn’t work for me, because I believe it is for acid imbalance conditions, not for a weak valve that lets acid through.
    I have been on 20mg of Nexium once a day, I recently raised that to 40mg as I was getting acid in my mouth when I woke up.

    I will reduce that in 2 weeks time, because I have had bad bounce back the couple of times that I tried to wean off too fast.
    So. what have I learned?

    Firstly, not to panic or worry, I did and I had an operation that was unhelpful to say the least, I could have gotten through just fine without it, if I had changed my attitude.

    Concentrating on the problem makes it worse, and if like me you do this, then your quality of life and those of your family and loved ones diminishes also.
    Do take regular excersize, change your diet; I cut out white bread, lost 6 kilos, and now at 56, I can beat my 14 year old in a sprint – I am fitter than I was at 40.
    I believe now that getting off Nexium or similar should not be on the radar until we change the lifestyle that led us there in the first place

    • Andrew
      Monmouth UK

      The drug companies almost certainly knew what the effects of the long term use of proton pump inhibitors before they were even on the market.

      I am in my late seventies, have been on 20mg Omeprazole for over ten years and had severe rebound symptoms when I stopped taking it.

      As a retired biochemist, I looked into this more closely. Proton pumps are proteins in almost all cell membranes that use metabolic energy to push hydrogen ions (protons) through the membrane and exchange them for potassium ions.

      In the stomach, these protons are responsible for making the gastric juices acidic and inhibiting them with PPIs such as Omeprazole stops the stomach from producing acid, which may be what you want.

      Unfortunately proton pumps are also important in other parts of the body and their effects on these parts are responsible for most of the adverse effects of PPIs.

      There are proton pumps in almost all cell membranes and they are important in supplying energy for many metabolic processes concerned with the active transport of other ions and nutrients into and out of cells. They work by pumping protons out of cells against an electrochemical gradient. They are then allowed back in but this is coupled to the movement of other ions such as magnesium and calcium via special enzymes the membrane called transporters.

      Inhibition of this by PPIs reduces the uptake of magnesium and calcium and will eventually lead to osteoporosis and risk of bone fracture.

      Proton pumps are also used by the kidneys for the reabsorption of essential nutrients that would otherwise be lost in the urine. PPIs can therefore result in premature kidney failure.

      Proton pumps are also needed for the absorption of nutrients by brain cells so that PPIs can result in brain starvation, inability to think clearly, the death of neurons, early dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

      If that were not enough, because proton pumps exchange protons for potassium ions, PPIs leave too much potassium on the wrong side of the membrane, which increases the potassium level in the blood and, with it, the likelihood of a heart attack.

      All of this information has been available in biochemistry books for many years; it should have been known by the drugs companies before they put PPIs on the market.

      • Mairee

        Thank you, Patrick

        I applaud your thoughts that I have a hiatal hernia from lifting patients as a registered nurse before lifting machines. Instead of treating the hernia I was started on PPIs, lastly Nexium.

        It altered the absorption of fat, the little I eat, as it reduced the acidity. Therefore, even as a slim girl I soon got many side effects. I went from none to fourteen gallstones. Also had circulatory problems with blocked arteries. I have changes in the small vessels in the brain. I have diverticulitis. Yes, these companies are responsible. They have ruined my life. I have 40% blockages in each carotid artery. All this is linked to the PPIs, I am sure.

  9. Patrick

    I’ve had gastritis for more than 15years and did endoscopy 4 times they see gastritis. Taken different types of omeprazol and the like, it will stop and after a while comes back, the type of omeprazole I used to it will not work if it comes back.

    Now, I am taking Prilosec for 2 weeks and stopped and I’m having heart burn and pain.
    Advise me please.

  10. Patrick

    I want to come off omeprazole.

    Please advise me on the steps to take, because I use to have heart burn any time I stopped.

    • Terry Graedon

      Patrick, you’ll want to reduce the dose gradually and use other options to help with the heartburn. A drug like Zantac or Tagamet could help; so can persimmon tea or DGL.

    • Akua


      Unfortunately I know it’s hard to find ‘Persimmon’ on our side of the world. Whats worked for me is Apple Cider vinegar. I had for two days and really stopped acid stomach.

      For GERD, also check to see you don’t have an ulcer. I had one that was causing heartburn.

  11. Karl

    After more than 15 years on lansoprazole, I am getting off it. I have had periodic bouts of hyponatremia, and now mild anemia. Just decided it might be related, so best to get off it. It has been 3 days and so far no problems. I take a little vinegar in the morning and famitozine twice a day. My wife got off it that way some time ago. I also take a Gaviscon now and then but not often. Avoid over-eating, spicy foods, or any known digestive irritators. Sure hope I can do it, and that it helps.

  12. Marlene

    I have been taking Prevacid 40mg once a day for about 18 years. I was never tested for Acid Reflux or GERD or anything else. I was just told since I had severe heartburn I could stay on them indefinitely. I am 65 years old and I have always tended to put all my faith in my doctors. I have waked up and realized that I have to take my health into my own hands sometimes. Doctors are too quick to prescribe pills that we might not even need.
    I have come to realize that I should never have been on them for that long because of all the bad side effects.

    18 Years is long enough, and I decided I would quit no matter how hard it was. For two weeks I took one 40mg pill every second day, and I was fine. No acid reflux, no heartburn. Then I decided to go for two weeks every third day, and I was still pretty good except for the odd little bit of heartburn. Then I went 4 days without a pill, and I decided that was it. I would take one more pill and never take another. It has been 3 weeks since my last pill.

    After one week without a pill I started getting the acid rebound. It has not been easy but I am determined not to go back on this terrible drug. When it gets really bad I take Gaviscon, and that helps. I also chew gum for 30 minutes after each meal, and that actually seems to help a bit. I eat smaller meals, and I SIP water all day. Never drinking more than a few sips a time but still manage to drink quite a bit during the day. The symptoms I am getting now are burning in the middle of my chest which radiates to my right upper right shoulder blade which seems so weird. It burns like fire but only lasts for an hour or two, and then it goes away. I did not know that heartburn could burn your back. That is actually worse than the heartburn in my chest. So I don’t know how long this pain is going to last but I feel like it will be all worth it in the end.

    I know I made a mistake weaning off of it so quickly, and sometimes I am tempted to take a pill again to take away the pain but I just can’t bring myself to do it. So all this to say if anyone wants to wean themselves off of this terrible drug do it slowly, and hopefully you won’t get the rebound. Good luck to everyone.

  13. Wayne

    After twenty plus years of taking 40mg Nexium for Barrett’s, one scope no Barrett’s was seen. Surgeon suggested taking 40 mg every second day. Wow, that was pain down the center of my chest like what sent me to the doctor so many years before. I bought OTC 20mg Nexium for the off days and talked to my regular doctor, who suggested taking 20mg a day. That worked out.

    So to get from 40 mg two 20, I’d go 40 then 20 and back to 40 alternating each day until you can do straight 20’s. I will wait until my next scope before I reduce further. I do want to thank SK from Texas who let it be known that 20’s can be cut in half. I will do that when I get the go ahead.

  14. Lynn

    I have been taking Prilosec 20mg for a very long time, first twice a day and past year once a day. I tried to get off once after a few days I thought I was dying the acid reflux was so bad. I went back on. I didn’t know about the side effects then. Now I want to try again because I had bad memory problems, severe leg cramps and headaches. I will try the licorice tablets and probiotics and may be the persimmon tea. But what do you do when the persimmons are not in season. Is there a pre-made tea you can buy in the store? I have access to persimmons when they are in season but the season is gone. I also have IBS and I wonder if this is also a result of taking Prilosec. I would like to hear from more people what works for them.

    • John
      St Louis

      Visited MD Friday who told me to stop taking the 40 mg cold turkey. Big mistake. Have been taking it for 8 years. Looking for alternatives.

  15. robert m

    I was able to get off omeprazole immediately by replacing it with 1 tbl apple cider vinegar & 1 tbl raw honey mixed in one cup warm water twice daily. I have had no problems since.

  16. CeCe

    I, too, had been on Protonix for GERD for several years. It wasn’t completely helping my symptoms and the drug had all these other bad side effects so I wanted to get off the drug. I tried tapering off but got the rebound GERD and it was unbearable. My gastroenterologist was not supportive and said obviously you need this drug.

    She did not mention anything about the rebound effect of trying to get off this drug. I finally ended up going to a Functional Medical doctor. She helped me get off this drug by having me take supplements of probiotics, digestive enzymes and believe or not gastric acid pills. Along with drinking a lot of bone broth.

    I started out by tapering off the Protonix to every other day for two weeks then every third day for 3 weeks and so on. It was a 6 month process but I was finally able to get off the drug. I did experience heartbeat off and on and took DGL to help. But since I have been off the drug 5 months now I only occasionally have to take DGL for heartburn. Good luck to anyone getting off this drug. I strongly recommend finding a Functional medical doctor.

    • Bina P

      that is great, happy for you….but how long were you on the ppi?

    • Deb

      I have wanted to find a doctor such as the one you found for a long time. Can you say where you are or how to go about finding one? Thank you!

  17. Norah
    san jose, ca

    I have a whole different problem from acid. I was started on Dexilant when I was diagnosed with RA. I had no stomach problems whatever before taking Dexilant, it was prescribed to put a “layer” between the RA meds and my stomach lining. In 2016 our new insurance would not cover the Dexilant.

    My doctor wrote an appeal letter to insurance and tried to keep me with samples until insurance made decision. Any gaps in having samples on hand lead to nausea. Finally to be realize insurance will not cover, I just ran out. I have had such awful nausea since. It causes me to cancel appointments constantly. I have no idea what makes it better or worse. It is NOT acid! It is nausea. I feel nausea on an empty stomach and if I eat, if I eat I have something to throw up, so I don’t eat. How can these drugs be allowed out there if no warnings are told to the doctor!!!!

  18. Bert
    South Dakota

    I has a chronic cough that was diagnosed as acid reflux by Mayo. It helped my sore throat but I was having a ton of other issues. A Gastroenterologist diagnosed me with Atrophic Gastritis and Crohns disease. I am in the early stages but lost 40 pounds from a muscular 178pounds. I struggle to stay above 140 and my diet is very restricted. I doctor told me to continue to take nexium even though I have read about the side effects. He said that is nothing compared to what will happen if you don’t control acid reflux. I have taken natural medications that treat my other problems and they have been all a problem with the gut turmoil caused by crohns. I am limited.

    • Bina P

      Can empathize with you. The answer to your amazement and question is simple. The drug companies are only interested in addressing our symptoms an not worried about the root cause of a health problem. these symptom controlling meds are invariably toxic and create other medical issue which then force us again to take some other drugs to help with the new disease. This way, they keep making more and more money by keeping us sick.

      The big pharma also conceals info about the harmful effects of these drugs. All this happens with the blessings of our dishonest Congress who are always in the pockets of the lobbyists of these companies. this is pure capitalism without any sense of ethics. the only goal & motto is – making money!

    • Joy

      Try to not eat gluten. It’s everywhere, be careful.

  19. Rob

    Two months on Nexium and Pepsin and I stopped cold turkey 4 days ago because I read about antacids causing malabsorption. My stomach is always churning and my bowl movement changed from 1 a day to twice a day with very loose stool. So on the 5 day off these drugs I had a bad case of diareah. Is my stomach reacting to coming of these meds? How long will it take for my gut flora to normalize?

  20. Bob

    I have been on Nexium for 20 years because of GERD. I was originally perscribed 40 mg twice daily. I continued this for over 16 years. My doctor retired and on my first appointment with the new Dr that took over his practice he lowered my dose to 20 mg twice a day. After doing that dosage for 6 months he lowered it to 20 mg daily. Through this period of lowering ( 1 year) he told me to stay at that dosage since Nexium was labeled as a very safe drug.

    A few years later, I started reading some long term effects of taking nexium for a long period of time and decided it was time to get off of the drug. My Dr didn’t think I should quit taking Nexium completely but that was my decision. He did send me to a gastroenterologist to make sure I didn’t have Barrett’s esophagus going on something serious like that.

    The test came back with GERD, the same as I was diagnosed 17 years earlier. When I made the comment that I wanted to get off Nexium his reply was why? I told him what I had been reading about Nexium and his reply was that none of those findings had been officially confirmed and he had not seen that in any of his patients and he had been in practice for over 20 years. He recommended I keep taking my low dose of 20 mg per day and that he doubted if I would experience any problems.

    I wasn’t willing to take that chance so I decided to quit on my own.
    I started taking 20 mg every 2 days, I did that for 1 month with very little heartburn episodes but I did have a few. I then went to 20 mg every 3 days, I was ok until the 9 the day then all hell broke loose.

    I tried going back to 20 mg every other day but had no success, I finally went back to the 20 mg per day and finally got back to being normal. Since then I waited a couple of months and started my routine over but at a much slower pace. I was on the 20 mg every other day for 2 months I then started buying the 20 mg tablets and splitting them in half, taking one of the split tables (10 mg) per day for 2 months.I had a few episodes at this dosage but not overbearing. I then went to the 10 mg every other day, again I had more frequent episodes but again nothing overbearing.

    I continued this for 1 month and finally stopped taking any Nexium at all. I had a few flare up after I quit but I found that Pepcid AC would take care of it. I have been off Nexium completely now for over 2 months. I have minor heartburn issues once in a while but the one Pepcid tablet takes care of it.
    All I can say is that it’s a difficult journey, in which you will find little help and support, but it can be accomplished just stay strong and focused.

    • Bina P

      Are you better/ok now? if not…take mega doses of probiotics such as culturrell and eat fermented foods like saurkraut and dandelion greens to restore your gut flora. Give an update on how you are. Sharing info and experiences can help others.

  21. S.K.

    I have been on Nexium for 7 years now because of heartburn. It’s what my doctor put me on. He told me that after 2 months if my symtoms are still there then I should see a gastroenterologist. 7 years later, I am still taking Nexium because I am scared to go to the doctor and find out whats wrong with me. I have tried coming off of this medication with no luck at all. I was taking every other day and still had some symtpoms but I was chewing tums. It’s been 5 days since I’ve taken a Nexium and today has been horrible. I have vomited twice today because of the heartburn. I never knew it would be so hard to come off of this medication. Any suggestions?

  22. Bev
    Manitoba (MB)

    I have been on two 40mg tablets of Nexium for over 10 years, not because of heartburn but because I have a lot of chronic pain and the pain meds irritate my stomach something fierce. So my Dr. prescribed Nexium to stop a lot of the stomach pain I was experiencing. It didn’t take it all away but it did help lessen it.

    I have been on so many drugs over the years to lessen the side effects of pain medication that at one point I was on 23 different meds. That’s when I had to say time out. This is killing me, and even I know it. So began my journey of wellness for myself and taking myself off a lot of these drugs.

    I’m now down to 3 and I want off the Nexium because the side effects for this are scaring me. I’m already experiencing some memory issues, so I’m really worried about possible damage from this medication since I’m 60. I tried cutting my dose in half and oh my what a mistake! I was fine until day 5. Then by early evening, I was suffering the worst heartburn I have ever experienced and nothing I am trying, including the suggestions I have seen written here, are helping. I realize now I have to go back on the Nexium and decrease the dose at a much slower pace. Lesson learned! Cruel lesson it is, let me tell you.

  23. Gail

    I have been on Nexium for years because of Gerd. Knowing what the long term side effects can be I have decided to stop taking it. Came across alkaline water and decided to research a bit. Printed out a list of alkaline/ acid foods. I have stopped drinking coffee in the morning, this was tough, and no chocolate. Eating more alkaline foods and less of the acid foods has been a help.

    Let me mention I have tried to stop Nexium before and the pain was so bad I had to go back on it. Since there is still the rebound affect I am taking one Pepsid Complete at night and occasional Tums. I hope to eventually cut back on the Pepsid when things settle down.

    I am so much more comfortable this time. Last time I tried all the natural remedies but was not watching the acid producing foods. Side benefit I have lost 5 lbs so far. Check with your doctor to see what they think. With all medications you have to weigh the good with the bad and doctors are trying their best. Hope you find relief.

  24. Colleen
    Halifax, NS

    I think it is a awful pill to be on! I have been on it for about a year now and have so many weird things going on with my body: headaches, aches and pains in my body, nausea, tiredness, sinus problems. Most of all it doesn’t really help with my stomach problems so much anymore and I think its because after awhile our bodies get used to it and it just stops working once our own bodies take charge. Then we are left with these side effects and no help for the problems with our stomachs. So yes, I too am going to wean myself off of these pills, absolutely and will do it safely as I tried to go off cold turkey and that really had my stomach doing flips and flops so take my word for it go off them slowly so this doesn’t happen to you!

  25. M

    I am attempting to come off Nexium after 7 years. Going cold turkey as whenever I try to taper off my symptoms are so bad. Went to a naturapath first and came up with a plan to take lots of supplements to support my stomach and digestive system. 4 days in and hardly any symptoms of reflux! I do feel weird but it’s more on an emotional level. Anyway I recommend talking to someone who can help you come up with a plan to support you as you come off this short term helpful but long term nasty drug!

  26. Marylou

    Since I have been on Nexium for over 20 years I have lung problems,my heart stopped 2 years ago for no reason and I now have acid reflux,my kidneys are week and get infection all of a sudden

  27. Rita

    I’ve been on omeprazole 40 mg for 4 years now for erosive esophagitis. Within the past year, I’ve noticed a lot of hair loss. I’ve read that this is a side effect and I also may develop osteoporosis.

    I called my gastro, and he said I can taper off of it. I’m going to take 1 capsule every other day for a week and then 1 capsule every two weeks, and so on until I’m down to seven days without it. My gastro didn’t tell me how I should taper off of it. I hope this will work without having major acid reflux. Is this a good way to taper off of it?


  28. vincent
    andover, nj

    I have been on nexium for 20 years and could never get off the medication because of severe stomach pain from gerd . Have tried many times to get off nexus and after reading this page i’m going to try again to stop taking this medication. My kidney fuction is low and broke my ankle not to long ago, also not feeling myself, tired most of the time.

    • Rita

      I meant to say 1 capsule every two days and then 1 every 3 days until I reach one week.

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