Popular heartburn medicines called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can be great for alleviating symptoms. If a person decides it is time to stop taking one of these PPIs, however, the withdrawal can trigger rebound acidity. The resulting heartburn may be very difficult to manage, and some people find it next to impossible to discontinue a PPI. This reader reports that papaya enzymes made a big difference in this effort.
Getting Off Prilosec:
Q. I recently went off Prilosec after reading that such heartburn drugs can weaken bones and increase the risk for dementia. To ease the resulting reflux, I drank apple cider vinegar tea with a little honey after meals.
This worked wonders for a few weeks. I still had occasional heartburn and chewed an antacid a few times a day.
Papaya Enzyme Tablets:
My daughter gave me a bottle of papaya chewable tabs and I eat three each day. I’ve not had a bout of heartburn since.
After years of being on Prilosec, I’m happy to say I’ve been off it for three months and am almost completely heartburn free. I don’t need the apple cider tea, and I’ve also dropped 10 pounds since I’ve been serving myself smaller portions to avoid overeating.
A. Stopping acid-suppressing drugs like esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec) can be challenging because of rebound hyperacidity. The resulting reflux symptoms are often painful and long lasting.
Papaya enzymes have a reputation for aiding digestion, but there has been little research on this approach. The same could be said of apple cider vinegar for heartburn.
Although many readers affirm that both approaches are helpful, we do not have solid scientific evidence to support these remedies. One product, GutsyGum, contains the antacid calcium carbonate plus licorice extract, papain (papaya enzyme) and apple cider vinegar. In one small study, GutsyGum eased heartburn symptoms better than placebo gum (Journal of Dietary Supplements, June, 2015).