The People's Perspective on Medicine

Stopping Nexium (Esomeprazole) Suddenly Can Cause Severe Heartburn

Stopping the acid reflux medicine Nexium suddenly can cause unpleasant rebound heartburn.
PPI esomeprazole heartburn

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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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I was prescribed Prilosec and eventually switched to Nexium over 25 yrs ago. It’s taken me two yrs to come off Nexium. It must be done very, very slowly. I started by not taking it every day, with skipping a day in,between. I’ve never taken more than 20 mgs a day, so I didn’t have to reduce the dosage. Gradually over the first year I got to where I only took it once every 4 to 5 days. The next year I could go even longer, about every 7 days. I then started trying to come off of it. This is my 2nd time of being off it completely for over 30 days now, and I’ve only had to take Milk of Magnesia twice. I refuse to go back to Nexium. My body feels sooo much better. I have more energy, have lost about 13 pounds, and food even tastes different. Take your time. Listen to your body. Trial and error Just go very slowly if you are like how I was and took this drug for years.

I took nexium for one day and it made me feel really ill and horrible so I threw it away. Cost big bucks but not worth it. I just take my apple cider vinegar and honey and will treat my heartburn myself. Don’t take the nexium as totally dangerous. Also treat yourself with healing light

I too have been on Nexium now for about 5 years. I would really like to eliminate it. I have been vegan now for close to 2 years and have found myself to be a lot healthier. Now I want to eliminate Nexium and a cholesterol lowerer (even though the doctor said my level was really low she wanted me to take it.?) Also a pill for lowering blood pressure. I tried stopping Nexium completely I got so much acid I started to take it again after a week. I would like to eliminate all 3 prescriptions. I got a pill cutter and have been taking a half per day for the past 4 months and that works. But I find half measures avail us nothing. So I am going to try the Persimmon Tea as suggested and see what happens. I might try the apple cider vinegar in warm water as well. Good luck people and good health. Doctors over prescribe.

Please if you can…try any natural remedies and avoid ppi’s. My partner had been prescribed ppi for at least 8 years…he passed away with pancreatic cancer-liver mets 8 months ago…l do not wish to scare anyone but l truly do believe this medication contributed ,if not caused his passing. In my personal opinion this medication should not be taken for a long period of time.

Thanks a lot for your opinions. I always believe in natural things. I will try vinigar and honey and keeping on step by step.

I’ve been on OTC and prescription PPI’s on varied combinations/dosages for several years. While i’ve not been properly diagnosed with scopes or other tests, doctors suggest i have GERD due to family history and acids triggering Asthma. I’ve been aware of the potential dangers of these meds but due to the asthma difficulties was told PPI’s were my best option.

So last week i read more and decided to go cold turkey and suffer through the rebound and withdrawal. In the past i have taken chewables such as TUMS, but these give me loose bowels so decided not to use them any longer either. I used pepto bismol at night to at least sleep a few hours during this process.

I gambled with peppermint oil supplements. People report varied success with them but figured it was worth a shot. I chose a vegan version of these on Amazon for about $15. I thought i’d share that for me they are amazing and nip the indigestion in the bud . The jury is still out as to whether or not the effects will satiate, but for now i am PPI free without any significant acid indigestion. Do take 20-30 minutes prior to eating and be prepared for a minty aftertaste for several hours after taking.

I have been reading all your stories with interest. I suffer with a Hiatal Hernia and Gerd. When my doctor prescribed Nexium I had a gut feeling about it. I told him I was only going to use it when I needed it and that is what I did. When I read about the side effects I wasn’t impressed so I decided I wouldn’t take it anymore.

Diet is very important to us all – sugar is very addictive and it isn’t any good for us and is most probably part of our problems. Bread is another no no. I found fermented foods, Probiotcs are a great help and most of all Apple Cider Vinegar is excellent – the one from the Health Food shop that has the cloudy mixture – I take one tablespoon in the glass of warm or cold water with a half teaspoon of honey after breakfast each day. I must admit I do forget sometimes. Take it until you start to feel well again . Also there is an Oral Liquid by the name of Iberogast which is made by Bayer it has directions on the bottle – it is good also.

PS. Tumeric is also a life saver – crush a quarter cup of Black Peppercorns and mix with a cup of Tumeric stir well together and place in a glass jar with lid. After your meal at night start taking half teaspoon to start with in a half a glass of milk – I put the tumeric mixture though a fine tea strainer and what is left in the strainer I put it aside in a small container and add it to soups or food that I am cooking. Gradually make the dose a teaspoonful. I only take it once a day but I have known people to take it twice a day – it is worth a try for your aches and pains and many other complaints.
Good luck everyone

I have taken NEXIUM 20mg daily for some 10 years, and it ended all my digestive problems. A few weeks ago, I started trembling inside my body, made worse by the slightest physical effort. This morning I decided to read up on the four medications I have been talking. Under the side effects of NEXIUM I found trembling. Has anyone of you NEXIUM users experienced trembling or tremors? Please reply.

I took Nexium for 17 years.. I attempted on 2 different occasions to stop taking it. Acid reflux came back with a vengeance.. I almost decided I would be on it the rest of my life due to severe indigestion and a hiatal hernia..

After reading recently of all the detrimental health concerns that it could potentially cause I decided to give it one more try.. I stopped the Nexium cold turkey as suggested by my doctor..then I began sipping apple cider vinegar water throughout the day.. (1 Tablespoon in a glass of water sweetened with a little stevia) almost instantly it was helping..

There were a few somewhat difficult days but now one month out, I can honestly say I’m pretty much cured..I will continue drinking the ACV water indefinitely.. I am careful about what I eat and watch for any specific foods that might trigger the heartburn, then eliminate those foods.. for me personally, it has helped to follow the FODMAP diet for IBS.. I only wish I had known years ago that AVC water was the answer!

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!

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.

I have chronic kidney disease from taking Nexium for years. I’m at stage 3 and hoping it want get worse. I have tired to get of Nexium and hurt so bad I start taking again. These medicines should not be OTC. You start taking them and you pay a price when you want to get off of them. I’m going to try the ACV and honey and just tough it out. I know I wont be able to eat anything. 😩

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nexium is an enteric coated tablet, so must be taken whole. It is not effective when cut in half unfortunately, or chewed or crushed. The coating is designed to stop the tablet dissolving too high in the digestive tract.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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!!!!

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.

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

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!

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?

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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!

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!

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

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?


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.

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

Hi Everyone
I had taken Nexium for 18 years. When I heard of the dangers of long term PPI’s I decided to go cold turkey and stop taking Nexium. Ibegan drinking apple cider vinegar throughout the day as well as took the DGL TABLETS before meals and then after meals I also take Acid Relief 360 (all herbal). Also the first few weeks I ate a very bland diet and then gradually introduced after about 2 weeks regular foods and continuing with the DGL; Acid Relief 360 and Cider Vinegar Water. When heartburn flairs I take a sip of the CV Water and it calms down. The symptoms have lessened greatly and am happy that I am off of the Nexium and its dangers.

What is vinegar water and how do you make it?

I too was on 40mg nexium for at least 10 years and have always tried to get off but had horrible rebound acid.I’m just within the last month got off nexium but I’m taking zantax 150mg 2/day hopefully I can try some more natural remedies to get off the zantac.I did buy the DGL licorice chewable tablets and they do work but only a short time.

I have tried to get off Nexium several times(tapering slowly, getting out cold turkey), but it seems impossible, because then I suffer from severe acid attacks, vomiting and stomach-ache. But returning again to Nexium seem a relief again. I have become a Nexoholic like you, a herbal medicine I must say that I drank it with much water.

I can relate to all of the problems by others. I decided one day to just stop heartburn drugs and replace it with aloe gel. That was at least 5 yrs ago. Rarely get heartburn anymore,but if I do,I just drink a little aloe gel and it is gone. I just take a few swigs from bottle. Of course I rarely eat cooked tomato sauce,but find fresh tomatoes do not bother me. My husband who was half italian made his pasta with only olive oil
and parmesan cheese with broccoli on top. Delicious

I was taking nexium for years and it did not really help. I stated taking apple cider vinegar with honey (one table spoon with large glass of water) in the morning and at night. It actually fixed my stomach and I don’t have heartburn, pain or swelling anymore!!! Vinegar is naturally acidic, but when consumed, it turns alkaline. Honey, too, has a low pH, but raises the alkalinity of the body once eaten. I am also eating cabbage salad a few times a week, its good for your stomach.

My mother took Nexium for 10 days due to a reflux condition. She ended up with jaundice, discoloured urine and the most intense itching all over her body, as well as the associated rash. Her appetite also diminished.
She stopped taking the Nexium and within two days her urine returned to a normal colour and the other symptoms are slowly subsiding. Nexium has been a very dangerous drug for her.

VERY upset over learning that Nexium can cause ALL this damage, and the Doctors STILL tell us to take it!!!!! It you stop all of a sudden its worse!!, What does the company that makes nexium have to say to all this??????????????

I have also been on PPIs for over 15 years. Looking for a way to go off. I went to see a “Naturalist” who is also an MD. He gave me a good piece of advice: NEVER eat protein and starch together at a meal. Eat your veggies and proteins or eat your veggies and starch. But don’t mix protein and starch (i.e. meat and rice/potatoes). They digest differently and will sit in your stomach far longer, giving rise to more heartburn.
This advice, sadly, doesn’t solve my problem of getting off of the PPIs. I have, however, found some good ideas on this site to try. Thanks.

I have been on every acid tablet I’ve always had side effects I’m on nexium at the min cut them down from 80mg to 40mg going to cut it to 20mg sick off my stomach been big I do have Barret’s a hernia that have found cysts a d a small tumour on my liver have not been fight since been on acid tablets I won’t to come off them all together any ideas?

Can anyone tell me if losing weight cures the problem? I am overweight and know I need to lose weight. I was told that if I lost my excess weight, the problem would go away. Is this true?

Yes, it’s true. Losing weight makes my acid reflux completely go away. It comes back when I go about 25-30 lbs over a BMI of 25. Goes away again when I lose enough to be within that 25-30 lb. range.

Made the mistake of going off Nexium all at once, never again. Thanks to all your inputs I’m going to try the every other day method. I’d also like to add when I get a bad bout of reflex during the evening I eat an apple and it seems to help about 95 percent of the time. Oh, one other item of interest. I do believe the apple cider vinegar will help but if you use it and it has an adverse effect, don’t follow it up with baking soda as I did. Forgot about that little volcano trick with the baking soda and vinegar. YUK!

I started a taper off Nexium 40 mg as some have using 20 mg then every other day, but was miserable with acid reflux. I decided to use OTC Pepcid instead and have less reflux after 3 weeks. However I have lots of stomach gas and bloating. Thoughts on how to relieve?

well my doc took me off Nexium all the and put me on another but not helping

I have been on a journey for the last 5 months getting off Nexium which I had been taking for 2 1/2 years. All the reports of the severe side effects really concerned me. Here is how I did it: 1st month – reduced my Nexium to the 20mg daily from 40 mg. 2nd month – took 20mg every other day. 3rd month – took 20mg every 2 days. 4th month – took 20mg every 3 days. 5th month – took 20 mg 2 times a week. 6th month – entirely off Nexium.

I also took DGL Ultra about 15 minutes before each meal. In addition, also took a strong enzyme in the morning which lasted me all day. If I got heartburn, I would try a couple of things. Sugar Free gum worked, also a teaspoon of baking soda in water a couple times a day would keep the heartburn in check. I also discovered that a bite of banana helped when I got heartburn.

I altered my diet to exclude all drinks which contained bubbles i.e. pop, beer, champagne etc. Drank water all day and especially when the heartburn came on. Modified my diet to exclude spicey foods.

Now that it has been 5 1/2 months, I am doing pretty well but I still get heartburn occasionally but not really bad. This was a really difficult drug to get off and I wish all of you luck. Hope this will help some of you.

I have been on Nexium 40mg daily since 06/2001. After hearing about the link to dementia I knew it was time to get off them. I started first by going for as long as I could without taking one. Usually 2/3 days. Now I haven’t had one since 02/28/2016. It has been horrible. I take Apple Cider Vinegar w/The Mother and antacid tablets. I still experience heartburn, throat spasms, cough, headaches, general achy all over. I do hope the rebound effect is over soon.

O my God you guys.! I have been on Nexium for 2-3 years and my kidneys hurt. I stopped taking it the last Saturday in February 2016. Kidney pain gone, but now nausea and headache, how long will these whithdrawls continue.? No way am I taking another.!

How often should we take Nexium, or should we avoid it all together?

I’ve been on a lot PPI my stomach is like a booloon carnt go to toilet and my mouth is so dry going to come off the night one my vision keeps going that won’t me to try more I’ve got barrets and a hernia sick feeling so I’ll this is just with been on these tablets anyone else like me

I too suffer and have been taking PPI’s for years now. I just want to warn about taking the apple cider vinegar, I tried it and it almost killed me, the burn was instant and the pain was severe, and took me weeks to recover from.
I guess I will try the licorice next, praying for a miracle. New studies show that among all the other bad side effects, they have now added a 44% increase in dementia.

I do have to mix the ACV with water. No way I could take it alone. I mix with just enough that I can gulp in a couple of swallows, like 1 oz in 4 oz of water. My daughter just mixes hers in a bottle of water. She likes it, I don’t.

wow, thanks.

I have tried many times to stop nexium 20mg but it’s not easy at all for me as I get heart burns straight away.
How is the best way to stop it
Can anyone explain it step by step please. Like what should I do when get heart burns as my one’s are really painful

Test yourself by taking 20mg every other day for a week. If the acid blows up cut back, and later try taking 20mg every other day and 300mg Zantac in the days between. If you succeed you can lower the dose of Nexium taking it every 2 days and 300mg Zantac every other day and so on.

I’ve been on Nexium for over 10 years. Every doctor I saw told me it was OK, continue. The last professional I saw (nurse practitioner) said there was no weaning necessary when I questioned her about the reports I had heard in the news. I have reduced my dosage on my own trying to wean myself off the drug. Still have GERD and use Tums to reduce the burn. After seeing the news now that long term use causes kidney damage, I’m really concerned. I plan to work on using other remedies. I do know that I have lost some belly fat by using the lemon, honey and hot water drink every morning. It’s also helped my osteoarthritis pain, but it hasn’t helped my GERD. Doctors need to get a clue and stop pushing drugs!!

I had been on Nexium for 15 years…I did all kinds of research to find a way to get off it. I have finally found I had to stop my coffee. I would eat breakfast and wait a bit and when acid started bothering me…Eat a couple tums. I then got some relief. Then after lunch, would take a couple Gas x.. Then mid afternoon, I would take a ultimate probiotic capsule. Then before dinner, I take 8 ounces of Aloe juice. I buy it all at Walmart. The Aloe juice is best if you get the wild berry flavor. If they don’t have it, then mix the regular with some kind of juice. My fav. was cranberry. After dinner, I would eat gummy fiber. {2].. If any problems after that take a tums but I usually don’t have to unless I eat too much for dinner. I am now off Nexium and do not need to do most of the things above because it is better. I hope I have helped

Try taking extra strength gaviscon a couple times a day it works better than tums or rolaids really calms the acid reflux

Someone I know and love (my 22 year old son) has been prescribed high dose PPI’s for almost 7 years and now has chronic ulcerative colitis that is not responding to treatments in the hospital. I am worried (as is he) that he will have to have his colon removed. He will probably have to withdraw from the university he is attending as he can’t keep up with his assignments due to this illness. By the way, he had endoscopy 2 years ago and his esophagus was fine. Why would docs continue to prescribe this to you if they knew there were long term adverse health risks? Also, the drug company would know how long you were on it as well due to the insurance company submitting claims – and the pharmacy who has been filling the prescription for so many years! Who is responsible for the damage it has caused the patient? the doctor? the drug company? the pharmacy? the patient??

What position has the medical profession taken on the subject of PPI withdrawal? Nexium is sold in 20mg. and 40 mg. tabs.

Interested in learning more on how to ween off of Nexium

After 7 years of Nexium I decided to stop taking it because I now have diverticulosis. I had a sore belly for a few days, doctor said it was withdrawal symptoms. I found that I do not have acid reflux if I don’t over eat. Five small meals are often better than three large meals a day. I stop eating around 8 PM. Eating slower helps too and no liquids with food, this helps the natural digestive juices work better. Drink before and after you are finished eating. Substitute sugar with natural vegetable based sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, agave or stevia. Try to cut out pastries and pies. All this I have done and I feel great. I was told that I will always have diverticulosis. We can’t really blame drugs that we take for diseases that befall us if we research them and agree to take them. The best information I have been given is from my pharmacist.
Good luck ,
Thank you People’s Pharmacy

Everyone talks about weaning their selves off of nexium, but no one gives specifics on how to do it. Please give specifics!

I have been on nexium for about 15 years. I am very sick and from all that I’ve learned it is all because of long term side affects of nexium. This site has been most helpful and encouraging! I am going to try some of these remedies today! Again, I am so glad I stumbled upon this site. Thank you all!!

“Potassium punch” In the Vitamix put a handful of sliced cabbage, 1 small carrot, half stick celery, piece of broccoli stalk (all raw) and half a cup of water. Whiz as for green smoothie and drink straight away. Take daily, I have mine before lunch. I am off PPI and rarely need Gaviscon since iIhave been having this. Try it, you have nothing to lose

Been taking Prevacid for a while now. Been three days without one and now I have liquid stools. May be a dad diet or the Prevacid. May just go back on and see. Thoughts?

I have taken Omeprazol for several years and wanted to stop, so I did. I had no idea what was going to happen. Now, after about 6 months, I am still having heart burn, burping, coughing, but not as badly. I take 1 Zantac twice daily, It is helping and it’s not a ppi. Once in a while I still have to chew a Tums. I would like to get off of all these kinds of pills but if I do it’ll be some time yet. Bottom line? Don’t start taking ppi’s.

I have been on Nexium for 15 years. I now have Thrombocypenia, bleeding polps in stomach(over 19) and severe itching. I stopped taking the Nexium about 4 days ago after reading a newpaper article on long term use. I had so much pain today that I had to take the Nexium. Reading everyones comments have really been helpful.
I plan on going back to my Gastro next week.

Patty from Palm Beach County,
Like you I have been on PPI’s for about 15 years. I am extremely interested in your progress because I want off these drugs. Please keep us informed on your progress.

Please send any follow-up comments to me.

Some very interesting and logical information can be found on this website: Dr. Kresser explains how the most common cause of GERD and heartburn is actually LOW stomach acid. Its all very logically explained in his series of articles on this topic. It would make sense why some are successfully treated by consuming vinegar or HCL.

Hi. Last year, around February I did an endoscopy and found out I had a gastritis. I never quite understood why I got this and I have been taking esomeprazole since I found out about it. As many people around here, I really want to quit taking this… I feel that I’m too young to depend on this plus I’m probably just weakining my stomach…

I’ve tried twice to quit medication but it only lasted a day… I didn’t even suffer that much but as soon as I felt something acid or burping every time I ate I took the medication because I become anxious. I’m so scared to feel bad and sick again. I don’t know what to do or how to stop. I just take one in the morning (20mg). How can I reduce? Should I switch medication or just reduce what I am taking?

I just want to believe it’s possible to leave the medication for once and for all and be healthy.


Hi I have been on prilosec. For the last 10 yrs, I was recently diagnosed with c diff and decided after researching to stop the prilosec, been off it for about a week now and I am suffering from heartburn so bad and my rear is killing me. My question is should I go back on prilosec and then wean down? Just scared of c diff coming back.

I’m going to try not write a long paragraph, 10 years ago I was diagnosed with Gerd, Hiatal hernia, and a little bit of gastritis. I took the famous purple pill and I think it helped. I don’t remember how long I took it, I stopped eating citrus but recently all those symptoms came back.

I’m 26 I weighed 210 and now weigh 160 and less then a month, I’ve been in and out of the ER. I has a stomach emptying test, barium swallow, scope, cat scan everything came back normal. I lost so much weight because I have early satiety.

I couldn’t eat or drink, I’m slowly starting to eat again. I was in the hospital for two days and was given Nexium of course. I cant afford that so now Im up feeling like someone choking me because its been a whole day since I was given the Nexium.

I’ve tired Prilosec, Dexilant (which gave me a bad reaction), and Zantac. Nexium is the only thing that helps except when I miss a day… OMG the torture. I’m in so much pain. I asked my doctor if he saw gerd on the scope and he said no. There was no damage to my stomach lining- okay, good.

Jo’Lynne: I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar with water everyday for a whole month prior to me having these problems. I was drinking this stuff for a completely different reason, and I felt like the ACV caused all this, I was also taking garlic pills to boost my immune system. I wont be drinking the vinegar but glad it helped others

Have you tried the Aloe Vera Juice? I have the gel and its great for topical use, also can I use any probiotic? I would love to see a Naturopath but can’t afford to and no health insurance so I’m on google :) trying to help myself.

I thought I had stomach cancer or an ulcer but no one can find anything wrong with me… I have been stressed, and that can’t be good for gerd, Im scared to eat or drink because water gives me heartburn.

I just wrote a long paragraph, lol! have you ever tried Chamomile tea? not sure if it will help or make it worse, I was told not to drink tea but I see some people still do drink certain kinds.

Thanks for reading, any response is welcomed. I will be purchasing some of the books on here. I know you’re not a doctor but is Fish Oil good? I still have my garlic pills but Im done with that because I don’t know what made me sick in the first place.

This was an eye opener!
I’ve been on Nexium for about a year and ran out 3 days ago – didn’t bother to refill prescription. Well, that was a mistake wasn’t it! Googled nexium withdrawal and came up with this site. Stomach is starting to respond to 40 mg now…
I’ll try to figure out how to wean myself off this slowly but the sudden acid rebound effect isn’t pretty is it?
Good luck all!

I havn’t commented for quite a while, mainly because I ran into a couple of setbacks. I was at the 10mg prilosec point for quite a while and was about to reduce the dosage when things went wrong.
My blood pressure went up to 140+ to 150 and I had to reduce it 2-3 days. Then I checked my glucose level because I am right at the borderline. As I suspect it has also gone up to 120+ and then a few days later to 140 which is quite bad. I took an appointment with my family doctor and he prescribed metformin. He also asked me for blood tests. Both the glucose test and A1C came out at 130+ so I am on metformin now. I suspect the spike in both the Bp and glucose levels due to my efforts to reduce/ eliminate the PPI. As I try to reduce the acidity, I took snacks every two hours to try and balance the stomach ph. Unfortunately I was taking cookies which elevated the glucose! Also, as I took a lot of DGL I suspect some might not be completely clean of glizerice and contributed to the elevation of the BP. I may be wrong but to be on the safe side I have reduced the DGL intake. Another problem is my appointment for the dental implant, which I know from previuos experience requires antibiotics and pain killers. These require anti acid as I am very sensitive to these medications. I have finished my implant appointment phaseII and is on antibiotics.
All these add up and I am back on Prilosec at 20.8 mg level for some time. I will continue at this level until this period is over and revert back to trying to reduce my Priolosec. Hopefully I will be able to do that.

I just quit my 40 mg dose of Nexium cold turkey 4 days ago, after over 25 years of being on some sort of GERD prescription (Nexium for 10 years). I felt great until today, which is why I did a web search for Nexium withdrawal (who knew?!?!?). My question is, did everyone else also feel great at first and then start feeling bad? I had no idea that I would have to wean myself off of Nexium, I find that fact to be appalling! After reading all of these posts, I am concerned about my next few months.
I decided to go cold turkey after discovering that my migraines (treated with anti-seizure meds), my insomnia, my globus (lump in throat feeling) in which I had to have my throat stretched in a medical procedure, my pancreatitis, my esophageal spasms, etc are most likely caused by Nexium. I decided I was sick of taking prescriptions to minimize the side effects of a prescription…that is just pure craziness! I am hoping that if I maintain my current low carb, low acid diet I will not suffer all of the bad consequences I have just read about. I just want to get off the prescription merry-go-round and feel good.

Hi there, just checking in to see how your experience is going with getting off nexium cold turkey? We’re you able to do it? I’m in a similar situation with a number of side effects which are worsening. Any advice would be amazing, hopefully things are going well.

If you are really serious about getting off of PPI’s you should read all of the posts on this site and start with a slow lowering of the drug you are on and try some of the alternates suggested by some of the folks who have posted here.
In reviewing all of the posts, there are several things to do that stand out – 1) slowly reduce the PPI you are currently taking while also adding a less aggressive acid reducing over the counter (OTC)drug (Prilosec, Pepsid AC etc.) See posts above and what others have coupled with their reduction. The OTC drugs seem to be easier to get off of at the end than the prescription drugs.
2) Go to a health food store and get their advice. Mine suggested taking one Advanced DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice)and one enzyme supplement before each meal because I eat meat. Also they gave me a probiotic to take before bed. I did this all the while I was slowly weaning off of the Dexilant DR 60mg, and 40mg of famotadine I had been taking.
3) try home remedies like baking soda & water at bedtime, apple cider vinegar & honey, cabbage juice, kefir etc as needed. Read previous emails to get exact proportions.
Have courage and keep with the program you set. If you have to retreat – do not consider it failure, but keep trying. You can succeed.

Hi Flora, I sympathize with you regarding the issue you have. I am not a medical professional so I can’t give medical advice but I will try and give you support. You are taking megadoses of the PPI. When you stop or lower the dose too quickly what you are experiencing is ‘acid rebound’. After 10 years on the meds you will have to lower your dose very slowly. If you put into your browser on your computer ‘PPI reducing’ you will come across several support groups with loads of information. One of them is and the other is My situation was sort of similar to yours. I was on a PPI for 10 years the last one being Nexium 40mgs. In February I started to have issues of not feeling well bloating pain in the stomach, nausea etc. My GP told me to switch to Famotidine. I was so sick trying that, it lasted 3 days and I was back to the GP. He then said try alternating the Nexium every other day to wean myself off it. That didn’t work either. So I was back on the 40mgs nexium with nowhere to go. I then started to do some research and found those 2 groups of people along with this one and I started to learn I could not just stop the ppi. I ended up going to a GI doctor and he told me to alternate the 40mgs nexium for 20mgs of omeprazole and then get onto the 20mgs omeprazole. I did that and suffered through the ‘acid rebound’ which was miserable. From about the 3 1/2 week mark to the 5th week I was feeling terrible. Not every day but on and off mainly bad days. I emerged around week 5 1/2 having more better days than bad. I stayed on that 20mgs for 8weeks then lowered the dose to 15mgs again I had the rebound effect but not quite as badly and it didn’t last quite as long so I knew I could handle it at that point. Again I stayed on 15mgs for around 5 weeks then lowered it to 10mgs which is where I am now. I started in February with this and I am still taking this small dose of PPI. It is a long journey so take heart it can be done. You can help with taking zantac or some famotidine or pepsid. I have found some tea called ‘stomach ease’ in the grocery store and that helped. Also I use a product called ‘acid ease. You can get that from the Vitamin shop or look on line for it. Yes, regular licorice will raise your blood pressure but there is a great product called DGL short for deglycyrhizinated Licorice. They are chewable and I have read of many people finding them helpful, I do. Have you tried aloe vera juice? For me I didn’t find that helpful but some people swear by it. I hope I have been of some help for you. There are many people out there struggling to get off PPI’s that they have been on for a while. Good luck and if you have any more questions feel free to ask. Lily

Hi Lilly

can you tell me what you used to suffer through the reboud for 3.5 to 5 weeks. I have difficulty making it through the night?

Many thanks and best of luck


Can you please help me?
I’m really depressed and scared. I really want to lower the dose of Esomeprazole,— I have only lowered it once by 10 mgs in a week, and was so ill I couldn’t eat or sleep for the acid in my throat and lungs making me wheeze, and stabbing pain in my abdomen. I was bloated, and felt sick and exhausted. These symptoms started 3 or 4 days after I lowered my morning dose by 10 mgs. just once in a week. I went back to my normal dose and took gavescon at bedtime and it has taken 3 weeks to feel better, and for my throat to heal. I eat a bland diet don’t drink or smoke avoid fried or spicy food.
Has anyone got anything that might help? I’ve heard you talk about persimmon tea —-I’ve ordered some. When and how often do you take it? I’ve also tried licorice, but my blood pressure went v high. I use fennel tea to control the bloating. I’ve been eating walnuts every day as they contain high levels of magnesium. My doctor says I need to lower the high dose of Esomeprazole, as she is concerned about long term effects, as I have been having palpitations. (——I take 80mgs daily—- 40mgs morning and 40mgs before evening meal)(I dissolve my tablets as I cant swallow them).
I’ve been on this high dose for 18 months now, and tried to reduce it before several months ago, but with no success. I’ve been on ppi s for over 10 years. I switched to Esomeprazole because the Zoton was not controlling my symptoms. At the time that I switched over, I was in agony It felt like my stomach lining was detached, so I was advised to take 80 mgs not the normal 40mgs. Within a few days I felt much better. I tried to reduce it, but found my symptoms came back.
I can’t have an endoscopy because of other health issues, which could paralyze me. Can anyone share their experience to give me some support as doctors are no help at all. It would be so good to talk to other people who understand how hard it is.
A big hug to all of you out there.

It’s been a while since my last post. I have tried a bunch of different things that didn’t help: ginger tea (very peppery), black licorice (didn’t notice any change), DGL licorice chewing gum (horrible stuff, very bitter), chewing gum (which is supposed to make you swallow lots of saliva and aids in digestion) only made me burp more, swallowing air, zantac otc, didn’t help, pepto bismol did help, but my Dr said not to use it.. Tums (only work for a short time).. Update.. I am feeling better with my own remedy.. My dr told me to take pepcid ac 2 times per day.. it made me worse, didn’t handle the acid and made me headachey and dizzyish…
So, I got some liquid antacid CVS brand to try. It works well. I changed my diet to no dairy, gluten-free foods and cereal, no butter/oleo, no fried foods, no greasy, no spicy or seasoned foods, no chocolate, no tomato, no alcohol, no citrus fruits, no seeds or nuts or rough grain.. I have gluten-free cereal with unsweetened almond milk. If I have white toast, I will have it with apricot or seedless raspberry or black raspberry fruit spread with no added sugar. I have been trying to drink 48+ ounces of water each day. I try to walk 1 mile 3-5 days a week. I have to push myself to do it.. but to feel better is heaven, so I do it. I hope this information can help someone out there who is having difficulty getting off Nexium or thinking of starting it… My first and only upper endoscopy a few weeks ago revealed 20-30 large fundic polyps in my stomach caused by being on Nexium for many years.. I stopped taking it 7 days before my endoscopy procedure and haven’t taken it since May 27th and don’t ever plan to in the future. The polyps were benign.. and can’t be removed because there are too many of them.

Sorry to hear about your rough day Pete. I understand, some days I just want to eat a burger and fires, or just have coffee like I used to.
KG, Wow this is exactly why I am hesitant to start a ppi. I don’t want to go under in 10 years and have them find what you had. I am so sorry because you thought you were doing the right thing and then you get this. I have tried so many home remedies to no avail and am getting closer to going on a ppi. There are a ton of remedies out there so just start with one or two and go with it. I am going to try the persimmons tea next. I have not done cabbage juice yet. Betaine did not work form me. I use Enzymedica Digest Enzymes and they do help to some degree, but definitely not a cure. Even Kefir gave me horrible reflux. I am told my hiatal hernia is less than 2cm, but it sure causes some pretty big pain. Good luck to you!

For the cabbage juice I bought a juicer/ extractor from Walmart and juiced cabbage until I got a small glass, maybe six oz. I just swigged it down and felt it sooth the sores in my esophagus right away. I was making it a couple of times a day. The smell and the cleaning of the juicer was the worst part of it. You can eat the pulp, but it did not appeal to me so I composted it. I added a carrot to the juice after a while but straight fresh cabbage juice worked best.
Digestive enzymes can be found in a health food store. They come in chewable tablets and are derived from papaya and pineapple. I just took at meals.
As for the kefir, I got my grains from Cultures for Health and make one quart jar a day and split it with my husband.. We like it best in a smoothie of berries and ice and kefir with stevia to sweeten to taste. I make Cabbage kraut with some whey I got from overly-long cultured kefir. See the book Nourishing Traditions. You can read about the benefits of cultured foods in that book.
Betaine HCI. Is hydrochloric acid derived from beets. You take it in the middle of a meal to help digest your food. I did not try all these things at once. As another commenter has said, you need to try different approaches and see what works for you. I still can get the “stuck” feeling if I eat bread and meat, which are dry foods, and I must take small bites and I have found that I cannot get too hungry or I may tend to eat too fast and have an ” episode. ”
I hope you do find the relief you are seeking.

Hi KG the e-mail you wrote could have been me in February of this year. I had been on nexium for many years and a PPI for over 10. I started to feel very sick with many of the symptoms you mentioned. I visited my GP several times until he gave up and sent me to a GI doctor. I was taking 40mgs nexium so the GI doctor told me to alternate daily with 40mgs nexium to 20mgs omeprazole. I did that then switched right onto the 20 mgs omeprazole so in actual fact I halved the medicine. I suffered with terrible acid rebound which doctors don’t recognize but it is very real. I had the endoscopy and colonoscopy but I did not have to stop the omeprazole. I had inflammation in my stomach and diverticulae.
I will tell you what I have done to heal myself. First I got some DGL and took that before meals. I did get some kefir although I found that to be quite acidic and aloe Vera juice, I am not sure that did anything but some people swear by it. I did try some other ‘natural’ remedies but found the DGL to be the best.
I bought a juicer and juiced lots of vegetables and Fruits. I read that, that juice heals from the inside out. I put myself on a very bland boring diet. I gave up bread pasta and potatoes until recently. I did not eat any of the triggers which I assume after being on a PPI for years you know about. Everyone’s body and digestive system is different and different things will help. I think you have to just try one thing at a time to see if they work for you.
It has taken me 5 months so far to get down to 15mgs omeprazole and I feel much better. I had some very sick days and I will say my life was rendered unlivable a few months ago. I lost a lot of weight but now have stabilized out. You have to do what is best for yourself by trial and error. The doctors are not a lot of help. If there is anything I can help you with please e-mail again. Lots of good luck. Do lots of reading and research. Lily

Hi Lily! How have you been? Been following your progress and I hope you could share what have helped you not to go back to PPIs anymore. Thank you and more power. :)

Been on Nexium for GERD for over 12 years and it has stopped working for me. I haven’t been right since my hemorrhaging urinary bladder infection (3 mos ago).
I have had nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizzy/headachy symptoms, fatigue, overall unwellness. CT Scan, ultrasound, blood work all normal. Stopped Nexium completely for the upper endoscopy procedure last week (you have to be off it for 7 days before the procedure-it can skew biopsy results).They found 20-30 fundic polyps in my stomach, caused by Nexium. Two of the largest ones were removed for biopsy which was normal along with stomach tissue and fluid. GI dr told me to stop the Nexium and use Zantac or Pepcid instead, both over-the-counter.
My stomach is a mess, burping, burning, hard to swallow, lump in throat, etc..and it gets worse throughout the day and worst at night..Willing to try home remedies.
What kind of Kefir do you use? How much and how often do you use it? What enzymes do you take (what are they, not familiar with any)? How much cabbage juice and how often do you drink it? How do you prepare cabbage juice? Does it come all made? What is Betaine HCI? Would love to hear how you did it and feel better…Thank you.

I can’t say that I have officially went without wheat, but can say that I have been leaving on bananas, coconut water, and a few other things that I can get down. I did have a stomach biopsy a few weeks back when they found the hiatal hernia, it came back negative.
I have heard that you can have a wheat sensitivity, but not celiac. I don’t feel like I consume a ton of wheat. I am getting acid reflux just from water! It is worsening by the day and I am wondering if the hernia has gotten bigger. I have listened to people complain about acid reflux for years and had no idea that anything like this existed. I did not start having it until about 18 months ago, which is way too long.
I am seriously wondering if surgery is the only option. The problem I am running in to is that I have multiple issues going on elsewhere in my stomach and some pelvic issues. I am feeling overwhelmed where to start. The acid reflux is definitely the worse because it burns my nose! Thanks for the input.

Today was a rough day for me but been there before. I did it to myself with fried chicken!!

Rachel, have you tried going without wheat for a few days, to see if your problems might be gluten-related?
Mary in SC

Thank you!

Hope you feel better. You have to feel comfortable in what ever you decide. Maybe try medication for a little while just to get some relief.

Hey Rachel hope you feel better soon. ;-)

I am pushing to have the PH Impedance Test done as it is needed to move forward with the LINX procedure, the best surgical repair I can find in regards to a hernia and acid reflux. I am concerned either way about the acid causing damage or the Nexium causing damage. I mean just look at this post above and what people have had to go through. I have full on abdominal pain, not just a slight burn, sinus and ear pain, it is he!! Looking up cabbage juice blends today. My energy is gone, fatigue is bad, no nutrition at all. Dropped another 2 lbs. No I don’t want cancer either, but when I read that Nexium has actually been linked to stomach cancer and Barrett’s Esophagus, my radar goes up. Thanks for your input and support. I would love to follow along as you continue on your journey.

Be careful that acid will eat up your insides if you let it. All medications have risks. Most people get relief and have no problems on nexium. I think life is short and I enjoy eating different foods with out suffering. I don’t want to be suffering and risk getting a more serious problem like cancer. Hang in there if you need a friend to talk to that can relate comment back.

Supposedly doctors do tests to see if you have excess stomach acid. No one mentions that they have had such a test. My doc never did and I took a PPI and never suffered until I took myself off of it and got the rebound misery.
Cabbage juice got me through that. Smaller meals and enzymes and Betaine HCI to digest my food set me right. If you digest your food it goes DOWN and if not it comes UP when it should go down and that is when you get the reflux.
Now I am drinking kefir, which takes care of the intestines and helps with the whole digestive tract. It also,seems to make my tendency to get UTI s a thing of the past.

Well that is encouraging that it works so well….I just have found in researching my options that the purple pill was never meant to be taken long term and I think that is why they are now finding major concerns now that individuals have been on it for 10 and 20 years. I am at a loss as what to do, darn if you take it, darn if you don’t, but I am miserable. As I type my mouth, sinus, and ears hurt so bad from the acid. Day started out good and I have been trying the ACV remedy for the past few days. Felt good most the day until mid afternoon so I thought maybe it was working, but now it is full blown. Considering the LINX procedure, I am not into medication and need a quick fix to live life. Thanks for sharing.

I also been on nexium for about 8 years. I have a hiatal hernia for years. Im not sure what to do. all I know is that as long as I take my pill every morning I feel great .
I been to several Docters and my current one I love who swares by this pill. He says he himself has been on it for years. I have regular blood tests and all is good. I take magnesium supplements daily to help with any possible deficiency. I feel great.
When I tried to stop the pill my diet changes to next to nothing I really enjoy and I must be stress free to feel half as good. Stress free is impossible! I think the benefits out way the risks. All as I know I feel better on it.

Me too!

I am curious to hear more about how eating clean has worked for you and what exactly are you eating?

Stopped nexium after 3 years but first started to eat very clean now I have no joint pain and no heartburn so yes it is possible but eating clean is the key!!!!!!!

After suffering for a year and a half with acid reflux, I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. The acid is so bad it come into my sinus, ears, teeth, causes severe abdominal and chest pain. I am taking Zantac 150 twice a day and carafate four times a day. Helped slightly for two weeks now I am in misery. I am scared to start a ppi even though it might give me relief.
I don’t know which natural remedy to start with there are so many to choose from. Does anyone else suffer from hiatal hernia? I am a young mom and desperate for relief and a pain free life. Thank you!

I am curious: When you used BP are you referring to a mental health dx and removal of psychotropic medications?

Hi KMH99 I also use dgl and find that is the best of all the ‘natural’ things I have used. I can’t sort out why I also get the lump in the throat feeling. I sort of think it might be related to eating carbs like bread. I have now starting juicing carrots as they are very alkaline so should help somewhat with the stomach. Juice is also very filling and has lots of enzymes which help with digestion. this is a long journey to get off PPI’s but I think in time we will be successful.

Hi Lily. I am relying on DGL for protecting the lining, I take 4-6 tablets during the day and 6 tablets during the night when I have acid attacks. I don’t really need 6 at night now but there is no harm in maintaing it. When the stomach become unhappy sometimes I have to use anti acid such as Tums but I tried to avoid as much as possible.
I also have this lump in the throat thing and I noticed that it happens when I used too much anti acids. So with almost no anti acid tablets the lump in the throat did not happen much. Try and control your acidity with DGL and do not indulge in acidic fruits and spices for now. When your stomach is back to “normal” perhaps it might tolerate some. Good luck.

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