The People's Perspective on Medicine

Why You Need To Be Worried About the PPI Dementia Link

Cognitive decline, dementia

Not Again! Just when we thought the bad news about proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) could not get any worse, an article in the journal JAMA Neurology (online, Feb. 15, 2016) suggests that these acid-suppressing drugs are linked to dementia. This large German epidemiological study found a 44 percent increased risk of dementia among older people taking PPIs compared to those people not on such medications. More about this scary new research in a moment.

Just a week ago it was announced that drugs like dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), rabeprazole (Aciphex) and pantoprazole (Protonix) were associated with chronic kidney disease (JAMA Internal Medicine, Feb. 2016).  That comes on top of other serious complications:

Adverse Reactions Linked to Proton Pump Inhibitors:

PPIs and Dementia:

The new study involved an analysis of German health insurance data collected between 2004 and 2011. The investigators had access to records of 73,679 patients who were over 75 years of age. None had dementia at the beginning of the study.

Roughly 3,000 people took a proton pump inhibitor during the seven-year study period. Occasional users of PPIs were excluded. Regular users were defined as people who filled a prescription for these acid-suppressing drugs at least once in each quarter of an 18-month period of time.

The authors concluded that their analysis of the German insurance data “revealed a significant increased risk of dementia [44%] with the use of PPIs.”  This result was similar to prior findings from a different study. The authors concluded:

“Thus, the avoidance of PPI medication may contribute to the prevention of dementia.”

Possible Reasons For a PPI Dementia Link:

Most people have a hard time imagining how heartburn drugs could cause dementia. In fact, it seems illogical that seemingly safe medications to control reflux could cause so many complications, including heart attacks, hip fractures, lung infections and maybe even cancer.

An editorial in JAMA Neurology points out that:

there is some biological plausibility to the hypothesis that PPIs can cross the blood-brain barrier. They may increase both production and degradation of amyloid, at least in animal models, and bind to tau. There is also evidence of reduced levels of B12 and other nutrients among PPI users that could possibly relate to an increased risk of dementia.”

What that means in less technical jargon is that PPIs may impact brain enzymes that could lead to the formation of plaques and tangles. Lower levels of vitamin B12 might also increase the risk for cognitive decline. In other words, it is conceivable that there is a reason for a PPI dementia link.

Association Not Causation:

The authors of the research are quick to point out that this is an observational study. That means it is not a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Therefore it can only suggest a linkage and not actually prove that PPIs cause dementia.

The likelihood that any drug company would spend a large amount of money to actually conduct such a long-term study is remote. After all, most of these medications are now available in generic formulations. Billions have been made and the horses are out of the barn. Why would a drug company want to determine whether there really is a PPI dementia link?

The editorial article points out, though, that if this association is true, it “could result in an increase of about 10,000 new cases of incident dementia per year just in this age group [75 to 84 years of age]…”

How Big A Problem are PPIs?

When these drugs were introduced over 25 years ago they were perceived as super safe. The FDA still seems to believe that these acid-suppressors are great and without serious complications. That is why you can now buy Prevacid 24HR, Prilosec OTC and Nexium24HR without a prescription.

At last count, 15 millions Americans took a prescription PPI in 2013. The cost was $10 billion. That does not take into account the millions who are now buying OTC proton pump inhibitors and paying out of pocket. Given the potential risks of fractures, infections, heart attacks, cancer and dementia, we are beginning to wonder about the FDA’s judgment.

Getting Off PPIs:

Stopping strong acid-suppressing drugs is not easy. In fact, it can be downright disastrous. That is because the body compensates for acid suppression by over-producing acid-making cells. When the drugs are stopped suddenly, it is not uncommon for people to experience rebound hyperacidity. That leads to unbearable heartburn that can last for weeks or even months.

We have written extensively about this condition and you can find our recommendations about getting off PPIs at this link. One of our favorite recipes for phasing off drugs like omeprazole involves persimmon punch. Here is a link to it and several other intriguing approaches.

Of course we would NEVER recommend that anyone stop a PPI without consulting the prescriber first and finding out whether this is an advisable thing to contemplate.

Our radio show (February 14, 2016) goes into this issue in greater detail. Here is a link should you wish to listen to a free MP3 version or the program. When you visit that page you will also find links to new studies suggesting a relationship between the long-term use of PPIs to cancer.

The People’s Pharmacy Bottom Line:

As worrisome as the latest research on proton pump inhibitors seems to be, the real concern for us is the length of time it has taken to uncover these potential adverse reactions. Although tens of millions of Americans have taken these drugs over the last couple of decades, we have only recently learned about problems such as heart attacks, fracture, kidney disease or dementia.

What does this tell us about the long-term consequences of other drug treatments? Remember, PPIs were considered so safe the FDA granted them OTC status. In many cases it can take decades before we learn about potentially serious complications of medications.

The fluoroquinolone-class of antibiotics includes familiar brands such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin). Tens of millions of Americans have taken these drugs over the decades, but it is only in the last few years that the FDA has warned about side effects such as permanent nerve damage. It took the FDA quite a while to alert people about tendon problems (tendonitis, tendon rupture). How many other medications could be causing complications that we do not yet know about?

What Do You Think?

Share your own  PPI story below in the comment section. Have you ever experienced a side effect that was not discussed in advance by the prescriber or the pharmacist? What do you think about the latest research on proton pump inhibitors?

Please vote on this article at the top of the page.

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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 taking PPIs for over 10 yrs and not having problems for awhile until dizziness and forgetfulness occurred. Lost my balance and fell down 3 times. My condition has worsened recently, and I have tried to get off the PPIs and found it tough, especially Omeprazole. The pharmacist told me that getting off this drug have side effects with a vengeance, and it certainly did. I had chest pains, pains in both arms, and other issues.

    I have changed my diet somehow, and it has helped a lot but need advice that has worked for people to get completely off the PPI’s for I was fine physically until taking these drugs. Concerned about other side effects mentioned on the internet.

    I got off Dexilant and Zantac almost a year ago. How did I do it? I began taking Gaviscon 3 – 4 x’s per day and always one of the doses at bedtime. Now I am down to Gavison only at bedtime and as needed during the the daytime. And I completely stopped any offenders (chocolate, caffeine, including decaf coffee and tea, mint, citrus, anything containing citric acid, alcohol, any foods that are acidic).

    Once in great while I will have reflux symptoms (for me manifests as chest pain), then I do take zantac for relief. Now when I take zantac I notice that I have trouble finding my words, confused thinking and memory problems that last for 48 hrs after taking one dose of zantac. I am 66 years old.

    So glad I got off these meds. I took proton pump inhibitors and zantac/tagamet for the last 25 years. I have mild cognitive problems, but they are much worse when I take a zantac so I only take it as a last resort.

    I am 67year old female. I have been getting heartburn for several months it has cause trouble sleeping. I bought Nexium, and it worked really well for me. I’m not a medication lover, as I usually end up having allergic reactions so I altered my diet to see if there was any difference. I cut out coffee, Coke, alcohol, and drank milk before going to bed as well as getting more exercise and sitting up straight after evening meals. I am pleased this has worked for me as I was really starting to worry about my memory. It used to be very sharp, and all of a sudden I was forgetting why I had gone to the shops and forgetting why I wanted to get on the Internet. This wasn’t like me. I decided to google Nexium and memory loss and came across this site. The memory problem is slowly improving without the Nexium.

    I have been on brand name Protonix for 12 yrs. For me it has been a life saver. I had Herd and other stomach problems. After trying everything prescribed and OTC’s and generics,the only thing for me was brand name Protonix. My dr. is always fighting the insurance co. for the name brand. This is my personal experience You have to do what’s right for yourself.

    78years of age. I,ve been taking omeprazole for aesophogeal problems for about 18 months. What on earth led me to this forum at 4 in the morning? I have been wondering why I have to ask my wife far too often whether things occurred today or yesterday. That,s enough of a warning for me as I was always on the ball–in the forces I was in tank transporting and my trade was as a bricklayer in civvy street.
    I think I,ll go on that kefir for a start as I gradually wean myself off omeprazole.
    Thanks for all the advice. It just remains for me to tackle my wife’s concerns now.

    Hi, I am Freddie. I have a slight indigestion & was given pantaloc for 2 months. Before I finished my 2 months of medicine, I was having so many side effects. Bloating, anxiety, depression, insomia, etc…. then I went to another doctor to have an endoscopy.

    The doctor found Hiatal Hernia & Baretts. This time I have already stopped taking pantaloc. After stopping Pantoloc. I have a very horrible REBOUND ACid. It came with loss of appetite, insomia, anxiety, depression & was suicidal at times.

    I went back to the doctor today to relay all what has happened & she told me that I should take a double doze of pantaprazole to cure the problem. REALLY!!! Right now I am tapering off the pantaprozole that I have taken for 2 months +. Do not take this medicine. IT WILL KILL YOU!!

    After being on PPI for about 5 years and consulting my doc, I decided to get off PPI. Started taking 40 mg. of pantoprazole every other day for about 2 weeks.The acid reflux was worse than ever. So, I switched to Zantac totally. Taking 150 mg. 3 times a day.

    It was touchy at first, did notice some dizziness but after 8 weeks I stopped taking the Zantac completely. I still have to watch what I eat but I can even have a glass of wine.

    I do take a “Rolaids” now and then. There is hope AFTER PPI I did it! For anyone trying to quit PPI, just hang in there and quit.

    I took Somac, a PPI, for 8 weeks as my stomach became upset after taking anti-inflammatories. The doctor said just continue to take them, as when you get older you are more likely to get acid reflux – I’m 66.

    I got this headache at the 6-week mark and thought it was caused by tight muscles in my back but it didn’t go away and got worse. Then I started to get confused, just couldn’t think straight and felt really strange – eventually I thought about checking the consumer medicine information for Somac – both headache and confusion are listed so I stopped taking it.

    That was 4 days ago. I was starting to feel better at the 2-day mark and checked my blood pressure. It is 140/90 which is high for me so I’m keeping an eye on that. The doctor just handed the Somac out like lollies and didn’t warn me of any side effects.

    I began having indigestion when I became pregnant 46 years ago. I ate Rolaids through my entire pregnancy. Unfortunately, the birth of my child didn’t stop the indigestion, and a hiatal hernia was diagnosed about 30 years ago. I continued with Rolaids, drinking cream, and found Tagamet OTC and got some relief. Through the years, though, it just got worse. I was at the point where anything, even water, gave me reflux so badly that it ate my dental crowns. Burned esophagus, blisters on my tongue, and it even went through my entire GI tract and burned my bottom. Not fun!

    Eventually, I was prescribed Zantac and it helped a bit. Later, it was Prilosec, then Pepcid, then Nexium and when that quit working, I was prescribed Dexilant 60 mg, the only drug now that provides real relief.

    I only recently read about the side effects and am alarmed. I am osteoporotic, breaking bones, multiple cervical fusions, IBS, have mental health issues and my STM sucks! A few days ago (didn’t think it would cause a huge issue), I decided to stop the Dexilant, and for three days (!!) I had no reflux! Then a little, then pretty bad. I switched to OTC Pepcid 20mg once per day and it’s keeping the worst of it at bay, with a couple tums and a shot of Pepto Bismol thrown in.

    I’m trying to get in to see my GI doctor but she’s moved to a new practice and so now it’s like I’m a new patient! I’m going to unload on her and hopefully get some answers.

    I don’t know what can be done if one must take PPI’s to have any quality of life, but then ruin the rest of your health and losing your mind to do it.

    It could easily be that it is not the proton pump inhibitors that cause dementia, but rather endoscopy examinations that many people with digestive problems are told to undergo.

    Endoscopy / gastroscopy is touted by doctors as a “safe” and “routine” procedure, but in reality it is an extremely invasive and risky ordeal, that often causes major damage to the person’s body, health and psychological state. Same goes for the “sedation” concoction the medicos use to keep the patients still, obedient, erase the memory of the procedure and thus avoid any complaints.

    Hi Lolly.
    I am 66 year old and got off Dexlilant and zantac by taking gaviscon. At first I took it 4 times a day (and always at bedtime). Now a year later I take Gaviscon ( cherry flavor, not the mint flavor which can actually cause reflux) at bedtime always and during the day as needed.

    Sometimes I do take zantac (maybe a couple times per month). But this is only if nothing else works. And now when I take zantac I can tell that my cognitve problems get much worse.

    i hope this helps you.

    Sarah

    I also have Barrett’s esophagus and prescribed Dexilant for about 5 years now. I consider this a miracle drug as the reflux was so bad it was going into my Eustachian tube like a volcano and setting my ears on fire. I thought I was exploding. At that point, I was on Prilosec twice a day with no relief.

    I began drinking water and not eating to try to avoid the horrible reflux and that didn’t work either. 100% grape juice and Zantac helped when it went to my ears. I had horrific edema and abdominal distention, so the Dexilant saved me. I went 5 years with no reflux whatsoever. But now I’m forgetting things and don’t know if it’s just because I have so much on my mind, or if it’s from the medicine. My GI warned me of the symptoms of dementia but also said the risk of Barrett’s turning into cancer was of more concern than the dementia.

    And recently I’ve had the reflux return…not nearly as bad, but very uncomfortable. The dr has added Zegrid and that has helped. I rarely eat past 6pm, I sleep with my head elevated and on my left side, I eat real Greek yogurt but Bragg’s apple cider burns my throat like I’m being branded. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    I am 81 years old and have been taking Lansoprazole 15 mg daily for 6 months. It was prescribed after a severe bout of esophagitis (sp.?), grade 4. The doctor actually insisted on prescribing 30 mg per day, but I find I can take 15mg with no side effects. I never had severe heartburn, but had enough discomfort that I was taking pepcid and many Tums daily for years.

    Two majorly stressful situations over a period of three years led to vomiting attacks during or after eating at noon or evening meals. I don’t see how I can not take this medicine. I purchase it OTC as it is about the same price as my prescription copay. My only other medications are a low dose hypertension pill and thyroid. I do take B12 and Vit D and a multi every other day.

    I’ve been on Dexilant for 2 years. Recently had symptoms of memory loss and dizziness. After I read that Dexilant can lead to Vitamin B and Magnesium deficiency, I started taking supplements and the symptoms cleared up.

    I was on Pariet for about 10 years before we figured out that my short term memory was all but gone at age 45. One evening our son told his dad about getting his dream job and I got all excited, only to have him say that he had told me three hours earlier. I argued with him, saying I would remember something like that, and then our youngest son said, “It’s true, Mom, I was there.” It was a shocking moment! I looked at my husband and asked, “Does this happen a lot?” and he said it happens quite often. Because I had already suffered a heart attack at 36, believed to be caused by medication for irritable bowel, I immediately researched my medications and was shocked to discover this connection. I weaned myself off of the meds, and now, a year later, I am gradually improving, though still struggling with short-term memory. It is absolutely horrific what medications do in the process of ‘healing’ us! Had I known the risks in either case, there is no way I would have taken either medication. But Pharmaceutical giants rule the world, and the only option we have is to do our research, and make decisions that are best for us. For me that meant ending every medication, even the heart meds, because I really don’t trust them.

    I have been taking Brand name Protonix 40mg twice a day for about 15 yrs. It has been a life saving drug for me like nothing else! I had been on everything imaginable. The report kind of scares me, but I haven’t noticed any problems yet. I hope not to, but in the mean time, I plan to live life reflux and Here free taking my Protonix!

    I appreciate this article and the comments made. I am 46 and have had severe GERD for nearly 20 years. About 15 years ago it got to the point where I was choking on my food almost every time I ate. I had been trying everything natural to deal with the GERD, but nothing seemed to help, so I finally agreed to be put on a prescription of Prilosec.

    After about a year, although the GERD was much lessened, I felt that I had so many other side effects (especially weight gain), that I chose to go off. Since then I have tried many things with absolutely no success. I eat very healthy food–organic, non-gmo, Kimchi, kefir, kambucha, apple cider vinegar, and probiotic pills. I have also elevated the head of my mattress.

    I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 3 years ago, and so I have been basically off all grains (I hate the pre-packaged man-made gluten-free products and prefer to simply not eat grains). I eat very little dairy and drink almond/coconut milk in its place. But my GERD and choking issues have gotten increasingly worse to the point that I was only able to get liquids down and, at that, I would sometimes choke anyway. In December I choked very badly and after two hours I vomited a large amount of blood. To say the least, this terrified me. I called a gastroenterologist and went in right away for a scope.

    They found that my esophagus had extreme strictures (it only had a 3 cm opening), that I have a very severe hiatal hernia (my stomach was 3 inches up inside my esophagus), and that I had a 7 cm tear in my esophagus caused by the food that I was choking on trying to get through (thus the blood I vomited). I have held off on taking proton pump inhibitors out of fear of all the side effects, but at this point I was scared enough to agree to take them.

    I have been on Protonix now since January. My choking and acid reflux is gone, which gives a certain peace of mind. However, now I am noticing a definite growing problem with short-term memory loss. It is getting to be enough of a problem to be alarming to me, and I am considering getting tested to see what is going on. Has anyone else as young as me (46) had this happen? Does anyone else have any other suggestions? I am so worried. I can’t go back to choking on everything to the point that I tear my esophagus again or contract esophageal cancer, and I am very concerned about the side effects of the drugs. Help!!!

    I was on Prilosec for a number of years and my chiropractor gave me literature about PPIs and suggested I get off of this medication. In actuality, the stomach isn’t producing enough acid to digest food. He had a digestive enzyme produced by Ortho Molecular which I purchased and ate okra which helps coat the stomach lining. It was rough in the beginning but my stomach acid gradually returned to normal. Now I take a Tums when I have a problem. My brother is also on a double dose of PPIs and has osteoporosis and is only 54.

    Yvonne, I’ve had it as long as you and I’m your age.
    I would say take the PPIs 100%. I live a normal life because of them. I was worried about mental decline through lack of B12 so started taking sublingual b12 which doesn’t need the digestive system to assimilate it. I went to see the doctor and my b12 levels were through the roof, way above normal. I also use transdermal magnesium as ppi can cause magnesium deficiency. Taken through the skin it enters the bloodstream easily. Keep the faith, soon they will be able to fix the problem mechanically at the source, the LES. They can already actually, google linx. I’ve been on them now for 13 years and wish I’d had them earlier: I might have not developed Barrett’s if I had. Much love and God Bless x

    I have been on Nexium since day one of availability. My gastro doc never mentioned or monitored for calcium, magnesium, vitamin B-12 or vitamin D deficiencies nor was there testing for liver dysfunction. The last seven years I have slowly developed osteopopenia and osteoporosis and just discovered that the peripheral neuropathy in my get and legs is due to extremely low vitamin B-12.
    I am a 67 years old male and worry about what other secondary side effects this medication has in store.
    Can’t the doc and pharmaceutical company be held responsible?

    I’ve had good luck using Manuka honey to relieve stomach pains caused by NSAIDs. Would be worth a try for those of you who want to discontinue the PPIs.
    My mother’s dementia symptoms started after she received IV Protonix in the hospital in 2009.

    I was on these awful drugs off and on for 7 years. My doctors just seemed to prescribe them at will without ever checking my acid levels. I started to develop severe IBS symptoms that became a serious daily burden. I knew it had to be connected to the ppi somehow. Oddly enough, I wound up having to have my gallbladder removed and my surgeon was the first doctor that ever told me STOP taking these meds. He explained to me how they inhibit digestion and leave you with low stomach acid. Now that I didn’t have a gallbladder I didn’t need to further compromise my digestion . I felt like an idiot for never putting this together, but I was trusting my physician like many of us do. The best thing I ever did was stop taking these drugs! The period of rebound reflux is REAL and definitely not fun, but there are natural things that can help you get through it. Look into GERD/reflux due to low stomach acid. It’s a real thing and has totally changed my life. I’ve been off the ppi’s for 3 months now with no heartburn and my digestion is slowly but surely coming back around.

    I was on Nexium for 20 years. I too resisted but was told it was perfectly safe and that I was putting myself at risk for cancer if I resisted. After many years of trying alternative health options I gave in to the Nexium trap.

    I gave up taking Nexium one year ago after heart palpitations began to worry me too much. I now take Zantac and hope to wean off that at a later time.

    Giving up Nexium was hard. The rebound was brutal! But I’m glad I persevered. I am only 43 years old and have been experiencing worrying memory issues for the last two years. Does anybody know if ill health effects of Nexium can improve after cessation of if they are likely to be permanent?

    My short term memory has experienced declines and my mental acuity has also been dulled. I’ve been taking generic Prilosec for a year and the branded for 2 years prior.

    I did not know anything about PPI SO I took the nexium and The omeprazole as my has hurt ever since.

    I’ve been taking pph’s for 20 years now may short term memory is very bad it’s alarming I hope there is some way to reverse this

    Everyone here with these acid/belly problems, try one cup of Kefir a day (I mix it with grape juice to cut the sour taste). You need to keep drinking kefir for many months. It may take a couple (or a few) months before you really notice benefits.

    I am glad for a forum such as this one. I have been taking Prilosec for over 15 years now. At first, it was 10 mg to help with indigestion which it did, for a little while. Then 20 mg. Then 40. NOW 80 mg every day. I began to have a LOT of gas as it was increased. Now, I am miserable because of it and the indigestion is horrible. I have asked my doctors for help but they do not know what else to do except increase the PPI. Rubbish! I have had a gnawing suspicion about taking this med for a while now.

    Also, I have suffered with constipation most of my life. I have taken every medication out there for it. I am allergic to most. I did find that eating grapefruit (yes. I, my doctors and my pharmacists, are aware of medication warnings) but when I eat it every morning and take Senna, a natural laxative, it helps more than anything although I have been warned that Senna does turn the organs black. I asked my doctor if that would cause him problems with scopes he does regularly, and he said, No.

    This morning I decided to research the PPI suspicion, hence here I am. I am glad I did. You see, my family has a history of hiatal hernias. I do not have a hernia but I did find out this year that I suffer from other symptoms such as polyps, diverticulitis and esophageal spasms which are very painful. Sometimes my food gets stuck in my throat causing intense pain. The doctors say that I should, “drink more water, eat slower and avoid any foods that cause it”. Again I say, Rubbish. I have increased my water intake, sometimes to my detriment. (I found myself in the hospital for 3 days because I flushed out the good with the bad!) However, I attribute my problem to what the PPI has done to me over the years. I am not a doctor, but I know my body! Maybe I am foolish, but last night I decided to cut back on the PPI dosage. I pray my dilemma doesn’t worsen.

    Any advice and testimonies out there would be helpful.

    I took Aciphex for 15 years.. I weaned my self off of it … Took almost 6 months to do but I am happier for it

    I took a upheld for 15 years.. I weaned my self off of it … Took almost 6 months to do but I am happier for it

    I have read through all comments, wonderful info. Although, I’m surprised no one had mentioned Alfalfa. Good for entire digestive tract, and can aid in healing ulcers. For me, Alfalfa, Aloe juice, Braggs apple cider vinegar, probiotics, have all been very helpful.

    I have taken prilosec OTC for 15 years, one tablet per day, and have had no adverse effects. I am 70 years old. I had such terrible heart burn before using the medication that I couldn’t live with it. Now for 15 years I have had none. My daughter read the study and wants me to stop. I am almost to the point where I would rather suffer the consequences than give up the drug. It will truly take some soul searching. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

    I have spent hours reading on this topic. I work at a university and have access to medical journals. I emerge from this very angry. Doctors are recommending these meds to thousands of people and they refuse to take note of the potential damages.

    I was told to take Prilosec because I have Barrett’s. I challenged my doctor and he said, well then take an H2blocker because it doesn’t have the bad side effects, but it won’t work because you have a hiatal hernia (as many people with Barrett’s do).

    I am gradually withdrawing from Prilosec. There are “how to’s” on the web and they remind that your body chemistry has changed and you have to give it time. Withdraw over a period of 3 or 4 weeks and use stuff like aloe juice to protect the lining of your stomach and your esophagus. I cut out all wine which was a lot easier than I thought. I do not eat red meat so the fat issue isn’t there for me. I put a foam mattress that I got cheap on line from Walmart under my mattress. I do not eat just before bed time. And I am already thin. What gets me is that these doctors are so insistent that people should keep taking these drugs. I think it is because it is easier to manage patients that way. People don’t want to go through all the life changes it requires.

    One thing I see in these comments is a lot of confusion of why prilosec is useful for Barrett’s (and Gerd). It helps to heal the esophagus of irritation. Irritation can lead to cancer but the odds are against it. There is no conclusive evidence that use of prilosec prevents cancer. It heals your body. I keep on reading and today I discovered that melatonin does just as good a job. Try googling: gerd and melatonin and see for yourself. It takes about 30 days and you can use it with Prilosec. Evidence indicates that if you do so you can get off Prilosec more quickly. My goal is to finish out a withdrawal period during which I gradually reduce the dose of prilosec and take an H3 blocker if needed in the a.m. plus tums during the day.
    It seems to be working OK. But everyone is different.
    Good health.

    Hi so I’m curious how you BE responded to Melatonin. I was just diagnosed and began taking Melatonin a few days ago. I am very resistant to taking a PPI.

    You just described what I have, and my doctor put me on Nexuim, after 3wks of slowly weening myself off of it, I still have bad system-toms in wee hrs.
    Perhaps the Aloe juice will work.

    The only non PPI over the counter is Zantax. I have read that keeping a pillow elevated does help.
    All the vitamins I’ve been taking apparently weren’t getting absorbed either, now that I’ve free & clear for 3 to 4wks hopefully that will change.

    Easy does it. The dementia data study is seriously flawed. Ie doesn’t control for multiple important variables that are associated with both reflux and dementia. I agree some concern warranted but irrespective of rat models there is no suggestion of causality. So let’s report more fairly.

    Thank you Mick!
    I have been taking Prilosec almost 20 years, all under my doctors’ care. I would have no quality of life if I had not. These reports make me incredibly nervous. I Appreciate your perspective! I have not been able to successfully reduce my daily Prilosec dose as of yet but keep trying.

    I was recently hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer that nearly cost me my life. After an endoscopy in the hospital on the morning of day three, I was prescribed Protonix. By afternoon of day four I was experiencing muscle pain over my whole body that grew worse by that night. I was given morphine for the pain and a few hours later 10 mg. of oxycodone. Neither of these touched my pain. Day five I was sent home. My husband picked up my prescriptions and I read that a rare (but possible) side effect of Protonix is muscle pain, cramping, spasms. I did NOT take another Protonix and by the next morning the pain was gone. It has not returned. While the pharmacist and my primary care doctor say that Protonix could not have that effect (?) they will never convince me. I have never had that kind of pain in my life.

    Quite a few years ago my doctor prescribed pills for acid reflux. After reading the side effects I would not take the medication after buying it. I still made emergency room visits periodically. My new physician referred me to this same doctor some years later and he refused to see me. I did research on my, changed my diet and no longer suffer with acid reflux (fingers crossed). I am 85 years old and try to eat mostly organic, cut out 99% of bread (I occasionally have a slice) eat lots of fruit, veggies (I made my first batch of fermented Napa cabbage today). Your books and articles in our daily news have been most helpful along with others interested in health. P.S. I love milk and take Lactaid so that I can still drink it (grass fed cows, etc.) Thanks for your insights.

    I started taking Prilosec full dosage 25 years ago. I have had an endoscopy which reflected only a small opening in the area that shuts off reflux. It was considered too small for surgery.

    I thought all along I was safe (25 years) with the medicine being prescribed and then noted in my medical chart after OTC availability that I was taken the maximum dose with no comment from the physician.

    I was startled by warnings having not been made aware . I wonder if I have permanently altered my body chemistry to make it impossible to stop.

    I have scheduled an appointment next week with my PCP.

    Did your MD give you any insight?

    After becoming an asthmatic at the age of 40, I fractured a rib and developed a hiatal hernia from the constant coughing. I told my doctor I had started to experience reflux, but without any acidity. Food tasted the same coming up as it did going down. Eventually, I was prescribed PPIs. Over the next 8 years, we changed medication several times, because the now “real” acid reflux was getting worse. I told my doctor that I believed my body continually adapted to the pills and craved something stronger–like a drug addiction. She offered no advice, so without her knowing, I slowly took myself off the pills. It took a year, and I did it using Altoids, which was originally developed for stomach disturbances. After a year, I announced to my doctor what I had done and that lo and behold, I no longer suffered any acid reflux. Fifteen years later I am still GERD-free. Unfortunately, due either to the PPIs or Advair, I now have osteoporosis. I have been on Advair for my asthma about 20 years, and doctors keep pooh-poohing the idea that it caused the osteoporosis.

    Altho I have taken Omeprazole for years for acid reflux, I have managed to reduce the dose to only one time daily and I still worry about Barrets (sp?) syndrome which can lead to CA. Now at 80 , I am experiencing memory problems.
    Also I took Levoquin about a year ago, and in late November I had sudden very sharp pain in my upper arm, which immediately sent me to my doctor, whose Dx was a ruptured bicep muscle. My arm is much weaker and I have the “pop” above my elbow . Stay away from floxins is my advice.

    I’m a former GI nurse who worked with a gastroenterologist involved in the first research done on PPI’s. It was disturbing to see the stomach polyps developing after the start of study medication. We would biopsy the polyps and the pathology would be negative so after a period of time it was ruled that they were completely safe. When I developed Barrett’s esophagus and prescribed a PPI, I took it but learned other ways to control the acid at night and discontinued the medication. I ate 4-5 hours before bedtime, took Bragg’s apple cider vinegar followed by a large tablespoon of real Greek yogurt and slept on my left side. I had immediate relief! Since, I’ve added a low sugar and low carbohydrate diet which helps with the abdominal distention/gas issues. I have several friends with early dementia on PPI’s and I’m thankful to have discovered a different solution early.
    The healthiest patients I saw in my 43 years of nursing were the ones on no medications. Big Pharm has destroyed the health of many people over the years in order to make large profits. It is time for the healthcare consumer to be better informed and take back charge of their health by eating right and exercising.

    Betty I was hopeful after reading your post. I was diagnosed with BE and the doctor is pushing the PPIs. I recently read that PPI’s may cause Pancreatic Cancer

    Thank you for your loving comments. You have given me hope!!! Ima B.

    After noticing a slight swelling in my feet last summer, I had labs done which showed that my kidney functioning was not as it should be. All doctors trivialized my hypothesis of PPI use and told me to accept my fate: Stage I kidney failure. I was simply devastated, but determined to prove my theory, as I had no family history or other indicators of health issues. I stopped taking both PPI’s AND acid reducers. My kidney functioning has returned to normal. I had a Nissen Fundoplication where the 4 week recovery was a bit rough due to hunger, but no pain. The surgery itself went beautifully. I now feel wonderful, and hope I am able to help others with this information.

    I am concerned about your article regarding ppi lonsoprazole in particular, I have been on this medication for many years.

    The German research of 40% likely to cause Alzheimer’s worries me greatly as my wife recently died with Alzheimer’s. It is of no use trying to trying to speak to my doctor, he will not even look at the article. Can you suggest any other medication to replace Lansoprazole?

    One of the best ways to help with acid reflux is to raise the head of the bed 6 inches or more. You must raise the whole bed by under the frame of the bed. Don’t bend the mattress up. If you just use extra pillows or a pillow wedge, that will make you bend your waist and further compress your chest. Use books, blocks of wood, bed risers.

    Also you must be tested for your B-12 levels. For 20 years my husband needed this to be done. Keep your diet reflux free. Also get allergy tested for foods. Blood tests don’t work must do skin tests. Asthma is related to acid reflux and post nasal drip. Read all the side affects of your medicines. The rate ones. My husband had a chest tumor from Tagamet. Then years later on his other side. From the 4 th medicine he was on. Now he carefully watches the food he eats, bed is raised, waits 3 to 4 hours before he goes to bed. He also takes natural ginger capsules and occasional tums when his stomach upset.

    The other side of this observational “study” could be how many of these people would have had esophageal cancer or erosion without them?

    As a 65 year old, I have taken Nexium, Prilosec ( and generics more recently) since 1990 for SEVERE heartburn that would have probably given me cancer of the esophagus and/or Barrett’s Syndrome by now if not for these PPI’s. Taking 20 mg every 12 hours has stopped heartburn completely. Tums and Gaviscon and Ranitidine do not work for me, period ! I am not overweight so it must just be a leaking esophageal sphincter which is where the research SHOULD be focusing. My bones have not broken despite bicycle crashes and nasty falls at work. Dementia ?My memory is better than that of my children, grandchildren, co-workers and students so before you start wildly condemning these drugs, remember not everyone has negative side effects.

    I started taking Prilosec, soon after it came on the market. After suffering years from heartburn and trying most of the other remedies available before the proton pump inhibitors became available, it was like being cured. I am now 85 years old. If I forget my daily pill, the burn quickly returns, and I have continued taking Omeprazole in spite of the recent warnings. Today I saw my gastrointestinal doctor for a checkup and asked him again if I should try to get off this medication.
    He stated unequivocally that it is safe and the current theories about connections to other problems are unproven.

    I have GERD for more than 30 years. There were times I ended in the emergency room, thinking that I was having a heart attack. But it was severe heartburn causing chest pain/spasm.

    I’ve taken PPI’s for the past 20 years — Prilosec, Nexium, and finally, Protonix. I supplement with B-12 and Calcium. I haven’t had problems to date. But I am concerned about this news. Perhaps I can wean off.

    I was taking Protonix for about 10 years for severe GERD.

    I have had a long history of intermittent diarrhea and constipation prior to taking Protonix and continued to experience these symptoms. Thus, I never thought twice that this drug was exacerbating these symptoms. About a month prior to stopping Protonix, I developed increased diarrhea and intense gas pains. I usually manage with a combination of OTC products as well as diet coke, which relieves the gas.

    I decided to stop taking Protonix as an experiment having heard recent stories related to long term use. I have been off Protonix for over 3 weeks and have not had one episode of diarrhea, constipation or gas and feel significantly better. I am managing the GERD with D-GL (deglycerized licorice).

    Started PPIs in 1999. Prevacid in the PREV-PAK for h pylori. Prescription back then. Pricey. Over the past 10+ years THAT I HAVE BEEN ON PPI’s, I have tried to stop PPIs 5 times. The last time, I had been on Prilosec for years. The ACID REBOUND was extreme. (Acid rebound would have me bent double, sobbing; each time I tried to stop, the pain was worse.

    This last time was this past August. My stomach would slowly fill with acid, until I would be vomiting in horrid pain. An empty stomach was worse pain than a food filled one. I tried Ranitidine, per Dr. Instructions, because he knew the side effects of the med and what they had done to me. The pain was horrid. I drank aloe vera juice and used fennel seeds. (I was chewing 2000 mg+ of Tums but already had high blood calcium

    Dr said stop. I ended up having an ENDO and Colonoscopy. By then, october, I had been off PPIs long enough to have holes trying to form in stomach. Surgeon told me that I had to get back on PPIs. So I take one every other day. Generuc prevacid. Yesterday, I delayed my dose by 6 hours. More quickly than before, I had a tummy full of acid, pain, etc. I am pioneer stock! I SHOULD BE ABLE TO KICK PPIs…….but, now the thought scares me. I tried. 5 times.

    I would like to know what kind of home remedies people used in the early 1900’s that helped them to reduce reflux. I’ve noticed if I eat food with a vinegar base I have less or no reflux. Apple cider vinegar is very good for a lot of ailments. Would the vinegar interfere with the calcium capsules I ingest? I have osteopenia.

    I took several different PPI’s off and on for about 15 years, with the last several years taking them daily. I was miserable if I missed a dose. I kept reading how most people actually have low stomach acid and it mimics the symptoms of too much acid. Plus I read about how PPi’s can cause stomach polyps and stomach cancer. And they also deplete your Magnesium. So I slowly weaned off of them and have been off for almost 2 years now. It was rough but I stuck with it. You need a good probiotic, digestive enzymes, magnesium, and coconut oil. That is what helped me get off. Work on healing your gut. And slowly wean off of the PPI’s.

    “…we are beginning to wonder about the FDA’s judgment.”

    Beginning? You guys report this kind of stuff all the time. Swallow hard and draw the conclusion.

    Tend to have a sensitive digestive system and find myself in need of a little settling relief. My choice is peppermint tea, a gift from God with no damaging side effects. Occasionally I use Pepcid for a few days.

    My prescription for generic Prilosec ran out a month ago. I have been really worried about the physical cost in taking this med. after reading all the info from this web site. I didn’t get it refilled and decided to see how I would feel. I had been diagnosed with silent acid reflux. I never had the first adverse affect.

    I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that ate little meat and followed a diet withnlots of vegetables and whole foods. I’ve only had acid reflux a few times, only after overindulging in junk food, and I’m in my 70s. My husband was bothered by this problem occasionally until he changed his diet. It seems society encourages a pill for everything, when a simple change to a healthy diet will work in most cases.

    I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that ate little meat and followed a diet withnlots of vegetables and whole foods. I’ve only had acid reflux a few times, only after overindulging in junk food. My husband was bothered by this problem until he changed his diet. It seems society encourages a pill for everything, when a simple change to a healthy diet will work in most cases.

    “we are beginning to wonder about the FDA’s judgment.” The People’s Pharmacy is just now beginning to wonder?

    I tried Prilosec from Costco and it didn’t seem to work. I returned it and gave up on using PPIs. Thank God, I didn’t get hooked on it. Thanks for the article.

    Generic Tums seem to work fine. And other than too much sodium, baking soda and water is also effective.

    Like this person, I was prescribed Prilosec. In my case it was for stomach ulcer. I was told by the doctor that if I did not take it, there was nothing that could be done for me. I could not take it (I tried for 3 days) as it caused my throat to not operate properly and I could not swallow for several hours 7-8 hours after taking!

    So now what? I found food combining and within 6-8 weeks the ulcer was healed (according to a scoping of the stomach comparison). Like Tom from Phoenix, baking soda and water was a great relief for the first couple of weeks. Taken an hour or so after dinner, the burning of the ulcer was obliterated. After that the food combining did the rest of the healing.

    As per my previous comment, our “business-friendly” Congress has been de-funding the FDA for many years. This should surprise no one, as “Big Pharma” contributes big bucks to the election campaigns of our Congressmen/women. So we’re seeing bribery in action.

    I took Prilosec for years but stopped when I read about bone loss. I cut animal fat almost completely out of my diet, take a Ranitidine in the morning before breakfast and tums at night before bed. Worked great for me. I had to give up my chocolate chip cookie after dinner. Darn!

    I have pre-barretts what do you suggest as an alternative? I’d love to be off Prevacid but doctor say I must take it due to Barrett’s

    I’m the same Patty, I was diagnosed the Barrett’s over a year ago and I only have to be late with my tablet (Pantoprazole) to start feeling the effects. I think I need to talk to my consultant and consider a serious diet change (I do need to anyway) and try other ways to reduce symptoms. I only learned of the after reading an article on Facebook about other safe ways to reduce heartburn and someone had posted a comment on this news about PPIs. Very worrying for the likes of us already trying to prevent a potential cancer risk!

    I found Prilosec to be a miracle cure for my asthma which reared its ugly again two decades ago after being dormant since childhood. I can’t explain it, but there is some connection with acid from acid reflux being aspirated into the bronchial area from the esophagus causing inflamation. In each of the last few years that I have taken 40mgs per day, all my blood tests have been normal after annual physicals. Since I began taking Prilosec, I have been entirely free of both rescue and inhaled steroid asthma drugs. I would like to not have to take a PPI, but I do not want to have to deal with the asthma again. If I could get off of Prilosec and not have the asthma return, that would be great, but I don’t know how to accomplish this.

    I have been given scripts for a few drugs without hearing the possible side effects discussed. That is KNOWN side effects, thes latest findings are things prescribers don’t even have a chance to know. I have restless legs, insomnia, and migraines. Last drug I agreed to try for migraine prevention caused me to forget words I know and forget how to spell words I know. When people say, your problems must not be bad enough, you are not on a prescription, well folks this is the reason! Be careful!

    I had 7 months of suffering with epigastric pain, all my GI tests were normal, I even went to Duke in North Carolina, they gave me a Percocet Rx and told me to take 2 Dexilant per day But Finally after 7 months I decided to stop my Plavix on December 20, 2015 ( as I had experienced similar pain with Aspirin in the past ) since I read the side effects of Plavix, similar to Aspirin
    And within 30 days I have been pain free. Yet even when I asked 4 doctors they said Plavix does not cause abdominal pain

    Sadly, after the FDA meeting on 11/5/15 regarding more warnings for Fluoroquinolone drugs, the FDA has failed to act. Even after the panel recommended that they ACT NOW, don’t wait and investigate links into FQs and Fibro, Gulf War Syndrome, Mitochondria Toxicity and on and on………

    The FDA has posted the video recording to the whole meeting. The 3rd link is the public testimony. The 4th is the voting and recommendations from the panel to the FDA.

    • Start of Meeting to Morning Break: https://collaboration.fda.gov/p28guhbz4py/
    • Morning Break to Lunch Break: https://collaboration.fda.gov/p4r7n9ab271/
    • Lunch Break to Afternoon Break: https://collaboration.fda.gov/p7q9g54ygww/
    • Afternoon Break to End of Meeting: https://collaboration.fda.gov/p644nkzdcva/

    600 page document the FDA released on FQAD:
    http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/Anti-InfectiveDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/UCM467383.pdf

    My mom had undiagnosed hyperthyroid which caused gastric issues and was prescribed omnioprizole Prilosec Prevacid etc. these meds block your ability to get nutrition from your food. Weakens immune system. Increases chances of getting pneumonia and cdiff. CDIFF is horrible. Like Mrsa of gut. Severe diarrhea for months. Electrolyte imbalance. Dehydration. Mom took good probiotics too. Left with 0 B12. And LBD. (Lewy Body Dementia at age 74)

    Stopped taking Prilosev earlier when I kept hearing about all the dangers associated with it. Replaced it with 2 ginger pills a day. Infrequently take a couple Tums at night And, in those very rare instances that I experience heartburn not handled by Tums, take a ranitidine. No problems so far.

    I have been on PPIs for 15 years. I am having terrible IBS problems.

    I have tried at least 4 times to get off of the PPIs but couldn’t stand the heart burn. I am now trying to empty a small part of the capsule, which I take morning and night. I have so many of the side effects of the PPI I am willing to try any method. I appreciate the article a lot and hope to hear more from you. Thanks Pat P. in Texas.

    Is Zantac a PPI? I didn’t see it listed and my Dr. wanted me to take it to take the acid out of food. I was already taking prelief for my IC and that has been working fine. When I read about possible side effects from Zantac I decided to stick with the prelief.

    Several years ago a physician prescribed a PPI drug to me. I stayed on it for a couple of years. I stopped when I realized that I developed osteopenia, which I read was a side effect. I also developed kidney problems which has stayed with me since then. This kidney problem has limited me in the medicines I can safely take and complicates my medical care. I wish I knew sooner. And again, the FDA does a poor job in protecting Americans re: medicines

    I’d be interested to know if there are similar concerns about another acid-suppressing drug, Famotidine (which I think is “Pepcid” OTC). Please write in your newsletter if you are aware of any concerns about long-term use of this drug. I do not think it falls into the PPI category, but it is used to treat heartburn, GERD, reflux, etc. Thank you. I value your comments.

    Took prescription Prevacid for several years for acid reflux and heartburn.
    Developed problems with balance while walking, Was diagnosed with
    peripheral neuropathy, caused by vitamin B12 deficiency,have had injections
    and OTC B-12, wtill have balance problems and numbness in my feet.
    Sad to think people have too suffer with supposedly approved drugs!!

    Thank you for an article that leads the reader to consider the big picture. Unfortunately, a capitalist economy wherein big pharma is motivated to conceal or ignore harm that derives from inadequately tested drugs, designed trials and interpreted findings leaves not only the overwhelmed layperson at their mercy but also those they have harmed, who now depend on the same big pharma to ease their suffering -all leading to yet more profits. It is sobering to consider that new drugs are developed and released with a budget that includes lawsuits. Yet everyone still profits, including the lawyers. The only people who think this system is working are either profiting from the misery or have been brainwashed. Socialized medicine for all is the only way that has been shown to curb the malignant profiteers. (healthcare worker for 25 years)

    I was diagnosed with early stage stomach cancer, luckily treated only by RFA. Have been on maximum dose (40mg) of Omeprazole ever since and told by my gastroenterologist that I will always need to take this to suppress acid production. Seldom ever suffered from heartburn symptons but dare not give up the drug because of the potential risk of cancer recurring. Any suggestions for those such as me, tied to PPIs, to mitigate the side effects?

    I had the rebound effect when I stopped omeprazole for several months. I was told famotodine is safe. It works great, and I only take it when I feel heartburn.

    A friend and registered nurse recommended boiling these herbs in 5 cups of water and then sipping throughout the day: 1/2 teaspoon each of fennel seed, coriander, cumin seeds and turmeric.

    I’ve been taking PPIs for many years. Since all these problems came to light I am worried. At first I took the 40 mg precription but my Dr then told me to get the over the counter 20mg. And I have been taking various brands of the lower dose for about 5 years. I also take a B complex, magnesium and vitamin C. I have been trying to get off the Prilosec by buying a generic brand that is only 15mg and then skipping a day twice a week. Now I am cutting the 15mg in half. On occasion I have acid rebound but by watching what I eat and avoiding eating late at night…after 8 or 9 pm I seem to be doing ok. There are some foods that trigger the acid rebound and I find the worst one to be ice cream and especally chocolate.
    I must say that when I started taking the PPIs years ago I felt like a new woman. I had been suffering for so long even waking up at night choking and not being able to breath. When my Dr precribed them I thought it was a miracle drug.

    My husband has been on prescription Prilosic for almost 4 years now since he was diagnosed with Barrett Esophagus at 67. I truly see some issues creeping along and as I read about this awhile ago, I am getting more concerned. Hopefully after his next endoscopy in April, we can wean him off as getting off it isn’t an easy process either. Doctors have wanted me on it as well but I have enough problems with what your next paragraph was about, the Fluoroquinolone drugs! Thank you again for adding them to your article.

    Think about all the people who do not go to a doctor for heartburn meds and aren’t watched because they can now self diagnosis themselves and buy these drugs at their local pharmacies, no prescription needed! This is criminal that the FDA has allowed this to happen.

    Remember now that after a TEN year study, Taiwan came out with research in October of 2015 that Fluoroquinolones can cause aortic aneurysms too. If they correlated that how much more is being studied that we don’t even know about yet?

    I’ve been taking the generic version of Prevacid for about five years. I began taking the 30 mg. dosage, but was able to reduce to 15 mg. without too much breakthrough.

    Due to all the bad press recently, I am slowly weaning my way off the drug but am really struggling with heartburn. Anything seems to trigger it. I am drinking more water to control it, but that’s not always convenient.

    My question: are Tums or other OTC antacids considered PPI’s? How many can be taken safely daily? My hope is to use Tums or Rolaids, one at a time, periodically during the day until I can stop.

    Any advice would be welcomed!
    Thanks

    My husband was prescribed,and took omeprazole for years and developed Lewy Body dementia when he was 69 yrs. old.He was also prescribed citalopram to help with depression when first diagnosed with dementia,,and ended up admitted to hospital unconscious for three days ,fed fluids intravenously .On checking I found it was not advised to give both these drugs together to Lewy Body patients as they could cause the above effects, When I brought this up they said they did not think this was the cause but they stopped the citalopram immediately,it took nine weeks before he was discharged ,I no longer gave him either drugs again,He passed away when he was 74yrs. old.

    I took Prilosec since it first came out. For years I took it. I developed anemia and my new primary doctor took me off it. B12 levels and Iron were really low. I take B12 shots and am finally normal. Good info in the article.

    I was on Prevacid for 15 years until I started having 2 to 3 bouts of pneumonia and was on antibiotics on and off several times a year . Three and a half years ago I went to see an herbalist that a friend recommended as my body was breaking down. I am very active and sporty and was always strong with lean muscle tone. I could not understand how I was losing muscle tone and feeling very weak, my vision was affected, my stomach was at its worse and my bones ached all over! My herbalist took me off Prevacid overnight. I never looked back. While my bouts of pneumonia decreased dramatically, the med has taken its toll. I was diagnosed with Osteopenia last year and I also suffer from neuropathy and my sugar levels were out of whack with borderline diabetes and a weight gain I could not understand or loose! For several years I halted a lot of my activities because I felt so sick all the time and so weak. Needless to say I felt pretty depressed! The herbalist not only saved my life but she made me aware of what is right for my body. The 3 years getting off PPI were horrendous , it was a roller coaster because my body was so addicted to them! But I knew I would see the light. Today I am off any meds, any herbs and any supplements and both my gastroenterologist and my family doctor say I am doing well. The further away I am from taking my last dose of Prevacid the better and stronger I feel. I am 58 years old and I feel healthier today than 5 or even 10 years ago. I am back exercising and feeling stronger everyday!! Did I say I was a horse trainer ? I was but I think I will be soon again as I am able to do weight lifting again and build stronger muscles but my beloved career has been on hold for a while . PPI are dangerous and they can wreck your life forever!! 15 years ago there was not much research on the use of PPI so doctors felt it was ok to keep patients on them. But today the consequences of taking them is devastating! Please think hard before using them !!!

    Is Famotidine an at-risk acid reducer as well? My doctor has nd taking as a maintenance drug for acid reflux. I couldn’t takd PPIs because they caused leg swelling. Glad now I didn’t.

    Interested in other peoples experiences.

    A friend was able to get off of PPI’s after reading about possible complications. She said she feels so much better since then.

    I am not sure what steps she took to get off of the PPI or how she is handling it now. I do know she avoids both wheat and corn.

    In all the articles on acid reflux medicines, you never mention the brand Pepcid. Is it the same as Nexium and the others in the studies?

    The FDA has, and is exhibiting & practicing, woeful oversight. Yet, why are physicians still prescribing these meds without alerting their patients to this danger? Seems diametrically opposed to “First do NO HARM”.

    Unbelievable what big pharma has done to us. I will never trust any drug info from them again. Too many doctors were too eager to get in bed with them in exchange for trips and other gifts.

    I have tried unsuccessfully to taper off them and am doing so again. Otherwise, it’s surgery, which is not my first choice. Thanks for beating the drum on this horrible situation I find myself in. Please email us the ways others have successfully quit ppi’s.

    How frightening! For years I took Prilosec and then Nexium after it was sold over the counter. In 2012, I had a B12 deficiency, in 2013 C-diff and in 2015 two stress fractures.

    Thank you, People’s Pharmacy for letting me know that those conditions could be (and I believe were) caused by the PPI’s I had taken for so long.

    After discovering the dangers, I stopped but not without difficulty. I started Ranitidine until my hair started falling out and I discovered that the “dine” drugs can cause hair loss.

    I now take DGL [deglycyrrhizinated licorice] three times a day before meals, Gaviscon after meals and a Tums in the middle of the night if I start coughing or burning. This regimen has proved just as effective as the other types of drugs.

    Needless to say, I wonder what horrors I will hear about those remedies. But surely they are safer than the other drugs. It is a sad day when the drug companies care more about the billions of dollars they make than the safety and health of the American public. To think that the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA could knowingly allow the people in this country (or the world) to risk heart disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis with fractures, pneumonia, etc. for profit is unfathomable.

    Norma, you are on the right path. I had severe atypical GERD (in my throat instead of lower in my esophagus) and took Protonix, which worked well, but when I read of the long term adverse affects I decided to wean myself off of the drug. Slippery Elm Bark Powder is a great digestive aide, dissolve 1 T. in water or juice, oatmeal, etc., and drink a full glass of water alongside, as well. Taking this before meals or whenever needed was foundational to my plan, as well as the tasty DGL tablets. I also cooked Everything and eliminated all trigger foods and drinks while weaning off the Protonix, only adding them back in tiny amounts, or not at all, over many months. It worked! My husband also built up our bed frame to be six inches higher at the head. It takes discipline, but is very worth the effort.

    I have been taking PPI’s for many many years. I have very sever acid reflux. I am concerned about the new link as well as the others problems these drugs can cause. I just had a UT infection and it took til I got Cipro to finally get rid of it. I am now wondering if the PPI’s caused . How do I go about getting off all these drugs? I know if I got to my Doctor they will not recommend me not taking these. What do I do?

    I had been on PPI’s for about 30 years. It started with a pregnancy where my son’s head was pushing against my stomach for so long. I graduated from Maalox to PPI’s and found total relief. But, when I read The People’s Pharmacy article on how unsafe they are I quit right then. Yes, I had terrible reflux, but I had read about taking Apple Cider Vinegar for reflux. It helped somewhat, but it was only about two days, and I was reflux free! I could not believe how long I had been on those drugs, and how my vocal chords have been scarred from so much acid that it is hard for me to sing or talk for very long. Since then, I have learned to take a small handful of almonds for those times I feel reflux coming on. I have The People’s Pharmacy to thank for that, too. If I had only known all those years ago to buy almonds, I would have saved years of expense and pain. I want to thank you for all you are doing for us. I am 65 and have been preaching about your show and website for several years, now.

    I am 85 and have taken PPI’s for many years. Hope I am not a dementia candidate.
    So far like many people I can’t remember people’s names but I am alone so it does not affect me a lot. I feel at the end of my days I am getting slowed down considerably.
    Can’t do the things I used to do like walk for any length of time because of spinal stenosis. I told my doctor I am living with it because pain pills don’t help and I don’t want shots or an operation.

    My problem was with Reclast. Last June I broke my right femur and then 5 weeks later my left femur fractured because of Reclast, which had been given as an infusion over a 5 year period . Then 3 weeks ago I had to have the screw from my femur implant removed since my right femur was not healing completely also due to the Reclast. What is being done to let the public know about thevery dangers of osteoporosis medication and why are they still being sold?

    I am grateful that I have never taken one of these PPI drugs. And, never will…thanks to you!

    As long as companies are making money they don’t care about the damage medications cause. Seems now days is about the dollar not a life.

    For the past 2 years or so I have been taking by prescription ranitidine tablets, 150 mg, twice a day, and it is working great to control my heartburn. I was on Nexium and slept on a wedge pillow to keep my head elevated. I still sleep on the pillow, but no longer take Nexium. Since my family has a history of osteoporosis the doctor felt I should try ranitidine and it seems to work. Ranitidine is less expensive than Nexium, is it a PPI?

    As one grows older, stomach acids & digestive enzymes may decrease which can cause heartburn. Food does not digest properly which can result in mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Various assists via homeopathic, Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, can be taken advantage of, plus, go vegan. Reduce fat, caffeine, add foods, such as papaya (available in tablets) orange rind tablets, aloe juice, & taking the medicines with pectin or gelatin (available in capsules) enhances how your system absorbs minerals and vitamins. Try not to take the PPIs every day…keep spacing them out as your system adjusts. Dementia, is a complicated issue and in the past was primarily hereditary. Now it is rampant as Alzheimers–we need to look further into what being put into and on our foods, i.e., chemicals, additives, hormones, etc.,all of whihc have a vast influence on the human body–we have not heard the whole story yet.. go organic-if you stop buying the altered foods, there will be no market for them and the producers and marketers will be forced to comply. Also, the benefit of our modern drugs have been enormous but when we treat them like candy and pedal them on every airway-so what do we expect–great health and drug free children? We need to re-evaluate where we are going.

    I stopped taking Prilosec about 10 years ago with the help of acupuncture, after taking prescription meds or zantac to reduce heartburn for 10 years. I have had very little heartburn since. Am I still at risk for dementia?

    Is there any link between Tums or ranitidine with heart attack and dementia? My husband eats Tums (sugarless) like they are candy. Otherwise, he has unbearable heartburn and reflux.

    Well, I have read all of these articles and your article. I had an esophagectomy (removal of my esophagus) 2 1/2 years ago and have been on Nexium TWICE a day (as if once isn’t bad enough!) for 2 years. I tried getting off of it and using Carafate to eliminate just the one I took before dinner. Catastrophe!! What happens is that I get a disabling cough. I can’t lay down, talk or eat. And this doesn’t include the horrible burning in my throat. My GI doc says not to get off of it, that I run a real risk of aspirating my food and of asthma. I work out, meditate and eat properly (what I can) but this is driving me nuts. As an aside, I have noticed that I am getting arthritis that is very bothersome and this has increased ten fold in the last year. It is interfering with my yoga practice and life in general. I’m thinking of trying to stop again and use Zantac 4 times a day for a couple of months. My GI doc says it won’t work. I am 73, in good shape and very worried about this.

    I am one of those people who have to take PPI’s due to Barrett’s esophagus. I now have Osteopenia as well as early signs of CKD this is very worrisome to me. I feel as though I am caught between a rock and a hard place.

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