Thursday, May 6, 2010

Omeprazole (Prilosec) Withdrawal

Writing often helps me to sort out my thoughts.  It has been that way for my entire life.  If I want to figure something out, all I need to do is start writing.  And true to form, while writing my weekly recap it suddenly occurred to me that the strange stomach aches and trembling I had been feeling for the past couple of weeks might be connected to my cutting back on Prilosec, as per doctor's orders.

I checked back in my Food/Symptom journal and sure enough, the trembling began within a few days of cutting my daily Prilosec dosage in half, from 40 mg/day, to 20 mg/day.  The last time I experienced trembling of the same sort was when I stopped taking clonazepam.  The trembling lasted about a couple weeks.  Could it be that my body simply "withdraws" from chemicals in this bizarre way?  Could a simple, over-the-counter drug have this kind of effect on the body?  I had to check it out.

Doing the usual internet search (Google), I was amazed to find so much information available about Prilosec withdrawal.  Why hadn't anyone warned me that it was possible and what I might expect?

According to many websites, the side effects for medications are also the side effects of withdrawal.  The particular Prilosec I have been taking is omeprazole, delayed-release capsules.  Prilosec is a proton-pump-inhibitor (PPI).

So what is a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI)?  Without getting into too much detail, the stomach produces acid (mainly hydrochloric acid) in order to break down our food so it can be digested.  This acid is released through proton pumps which allow the chemical to pass into the stomach.  Sometimes the stomach produces too much acid, which may spill into the esophagus and cause heart burn or acid reflux. The proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is supposed to inhibit the body's ability to produce stomach acid.

Omeprazole (brand name Prilosec) "blocks the final step of acid production.... Animal studies indicate that after rapid disappearance from plasma, omeprazole can be found within the gastric mucosa for a day or more" (i.e., the effects linger on) (PharmaInfo).

According to the July 1, 2009 edition of Family Practice News, after 8 weeks on a PPI, patients ended up with rebound heartburn, acid regurgitation, and dyspepsia (upset stomach or indigestion).  The article "PPI Withdrawal Triggers Acid Hypersecretion" by Mary Ann Moon points out that "Rebound symptoms were clinically significant in the study subjects, causing mild to moderate discomfort for at least 2 weeks after withdrawal of daily PPI therapy--a 'remarkable' finding given that 40% of the study subjects had never experienced such symptoms before, wrote Dr. Reimer of the department of medical gastroenterology at Copenhagen University and her associates."

Symptoms of PPI withdrawal may include:
  • Rebound acid hypersecretion within two weeks of withdrawal
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reguritation
  • Dyspepsia

Interestingly, the study (double-blind, placebo-controlled design, including blinded withdrawal of PPI) found that "greater than 40% of healthy volunteers who have never been bothered by heartburn, acid regurgitation, or dyspepsia, develop such symptoms in the weeks after cessation of PPI" (Gastroenterology, boldface added). 

I am not the only one to believe PPIs are greatly over-prescribed.  I have seen it in my friends, and I have seen it in my own family:  Feeling a little indigestion?  Let's put you on a PPI and dismiss it as that.  As what??  My daughter was seen for an "nervous stomach" by a doctor while she was attending college.  The doctor said "You must have a hiatal hernia" and prescribed Prilosec, and never saw her again.  That was three years ago!  She has been on Prilosec ever since, never knowing whether she actually had a hiatal hernia or not.  When she stopped the Prilosec (expensive on a young adult's budget), she developed all the symptoms of withdrawal. 

The internet abounds with forums and patient discussion groups regarding PPIs.  Perusing a handful of these websites, I found some patient-oriented information with regard to PPI withdrawal:
  • Taper off slowly to reduce stomach pain and hypersecretion of stomach acid
  • Take Rolaids Antacid tablets as needed during withdrawal
  • pH levels may be out of whack
  • Food allergies and sensitivities may crop up
  • May experience loss of appetite
  • Trembling, shaking, "buzz"
  • Troubles with Vitamin D and calcium defiencies to the extent of severe bone density problems
  • Risk factor for Clostridium difficile -associated diarrhea

Incidentally, it is a known fact that "long-term use of proton pump inhibitors increases the risk of hip fractures in adults over 50" (Ray Sahelian, MD, "Proton Pump Inhibitor Drug benefit and side effects, safety, danger and risk").

I'm not saying all doctors over-prescribe medications, but I do think that both sides of the equation carry some blame.  Most patients (particularly American patients) want a quick fix.  If they don't feel well, they go to the doctor and get something for it.  In an attempt to avoid expensive tests and follow-ups, many doctors will give the patient what he or she asks: a quick fix.  There are many more factors and sides to this ideology, but that is not my purpose in writing today.

I do have to say that I think there is a big gap between the pharmaceutical industry and patient knowledge.  Somewhere between those two points lies a gap that needs to be addressed and filled.  The pharmaceutical industry is getting far ahead of the medical industry and governing the direction which doctors should take. Shouldn't the medical industry govern the pharmaceutical industry, rather than the other way around?  Just my two-cents...

Recommended Further Reading:


Colleen (W5211) said...

Thanks for you helpful comments. I will try the withdrawal gradually as you suggest.

Tara Finlay said...

I found your site googling for the withdrawl symptoms. I stopped taking omeprazole five days ago. Doing pretty well- I do have some rebound reflux but I am using Apple Cider Vinegar with really good results. I found the information about it here: . It is likely you have overcome your difficulty but maybe someone else finding this might find the link useful. I do not have the trembling, but I do seem to have developed Orthostatic Hypotension (the ACV apparently can cause low blood pressure) and I am having skin itching. That seems to be MY particular brand of withdrawl symptom.

Katie said...

Vinegar and Water is a great action to take with reflux. I did this myself for quite a while and recommend it!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am so glad I stumbled across this. I was taking Prilosec for about 8 weeks also, after an endoscopy for Celiac (which I have) showed that I also Acid-reflux, which I never had a symptom of. I just realized I never checked to see if Prilosec was safe since the same doctor diagnosed both. When I stopped taking the Prilosec last week I was itching like crazy, and attributed it to something else. I took a Benedryl, which my body didn't like to much either but it stopped the itching at least so I could sleep. I think we are all just hyper-sensitive to chemicals and have to live as chemical and gluten free as we possibly can. Thanks so much!

brainhoney said...

I decided to take myself off of Prilosec. It has been quite a journey -- these last two weeks. I began using apple cider vinegar (2tbs. in a large glass of water). It was helpful and I still use as needed. I am currently experiencing intermittent pain in my lower jaw with heaviness in my stomach, but with each day, it becomes less. I wish I had done this years ago.

Ron Bailey said...

This is great information!
I have been off Priolsec for three weeks and will never use it again. My reasoning comes from extensive research on the side effects and the potential dependency on the product.

It's concerning that with such side effects and dependency potential, most Dr. do not monitor the use of such drugs.

I too have incorporated apple cider vinegar into my diet. You should do this with self control as well as overuse of this product can cause its own issues.

Stefan Schultze said...

Dear Katie, I am experiencing weird shaking and trembling after I stopped 6 weeks of Lansoprazole. Its like my entire body gets tight, I feel my heart beat due to that, my hands and feet shake and sometimes my hear beat gets up and I feel dizzy-spaced-out. This is going on for 11 days now since I took the last (tapered down oral soluble pill) of Lansoprazole. I almost feel like this could be some sort of withdrawal symptoms. I got exactly the same feeling once I took 2 weeks of Nexium and when I quit I had this same weird flu like shaking, no appetite, depression, trembling etc. What the hell is this? I don't seem anyone on the web getting this except the normal acid rebound (which I get too). Am I crazy or am I experiencing real withdrawal symptoms. Would help a lot to hear someones experience. Stefan

pnanna said...

Ok then... I have suffered from GERD for over 30 years. Went the Rolaids and Gaviscon route until nothing helped. No acid and feeling fine until something as simple as a cup of water and Mt. Vesuvius would erupt! Began using Prilosec about three years ago. Read the warnings and found that cutting the 20mg OTC tablets in half, once in the morning were all that was needed for relief. After a possible C Diff infection alert, I tried cutting back and WHAM O! Within 24 hours the GERD was back with a vengeance. Tried Tums and other more "benign" remedies but got all bloated and feeling real crummy. Spaced out and very low energy unusual for me. Will try the cider approach cause now I don't even want to eat food for the backlash.

The Only Cigar in the Box said...

Getting off Nexium now after having been on and off it for the past 1 1/2 years. Most of the time, I took it for a week or two, then jumped off. Only ill effect of acid rebounding was the return of my late-night heartburn with a vengeance. Honestly, it seems worse than it ever did before I started taking Nexium. (Also, I would like to note that until recently, I was taking Nexium at night, generally on a full stomach. To get the full effects of a PPI, you are supposed to take it in the morning before eating anything. I started taking it "properly" very recently.)

During my very last stint on this PPI, I took Nexium for an extended period of time - somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks. Six days ago, I stopped cold turkey, and the acid rebounding has been harsh. Dyspeptic symptoms started kicking in after 2 - 3 days off, and really got bad on days 4 and 5. I'm seeing some lessening of symptoms now on day 6, but still not out of the woods.

My PPI withdrawal symptoms:

- Constant nausea / upset stomach
- Loss of appetite (due to nausea)
- Plenty of gas and bloating
- Sore stomach (probably due to constantly keeping it contracting due to gas, bloating, and nausea)
- Return of nighttime heartburn with an increase in intensity

Also seem to be having some weird "spaciness" feelings every so often.

Why cold turkey? Why am I not tapering?

Honestly, in retrospect, I have seen an uptick in my anxiety over the past year and a half, and I attribute it to Nexium. And during my last 8 - 12 week stint on Nexium, my anxiety shot through the roof, to the point where I was having panic attacks. I have been on no other medications, aside from the occasional tylenol or ibuprofin. And while most doctors would dismiss my claim that Nexium can exacerbate anxiety/depression, I will stand by my story that this is a side effect of the drug.

Nancy said...

I am so relieved to hear other people withdrawing from proton pump inhibitors have experienced that trembly, spaced out feeling! (I also have a persistent, low-level headache). I started tapering my OTC Prilosec by slowly substituting OTC Zantac 150 (which reduces acid by a different mechanism), as my gastroenterologist had directed . I thought perhaps I was experiencing side effects of Zantac, so first I tried OTC Zantac 75 to see if i would have a reduction in symptoms. No difference. Then I swittched to extra strenghth Pepcid. No reduction in symptoms. I have concluded my symptoms are purely drug withdrawal. I am fortunate that I do not seem to have acid rebound, although I have been taking Prilosec for over 10 years. When I am completely off Prilosec, I will taper off Pepcid until I am, hopefully, drug free.

Jordan said...

I too am having almost like withdrawal symptoms as well..anxiety,shaky,light headed/woozy,nausea,loss of appetite, weight loss, severe anxiety which causes panic attacks,and so on.. I am 16 year old male, on 10mg omeprazole for probably about 3 weeks... How are these "withdrawal symptoms" for you now ? just would like to know how long it lasts for. I never had anxiety before but this stuff seems to cause it. Its like flu like symptoms.

Anonymous said...

I decided to stop taking Prilosec morning and night for GERD three days ago. I spent a good 8 hours vomiting the second day, beginning at 5AM. I have never felt so wretched in my life. I called the advice nurse, talked to two doctors, and pretty well settled into a routine of throwing up every 20 minutes until it all settled down around 2 in the afternoon. Since then the appetite is gone. Tomorrow I'm headed for my doctor for some answers. I can't believe that this drug is sold over the counter. Mine is prescription. My reason for stopping was the recent connection between users of Prilosec and Alzheimers. My reason for taking it was a problems with food getting stuck in my esophagus, and the Prilosec did help that problem.

Anonymous said...

been taking Prilosec for over 20 years due to reflux. Have had two stomach operations. I decided to go off this medication due to the recent news reports of possible damage to the kidneys. I stopped cold turkey and immediately got headaches, muscle pain in my shoulders and neck and I even developed a fever. Its been 5 days and so far no abeyence of symptoms. My MD says I might have the flu and I should be better by 8 days. I hope so.

Deb said...

I have been trying to get off Omeprezole after being on it 10 years. I was taking 20mg in the AM and then again before dinner. I began hearing about how it can cause Alzheimer's and I decided that's enough. I've tried over the years, many times, to get off of it before, but like many others, I had rebound effects and ended back on it. I am determined to get off completely this time.
About two months ago I cut out my evening dose cold turkey, crazy I know. After stopping the evening dose, the acid reflux wasn't horrible and what little I did have I dealt with it by taking tums occasionally. The thing that was awful was the internal shakes and anxiety attacks. They eventually lessened considerably. When I started going off the morning dose, I started by taking it every other day, then every two days and weaned off that way. It took me about 4 weeks. Now I have the internal shakes and anxiety again to the point I'm wondering if it will ever stop. I would like to know if anyone else has experienced this to this extent and what can be done to help alleviate this. I'm beginning to wonder if this has caused permanent damage to my nervous system or maybe there is something totally unrelated going on. I talked to my doctor about the internal shakes and she believes me when I tell her I have them. She prescribed magnesium to be taken in the evening. I don't think it is helping. These internal shakes and anxiety will wake me up at night. I'm pretty concerned and am just hoping my body will regulate over time.
I would like to know if anyone else has experienced this. These drugs can be life saving for some serious issues, but I think it is a go to drug and is way over prescribed when other more holistic methods would work just as well. I really questioned the gastro doc that prescribed this to me 10 years ago and he said, "I have people who have been on this most of their life and they've had no problems. It's safe to take." I don't think so, not long term. This drug is only meant to be taken for a short period of time, not permanently. I think it is terribly irresponsible for a doctor to make a blanket statement like this. I think particularly now that we are seeing all the law suits on TV over drugs that have been out for a long time. Sometimes it takes a while to know what side effects will come forth. The best thing is to stay holistic or natural as much as possible.
Has anyone experienced the long term shakes and anxiety from this? What was done to help get through it?
Thanks for this blog. People really benefit from supporting each other.

Jane said...

Omg..I'm on my 2nd day of no Prilosec and I've had shakes both days. I suffer from anxiety anyway, but never experienced this. I'm taking Ativan which is hard to get. Docs don't want to prescribe it anymore because it can be addictive. I decided Prilosec first, then the Ativan because I really think the Prilosec is the cause of a lot of my anxiety. I haven't had bad rebound reflux yet. I'm going cold turkey since I have plenty of zantac if my stomach hurts. I have a hiatel hernia, but I want off all drugs. I quit eating Gluten and it's really helped with my indigestion, heartburn, and anxiety. Ask your doc if he will give you a few weeks of Ativan.

Helen Hernandez said...

How much Apple vinegar?

Helen Hernandez said...

How much Apple vinegar?

Christopher Jahr said...

Thanks for your post regarding the withdrawal effects by quitting Omeprazole. Withdrawal Effects that aren/t the well documented acid rebound either. I've been so sick for a month now. I've been on Prilosec "Omeprazole " for over 10 years. I was taking it originally for acid reflux. It worked so I never thought anything about it and added it to my morning vitamin regimen. 20mg once a day in the morning.
About a month ago I felt a pain in my lower left abdominal area. I freaked out and thought I had cancer or something, so I got the bright idea of quitting my Prilosec. "It ended up being a pulled upper groin muscle during golf." Well that's when my personal hell began. I didn't notice anything the first couple of days. Within 5 days I started feeling sick, nausea, bloating, constipation and stomach pains all over, totally fatigued, no strength left. I couldn't eat at all no appetite. Total anxiety and shaking like I have Parkinson's along with other strange pains in my body, legs shoulders, arms, ribs back and front and butt area. I truly feel like I'm dying. I was ready to kill myself, that's how bad I feel. I didn't put 2 and 2 together until my 2nd week of this horrible experience. I'm laying in bed thinking what did I do different and it dawned on me. So I jump up and Google quitting Prilosec cold turkey and then I knew I screwed up. I immediately take 2 Prilosec pills. I started back on them daily. I've gone to the ER twice because of being so sick and no real help from my primary care doc. Every time I eat something halfway solid I get sick about an hour or 2 later. My doctor really isn't any help, she was uniformed about quitting it like that. She told me to continue taking the Prilosec and she prescribed Sucralfate, every 4 hours. It's a acid neutralizer and coats your stomach and if you have ulcers it helps protect them from getting worse and heal. That made me more sick so I quit that. I had a endoscopy it showed nothing bad. I had a colonoscopy and that showed nothing bad. "Nervous" I think I damaged my small intestine with too much acid for those 2 weeks. I'm still sick as a dog and can barely get out of bed. I didn't have any of these symptoms until I quit the Prilosec. I've been back on the Prilosec for almost 3 weeks now but still weak and sick. Is there any hope of recovery? Has anyone else experienced anything similar to this? Thanks in advance for any replies. CJ

Anonymous said...

I am one of many that appears to have come here in search of why I've been feeling weird and like crap for over a week now. About 10 - 14 days ago, I stopped taking Prilosec 40mg daily (for a few years now) as I'm switching to natural remedies and know you shouldn't be on it long term regardless of what the doctors tell you. The pharmaceutical industry is another story in itself. Anyway, reading through all the comments and symptoms people on here have had, I feel like I wrote many of them. I've always had anxiety anyway, but it's been much worse. I've had neck and shoulder pain and stiffness, lost most of my appetite, had abdominal pains, shakiness, fatigue, depressed feeling, flu like, light headed "out of it" feeling, and just crappy in general. Oddly enough, the reflux I was taking Prilosec for in the first place hasn't been bad. I've just taken Tums when it flared up which worked. This stuff is poison and I hope I feel normal again very soon!

Anonymous said...

I was suffering from severe acid reflux for years. Never went to a doctor for it, but after trying everything else and nothing was working, I started taking Omeprazole (over the counter 20 mg) once per day and took it for over a year. After watching an episode of The Doctors on TV, I realized a lot of the symptoms I had been experiencing were due to acid reflux (things I didn't realize like sinus problems, lump in throat, cough, etc.) I wanted to give my esophagus time to heal. Well anyway, after over a year of taking it I became scared when hearing it can cause kidney disease, osteoporosis and possibly Alzheimers, and decided to quit cold turkey. I expected the worst, but the acid reflux has not been bad. I have been 2 weeks off it now, and I do get slight acid reflux every day, but not like I did before taking it. But I have had to modify my diet. That was the best thing about taking it, I could literally eat anything I wanted or eat late at night and not get acid reflux. Now I can't, and I can't eat after 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., but it's worth it to be off that stuff. I'm mad at myself for staying on it so long just because I expected the worst after reading that it can cause horrible acid reflux when you stop, but it didn't. I have had some other withdrawal symptoms though. Constipation, diarrhea, feeling of fullness after I eat, tired. But it's so worth it! I am keeping a box on hand just in case I have a severe bout again in the future, but I will take it for only the 2 weeks it suggests this time. I really do feel like it healed my esophagus so I'm glad I took it, but I should have never stayed on it as long as I did. I really regret that.

Anonymous said...

Up at 3am googling this. I feel like I may need to go to ER. I quit my omeperazol 3 days ago and I'm dying! Ear pain, shoulder pain, and the worst rib and neck/throat pain ever experienced! Anxiety, fatigue, loose bowel. Headache. Every day it is worse. The reflux isn't bad. But it's there. I feel like I'm having a heart attack! I'm so weak, can't get comfortable, can't sleep long enough to actually get rest. I was on this prescription for over a year. Stopped because prescription ran out and doc is on maternity leave. What should I do?

Melissa said...

Up at 3am googling this. I feel like I may need to go to ER. I quit my omeperazol 3 days ago and I'm dying! Ear pain, shoulder pain, and the worst rib and neck/throat pain ever experienced! Anxiety, fatigue, loose bowel. Headache. Every day it is worse. The reflux isn't bad. But it's there. I feel like I'm having a heart attack! I'm so weak, can't get comfortable, can't sleep long enough to actually get rest. I was on this prescription for over a year. Stopped because prescription ran out and doc is on maternity leave. What should I do?

Anonymous said...

Like everyone else I was googling withdrawal side effects from discontinuing omeprazole. I took myself off after taking it and other PPIs since 2002 when I was diagnosed with stomach ulcers. I began having anxiety and shortness of breath and a racing pulse about two months after taking myself off of it. The symptoms of gerd returned. I also have a history of gastric ulcers and a hiatal hernia. I had a nonfunctioning gallbladder removed about five years ago. I never knew which condition was causing these symptoms. The panic attacks are the worst. I have had a heart work-up, pulmonary function tests and all were normal as well as a lot of blood tests. I have a bottle of Xanax that the doctor gave me for the anxiety but feel that I don't need anymore chemicals to screw me up. What I have begun to do is read the Bible and pray myself through my attacks. I really want them to stop. Thanks to everyone for sharing. I was beginning to think that I was losing it.

Ali Huggz said...

Stand strong! I started Omneprazole in March for what was diagnosed as LPR (reflux affecting my vocal chords). I've been off and on it ever since (I often forget to take it, or refill it for a week or two...) About a month ago terrible stomach pains began and awful bloating after I ate anything ( I was taking the PPI regularly at that point). Then a couple of weeks ago, weird anxiety started. Not to mention, my LPR symptoms were back in full force...even with the PPI in my system. I attributed this all to the PPI after some research, and here I am, shaky but surviving. I quit the omneprazole several days ago. I'm eating very little, and eating a super bland diet. I'm taking the DGL licorice and having some ACV daily. So far, so good. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I am in the same boat as many of you here trying to become ppi free. Just under a week ago I took myself off Prilosec and hoped to be successful in discontinuing my use of the drug. My motivation came why still using Prilosec. I began to feel sick with what I call constipated diarrhea. So just 6 days ago I stopped using Prilosec and started using Pepcid and just breaking them in half at first. A couple days later I dropped my use to 1/4 tablet of Pepcid and as the fourth day I completely stopped all antacid use. It's now been six days and I'm feeling pretty good with the exception of lower abdominal pain. Occasionally I will burp not long after eating and I will experience a very small bit of heartburn but it seems to be much less than I had when trying to quit before. It's been nearly four years of using a ppi and I'm hoping to reduce or eliminate the things that caused me to seek relief with a drug. I was diagagnosed wth a hiatal hernia after an endoscopy procedure but I believe my late night meals and immediately going to bed made the hiatal hernia worse. Starbucks and drinking lots of morning coffee have now been nearly elimnated from my diet. Like everyone else posting I am tired of the use of ppi's and I'm determined to modify my life and return to a routine that is drug free.

Unknown said...

I was on Omoprozole for 13 months. I decided to quit because of all the side effects for long term use. I've been off omoprozole 40mg for 5 days. The last 3 days have been hectic. I'm trying various natural remedies to help me (chai tea, ginger tea, permisson punch, gum & bland diet). I take Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Gas Relief Chews at night to help me sleep. What I'm experiencing is far worse than the initial problem. Good luck to everyone.

Albert Hinojosa said...

I got off of my omeprozole 11 days ago after being on it for almost 2 years straight. I have had a little bit of heartburn and a lot of asthma like symptoms. I think the asthma has been the worst. I have had the spaced out stuff, no appetite and anxiety but out of all that the asthma is killing me. I have a bad cough, and every so often I feel short of breath then I feel like I can't get a full breath. Has anyone experienced this? I searched everywhere for withdrawals and this is the only place I found anything. When should I expect to get better? Should I go back on it? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks

Glassy Lady said...

I was prescribed omeprozole in early December 2016 and was told to "take it forever." The doc said, yeah, the package says to take for two weeks and stop, but it's okay, keep taking it; it's safe; it's fine. We don't know why this happens, but as we age the little valve into the stomach maybe doesn't work as well, maybe it's a hernia. Doesn't matter - we treat it all the same with PPIs. Check back with me in three or four months, and if you're not better, we'll do an endoscope. It's now January 30, 2017, and despite what I was told, I'm not taking this forever. It helped, sure, but osteoporosis, kidney disease, Alzheimer disease, and diarrhea are not worth it. A couple weeks ago or so, I tapered to 1/2 of a 20 mg tab (10 mg) daily, and now I've gone to every other day. In another week, I'm quitting in hopes that I've tapered enough since I was on it for less than six weeks. I'm drinking ACV throughout the day and using Tums as needed at night (with Gaviscon waiting in the wings, but it contains aluminum, folks, and that's been tied to Alzheimer disease as well). I have discomfort under my left ribs - like a gas pain - and when I bend over, I come up dizzy. The last few days, I'm exhausted by bedtime and tend to sleep like the dead. One thing I noticed is that my stomach usually feels pretty good when I've had some Mediterranean-style yellow lentil soup (lots of turmeric in that). I work late, so supper is usually late, but I've cut back on volume and try to stay awake later so the food has time to move on. Hoping I haven't done something awful to myself by listening to a doctor, but what else is a person to do?

lil'himer said...

Fire you doctor and search, I mean EARCH for a dc who knows the dangers of these things. I was on PPIs for almost 10 years and it was sheer hell getting off them. A a natural food store you can find Aloe Stomah relief. take a directed. Throat Coat tea by Traditioal Mdicinals tastes like licorice (yuk) but will help with the heartburn. Withdawal causs hypersecretion of stomach acid which cann cause coughing not unlike astha symptos. Han in thrre add don't give up. You may want to get some Kefir (probiotic yoghurt drink) for when you are too nuseaed to eatt solid food. I am totally off and MUCH better. Bes to you.

lil'himer said...

Forgive my typos.New tab keyboard.

MeLissa said...

Wondering if anyone has any PPI withdrawal symptoms success stories. How long did it last for you? i have experienced headaches horrible nausea vomiting lightheaded dizzy. Awful.

rabiya Ahmad said...

how are you doing now?

rabiya Ahmad said...

i took PPI because i had nausea and vomiting and my dr diagnosed me with gastritis ( without doing endoscopy)..i have to take it for 6 weeks and i have only so far taken it for 2 weeks and so horrified to read the withdrawl effects..any help??any success story??

Barbara said...

I am on day 11 of withdrawal, using 1/2 tab of 20 mg Omeprozole, daily. Been on the drug for 15 years. Last time I tried, I went cold turkey and ended up in ER thinking I was having a heart attack. Took the drug for another year. Now, here I am, again. This time, I mean business! Going through the bloating, headache, constipation and flu symptoms. Today is the worst for acid reflux. Started coughing about 10 hours ago. Trying to sleep, sitting up in my recliner. Using Chewable Alka Seltzer and Licorice tea. In three days, I will cut back to every other day. Read the entire blog, loving the suggestions. I will be trying ACV, Throat Coat Tea and the aloe stomach coat. Hang in there, fellow sufferers!

Barbara said...

I made it!! I have successfully withdrawn from Omeprazole after 15 years of 20mg a day! As I said in my last post, I cut my tabs in half and took 10 mg daily for 4 weeks. Thought I would have to cut by half for another several weeks, but I simply stopped taking it and am now managing mild symptoms with occasional Alka Seltzer Chewables and Fennel Tummy Tea, which I sip almost constantly. Also taking magnesium and B12 supplements. Hope to be completely symptom free sometime during the next week or so.

An incredibly different experience from my previous cold turkey attempt. This time I have had the bloating, headache, constipation, cough and flu symptoms. I've lost a little weight and really have no appetite, but I'm never going back!

Organic Fennel Tummy Tea bags available:

One day at a time said...

Barbara are you still off the Omeprazole ? I cut down to 10mg 5 weeks ago and got past most of the withdrawal symptoms but the nausea and lack of appetite is bad !! I'm waiting until that settles before I try stopping the 10mg ( mine are capsules with beads so can't go to 5mg )
I'm going to try fennel tea . I have b12 here already to try but I'm low in ferretin ( suspect due to Omeprazole ) so want to try up that first but iron supp is causing nausea on top of nausea so stopped that for a bit to until I get eating better .

One day at a time said...

An update if anyone is reading . I got to the 6th week of withdrawal from 20 to 10 and the nausea and stomach full of bile feeling eased , I was able to eat more at least . Still had the uncomfortable throat ( more a warmth than burn ) . I was still taking 10mg at night before bed but felt at this point it was doing nothing so I stopped 3 days ago . Soo far soo good but I'm expecting a rebound because the first week of cutting my dose wasn't too bad and then all hell broke loose . Eating little and often helped so the acid had something to work on but even that was difficult with zero appetite and horrendous nausea . Ive lost a lot of weight that I didn't have to lose in the first place .
Hang in there if you are going through withdrawal , many times during the first 6 weeks I was ready to just go back up my dose because the rebound was too much and all the other withdrawal symptoms ( headache , anxiety , nausea , dizzy spells .....) . I didn't use any Zantac because I didn't want another med to withdraw off , this one has been hard enough . Drinking a lot of water both warm and cold and minimal tea because with nausea it tastes awful anyway .
I wasnt prescribed this med for reflux , it was to help settle my anxious stomach and it did

TTom said...

Hello, Your Blog and all the comments support my struggle against the dyspepsia problem.
After change of work place since the beginning of this year - it began. I thought it might be because of the Omeprazole which i took for over 12(!!) years (40 or 20 mg - last year i reduced to 20 mg). I already tried to taper in August 2016, but the autumn came i had to come back to full 20 mg. In February 2017 began reducing again - this time much more succeeded. My dyspepsia was almost gone, the dose was so small, that even could count the small balls inside of the capsule (4-5 pieces). Then - decided to quit completely. Unfortunately, it was too early. Should have been slower - micro dose every 2nd day, then 3rd and so. After 10 days of completely no Omeprazole in my body it began - anxiety, panic attacks, depression, nausea, pain in the stomach, dyspepsia - again!!!, complete lack of appetite. I have lost 5 kg since February and 2 kilo of that in the last 2 weeks!
At one hand it was worth - during the first days of stopping i felt much better - at last I had strentgh to do something, but after just 10 days it has collapsed. Don't know what to do at the moment, I took Omeprazole little dose (I think around 7-8 mg) last 3 days, I'm intending to ease the situation and began to wean off slower this time. The most frightening thing is losing the weight. I cannot stop this. After reading One day at a time I know it can happen and it's even logical, but still give me thrills...

pradeep said...

No heartburn
Only heart palpitations and pvc
Omeprazole stopped the pvc
But causes tons of tiredness, dizziness, back shoulder pain, chest pain, knee pain etc,
Withdrawal is equally bad. These meds stay long 5+ days In your system after you stop and your body has to adjust to new baseline acid .. plus if B12 vitamin is drained since no new b12 can be absorbed while under this pi...after stopping the pop..the shakiness will remain till it is somewhat replenished..

40 mg -2 weeks
80 mg - 4 days
Back to 40 mg - 1 week
Cut to 20 mg - 5 days
20 mg to 13 mg - 5 days
13 mg to 11 mg - currently

Some deep breathing to calm down from side effects. Tums and h2 blockers when faced with symptoms.

health chronicle said...

Thanks for sharing with us.Omeprazole Side Effects

Jim said...

What I struggle to understand is the cavalier attitude of these doctors towards what appears to me as a dangerous but useful medication, they have a responsibility to their patients don't they, doctor handing out pills like smarties.
I've done a lot of searching and googling like the rest of you and came across an article by an American chap at a place called the bottomline clinic. Anyway, he described my symptoms to a T and convinced me I have low stomach acid, he goes onto say the PPI's are of no use in treating this condition which he terms airway reflux (LPR). The reflux he describes is brought about by a lack of acid in the stomach and he advocates dropping off the PPI's and taking a HCL supplement by duozyme and a good quality fish oil by nordic something or other. He reckons most of us have the low acid and the PPI's are useless. This may be why ACV is considered a success for quite a lot of people. I think what he says is that some people have insufficient acid to deal with the food they eat so the food just creates yeast>gas with the stomach not emptying as the foods not been properly digested so the gas has only one place to go and that's upwards.
Well i've been having the breathing problems in the afternoon when I have a sarnie and this gets worse when I have my dinner. Airways dry out and I feel crap until I wake up with a dry nose but when I get up have a shower I'm good to go again until the afternoon. I was on 20mg twice a day which I've now cut to just one in the morning. I'm going to leave as is for a bit, maybe a couple of weeks and see the doc and get some 10mg and just wean myself off. That's my plan anyway, email me if you like at and good luck to all, we need and deserve it.

Popoy said...

I stopped taking omeprazole for over a week now and still having nausea symptoms. This medicine messed up my appetite.

One day at a time said...

Popoy the nausea I had was horrendous and it did go on for around 3 months hence why I lost a lot of weight . You have to just try and eat little and often and ride it out . I thought nausea in pregnancy was bad but nothing like withdrawal off this med . I’ve been off this med completely since May and my stomach is still not right , no nausea thankfully but suffer a lot of bloating and still trail and error with what foods I can eat . I’m slowly gaining my weight back too , I dropped to under 6 stone and was soo weak and very unwell back then .

deb said...

Have been reading all the comments and have symptoms of quitting omeprazole like all the others. I took the PPI for 20 years. I quit cold turkey 10 days ago. I am still plagued with withdrawl symptoms day and night. Elevated temperature, burping, burning in throat, fear of eating due to reflux, trying to sleep propped up, and weariness. I have on hand green tea, coconut oil, ACV, DGL, amino acids, chia seeds,graham crackers and gum. Am continuing a regimine of probiotics, b12 and calcium-magnesium supplemants to offset the roberies of the PPI.

I was figuring a month to 6 weeks recovery, but maybe it will take longer.

Blueswing said...

I was put on prilosec after a stressful time about 11 months ago and having heartburn. Dr. says it doesn't hurt you long term. He says he has prescribed for years, but I don't like it. I tapered off slowly over a few months and have been off for almost 3 weeks. I had awful rebound reflux (which I have taken Pepcid AC for). It is better but I have felt like I have the flu. My body aches all over and I have had severe shoulder, neck and back pain. I hope my body is just trying to readjust after being on the prilosec. I will not go back to it.
Thanks for all the comments.