FDA Sounds Alarm on Dangers of Antacid Drugs | Chris Kresser
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FDA Sounds Alarm on Dangers of Antacid Drugs

by Chris Kresser

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In a shockingly rare example of the FDA actually doing its job, a report was issued on Tuesday cautioning against the prolonged use of a class of acid stopping drugs called proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Who knows, maybe someone at the FDA read my series on heartburn and GERD, especially this article and this one detailing the dangers of acid stopping drugs?

This is a really big deal. PPIs are one of the most popular classes of drugs prescribed. Doctors wrote 114 million prescriptions for them last year. Americans spend $5.1 billion on Nexium, the most popular PPI, alone.

The FDA report cautions against high doses or prolonged use of PPIs, because they’ve been shown to increase the risk of infection, bone fractures and dementia.

But the danger doesn’t stop there. As I pointed out in my series, all acid stopping drugs (not just PPIs) inhibit nutrient absorption, promote bacterial overgrowth, reduce resistance to infection and increase the risk of cancer and other serious diseases.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad the FDA finally issued this warning. But I can’t help wondering how someone who has been taking a PPI for 20 years is going to feel about it. If I were one of those people, I’d be incredibly angry. Especially because researchers who studied these drugs before they were approved by the FDA years ago sounded a similar warning.

In fact, when the drugs were first approved, it was recommended that they be taken for no longer than six weeks because of these same concerns the FDA is only now warning us about! Looks like someone dropped the ball on that one, because it’s not at all uncommon to encounter people who’ve been on a PPI for two decades. After writing the GERD series, I heard from several people in that group.

So please forward this article to anyone you know who has been taking one of these dangerous drugs for any longer than six weeks. And believe me, you know one of these people. We all do. You may even be one of them.

If you or a loved one wants to get off these drugs and treat GERD naturally, the the series on my blog clearly explains how to do that.


Join the conversation

  1. I’ve had GERD all my life, due to my physiology. I was born with a hiatal hernia; my diaphragm does not close tightly where my esophagus meets my stomach, allowing acid to come up. The surgery to fix it would be nasty- they wrap the stomach around the esophagus one time and staple it in. Can have all kinds of complications like inability to belch, not to mention it is a de facto partial gastric bypass because they’re using part of the stomach itself (I’m already skinny). No thanks. Tried PPI’s- absolutely awful. After a few months I would loose my appetite after the first bite of food and become nauseous. So for years I have been surviving off Pepsid Complete which combines famitodine with the main ingredients in Rolaids, taken only as needed. Usually once a day. This has done me well, but my intuition is telling me that time is up. These drugs only cover up the symptoms. I found the best way to manage my GERD without any pills is DIET and diet alone. Once I began paying attention to which foods did what to my body without any medication I was shocked. The worst offender: SUGAR. Time and time again after I ate or drank something sugary, even something small, I would breathe fire. Makes sense, since sugar turns acidic in the body. Now I eat like a diabetic. Secondly, eating out of a box or a drive thru window; we all know that type of food is bad. Lastly, the QUANTITY of food I took in in a day. When I ate an excess of food, the more the fire burned. A 30% reduction in calories (2 hearty meals a day, not 3) did wonders.

  2. I’ve been on Nexium since 2000, I had a hiatal hernia operation that failed and part of my stomach is up into my thorax, I have tried to have a repair, but no one will do it, so I live with taking Nexium 40mg I capsule per day. I started having beyond severe heart burn — it literally felt like a heart attack, I had gripping pain in my chest and lower jaw, awful pain, I take antacid with milk and it stops it. One time I didn’t while in the donut hole, I didn’t have the 118,00 to pay. my I burned out within hours it seemed, lungs were worsened and for now three years suffering with chronic bronchitis, does better in the summer months. I tried to stop could not. I cannot stop, now I am trouble urinating properly, haven’t had kidneys tested, but I am urinating I just figured it was due to my age. My concern is of course the Dementia — I have not found any reliable information on this, only mere speculation. I’m frightened, because I know I can’t stop taking the drug. What now.

  3. I have been taking dr prescribed rabeprazole for 15 yrs and over the last 10 yrs have slowly developed decreased kidney function to the point where I have been sent to a specialist for CKD. He immediately told me to stop, telling me that PPI s cause kidney disease. I am so upset with my rheumatologist who prescribed these dangerous medications. I hope my awful experience will alert others and stop them from damaging their kidneys

  4. Ive been taking ppis for the last 6 years due to my hiatal hernia and barretss eshopahgus. I feel fine, no side effects for now.

  5. Follow-up: Since my original post in July I’ve seen my GI doc 8 times and he has ran multiple tests and procedures on me testing for everything under the sun to see why I’m still having reflux symptoms even though I’m on protonix to 40 mg 2xday and ranitidine 300mg 1xday. He is very open to me getting off the PPIs and told me to start weaning myself off the protonix and take the 300mg ranitidine up to 6 times a day. Said to wean off slowly like take protonix every other day for a week, then skip two days in a row the next week, then skip 3 days in a row the next week etc etc until I’m completely off protonix and only taking the ranitidine. I’m down to 4 of the ranitidine a day with the goal of taking only 2 a day. He said the goal is to see if I can avoid rebound and manage daily with a ranitidine in morning and at night. He isnt’ too concerned about the barretts and said the ranitidine should keep things in check if it manages my symptoms well enough.
    He also did a gastric emptying test and found out I have gastroparesis and advised a low-fat low-fiber diet. Well I also have IBS with chronic constipation and a low fiber diet wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I drastically altered my diet and started losing a ton of weight that I didn’t need to lose and was having a hard time figuring out what to eat trying to balance the constipation / stomach acid / gastroparesis and still eat something other than clear liquids!! So I went to a nutritionist and we worked out a diet plan that seems to be working. I’m down to 3 protonix a day and everything seems to be balancing out. I have complete confidence I will be able to wean off the acid drugs as long as I stick to my new way of eating.
    Moral to the story … if you’ve never been tested for gastroparesis I would highly suggest you at least mention it to your doctor!

      • These were the key take-away’s I got from the nutritionist:
        Eat 3 small meals a day and 2 snacks in between. Don’t over-stuff yourself b/c it’s hard to digest food when you do. Eliminate gluten when possible, keep to less than a total of 15g of fiber a day, stay below 20g sugar per meal or snack, use lactose free milk / cheese / cottage cheese, aim for low to no fat diet, and try to have at least 30g of protein a meal.
        You need to learn to read nutrition labels for sure! I’m trying to find my specific food charts I made. Will post if find them!

  6. I would like to know if anyone out there has been diagnosed with real back osteoporosis after taking a PPI for long term. I ttk mainly Prilosec for over 16 years and I have been diagnosed with real bad o osteoporosis and adult onset scoliosis. None of my doctors will say that taking the PPI had anything to do with this. They always say its because I was a smoker for about 15 years. Anyone out there with the same or similar problem?

    • Here’s my recommendation of a surgeon who convinced me of the importance of undergoing surgery in preference to taking the PPI’s:
      Dr. Greg Jossart, MD, Bariatric Surgery (6-Dec-16): Whether commenting on this surgeon’s technical skills, medical knowledge, or one-on-one patient care, they don’t come any better than Dr. Greg Jossart. I first visited this surgeon as a 79-year old senior after having suffered from a decade long case of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GRD) from which I had not seen any improvement when under the care of several general practitioners and another Bay Area gastroenterologist.

      I visited Dr. Jossart as an alternative source of advice just two months ago because of: (1) his extensive experience as a laparoscopic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of GRD; and (2) because I had been told by my former gastroenterologist that I should continue taking proton-pump inhibitors (PPI’s) for “the rest of my life”. In my opinion (and contrary to the advice of my former gastroenterologist): (1) PPI’s were responsible for the chronic state of fatigue that I had developed over the past dozen years that I had been taking them; and (2) I had begun to see a growing number of online medical articles on the potential harm that PPI’s may have in inhibiting a person’s absorption of nutrients.

      It wasn’t until after I had gone to Dr. Jossart for a second opinion that I was told that: (1) yes, there may be “potential” harm in my continuing to take the PPI’s, but that (2) there was also life threatening harm if I did not physically correct the underlying cause of my GIRD. Two months’ after more physical exams confirmed the severity of my damaged esophagus, I was scheduled for the surgery that was conducted just three day’s prior to my having written this letter of recommendation. Although my surgical procedure lasted a full 2.5 hours, I was able to able to return home on the second day following surgery…., and I have never felt better since having first experienced the discomfort of my GRD a dozen years earlier. Miraculously, and thanks to Dr. Jossart’s skill in conducting such surgery, I returned home without the need of any pain-killing opiates, and with the ability to assume a liquid diet without feeling any discomfort whatsoever. Dr. Jossart has not only assured me that I should be back on a normal diet within a single mont’s time. He is pretty certain of my being able to discontinue my past dozen years daily dosages of PPI’s.

    • Yes, exactly same diagnosis for me. I was not a smoker. Dr hasn’t taken me off Prilosec yet. I just had another endoscopy to make sure there were no additional problems and to have my esophogis stretched. I have another appointment to discuss treatment. Diet hasn’t helped.

  7. I’ve been on prilosec for the last 20 years, right now my dose is 80mg daily. I was recently diagnosed with gastroparesies. I’m not diabetic, and i’m only 45. My question is could prilosec have caused my gastroparesis?

    • I’ve taken protonix (or similar PPI) since the mid 90’s and was diagnosed with osteoporosis in hips and spine about 6 yrs ago. I was 46 at the time.

  8. Not sure if this will help anyone or not but it is defiantly worth taking a look at. There is a link between fluoride in water and acid reflux/gerd. I have read some comments that said they couldn’t even drink water without having a problem. My son was having some reflux issues which run in the family, so we thought he was domed to a special diet and possible medication. As soon as he stopped drinking the fluoridated water his proplems stopped. He does have the occasional problem when eating some foods but that’s it.
    I too like many of you have been taking Nexium for the last 12 years and have tried several times to stop taking it without being successful. After a severe bout of food poisoning, I did not take it for a few days and decided to give it another go. After reading all your comments and doing much research I am hoping it is not to late to reverse any problems that may be headed my way. I too have stopped during the fluoridated water which seems to have made a big difference.

    Thank you all for your comments and encouraging remedies, I am just beginning the journey!

  9. I’ve had heartburn ever since I suffered from viral meningitis at the age of 20. I was heavily dosed with Panadine Forte for a week whilst in hospital. The combination of codeine and paracetamol in high doses completely wrecked my stomach.

    Bile started to burn my throat whilst I was sleeping about 4 years ago, and I was prescribed Nexium. I was warned by a naturopath not to continue taking it (a few weeks later) after complaining of a dry mouth and lack of saliva when sleeping.

    Two weeks later I was at the dentist with pain throughout my entire mouth. My teeth had gone from fantastic (zero fillings/cavities) to a high percentage that i would lose all of my teeth to gum disease.

    I was accused by the dentists for not properly caring for my teeth. What followed was over 2 years of agonising treatment on my teeth and gums. The correlation between Nexium and dental pain was not even considered by my doctor or dentists.

    Forward 4 years. I was prescribed Pantoprazole by another doctor just 4 weeks ago after suffering severe reflux and pain swallowing food. I got the familiar dry mouth, so changed to Esomeprazole.

    More dry mouth and then the familiar dental pain started again. Waking up at night with no saliva in the mouth. Tried Biotene but that didn’t help at all.

    This time I am losing two wisdom teeth, and gaining two more fillings. The pain has been ridiculous this time around.

    I’d like to organise a class action against big pharmaceutical. Their lack of information regarding the possible side effects surrounding this class of drugs is astounding.

    They’ve caused me nothing but misery. Anyone else with dental pain as a result from a lack of saliva?

  10. I was just released from the hospital after a GI bleed. While inpatient I was on a an continuous Protonix drip, received carafate, etc.. Now home, on Protonix 40 mg bid, carafate 1 GMO 4 times a day. Had a follow up with my family doc, who drew lab, had very low RBC, low hgb and hematocrit. He told me to take ferreous sulfate every night at bedtime. Protonix inhibits the absorption of iron. I have no idea what to do.

  11. I’ve taken Nexium 40 over 20 years and a year ago I developed a horrible rash. I used to have no allergies at all, but now I break out on my arms , hands, and tops of my legs no matter what I eat . It can also be reactive to things I touch. The rash burns more than itches, and it peeled like a sunburn on back of my thighs this summer. I now avoid the sun because it blisters me very quickly , and I’ve had this over a year with no treatment helping. The original diagnosis was spongitic dermatitis and that was made by biopsy. But now, a year later, I’m wondering if it is related to the Nexium!
    Can you please post photos and verbally describe the life threatening rash associated with Nexium? I also had a positive ANA test, the a negative one. I have swollen joints and tremors sometimes, and intestinal problems that hospitalized me when this all started. Please write about the rash! And thank you for all you have written so far!

  12. Hi. I was on Dexilant 60mg plus 300 mg Zantac for six months and slowly weaned off the Dexilant over 9 months. My Dr upped the Zantac to 450mg to “buffer” the acid rebound once I stopped the Dexilant completely. It’s now two months off the Dexilant and I’m still having bad rebound, mainly horrific burning in my chest almost all the time and a raw/inflammed chest/esophagus. I never had this before the PPI. I went on it for gastritis. I’m eating low carb, using DGL, slippery elm and other supplements, sleeping with a wedge, etc. Will this ever end or does rebound last forever? Should I up the Zantac to 600 mg (that’s what my Dr wants me to do, but I want off that drug too eventually)? Please share your experience with rebound.

    • Rebound acid reflux is, regretfully, very normal. I recently decided to take myself off Prilosec. The dr who prescribed it, is no longer my dr, as he moved out of state several years ago, and my new dr, well, I just haven’t bothered to see her and tell her. Anyway, with that being said, here’s what I can tell you. With acid rebound, it’s miserable. You feel like you want to die sometimes. Well, I did a lot of research online for some help and answers and here’s what I’ve done. Now, I can’t say this will work for you, but it’s worked for me.

      So, the suggestions online were of drinking apple cider vinegar. Yeah, right, like that was going to happen. And baking soda water is also really bad for you. Very high in sodium and I don’t like yogurt. There were few others, but I don’t recall what they were. So, the whole trick to this is to get your stomach back to normal. The acid reflux is actually because your stomach does not make enough acid, not because it makes too much. So, since vinegar was touted as one thing that helped, I decided to eat pickles. I love pickles. So, every morning, I eat a dill pickle. All day, I’m drinking lots of water. No tea, sodas or juices. Just water. For lunch, I look for things that are not irritating to my stomach. Things are very low in sodium or salt-free. I’ve avoided dairy, up until this morning when I had a bowl of Grapenut flakes and small handful of peanut m&m’s. Not a good idea. I definitely have indidestion. Anyway, I’ve avoided sodas and anything else that is high in sugars and caffeinated. Oh, and if you like saurkraut, eat it. It’s one of the things mentioned to help reset your stomach. It’s been 2 weeks now and I can say, it’s no where near as bad as it was. It’s much better. I’ve something equilavent to a Tums, only twice this past week. The week before, I started taking the new Zantac Duo. Took it for about a week. Then decided to try and wean from that too. It’s nice to be able to eat, almost normal, with no, to very few problems. I’m hoping that over the next couple of weeks, I’ll have my stomach back to being the way it’s suppose to be, on it’s own. Oh, and apples. Apples really help the stomach with this as well. There is evidently a natural enzyme that helps with indigestion and reflux. So, I’ve been eating a lot of pickles, apples, eating saurkraut and drinking lots and lots of water.

      Try to eat dinner no later than 6pm and don’t go to bed within a minimum of 4 hours after eating. Avoid spicy, high sugar, high fat foods for awhile. At least 2 weeks, then see how you do with a small amount. Don’t rush it or push it though.

      Avoid citrus fruits, anything made with citrus or that is aciditic.

      It will take up to 3 months, but using some of these suggestions, should at least make it more bearable. The upside, I’ve lost a few pounds with no effort and that’s a good thing, as being overweight does not help my cause any.

      Best of luck to you.

      P.S. When I need a little something to help, those 2 times I mentioned this past week, I used an Equate Brand of antacid chewables. You can find them at Walmart.

  13. For me, there have been other ways to relieve GERD that work much better than using PPIs. My main remedy is digestive enzyme capsules. There are several available, but I like Solaray’s Super Digestaway. It can be taken every day, or only when you have symptoms. It can be taken when eating something you know is dangerous, like a greasy meal. And it gives quick relief from indigestion due to over-eating.
    Also, elevate the head of your bed a few inches.
    Never lay down to nap or sleep after eating, until you are sure your food has passed through your stomach.
    Lean meat should be eaten last (of a meal, and of the day) because it “closes the door” between your stomach and esophagus.
    Try eliminating common allergy foods from your diet, like dairy products, peanut butter, wheat, etc.
    Reduce sugars from your diet.
    Exercise regularly.
    It has been my experience that most doctors completely ignore the importance of nutrition, and possible adjustments to it. Considering the obvious connection of GERD and nutrition, I think that is unforgivable.

  14. I have been weaning myself off of Omeprazole for the past few weeks. Has anyone experienced itching during this process of withdrawal?

  15. Update. Well I phoned my Gastroenologist after weening myself off the Protonix and informed him I did not want to be on Protonix any more due to the dangers. I asked for no PPi’s. I am now on 300 Ranitidine morning and night with the Carafate twice daily in between. Well I watch what I eat and I am doing well I do have a little trouble just now and again it is not frequent. My tummy feels much better not churning all the time. Although I am 49 I felt like 75 regarding my joints. Well let me tell you the joint problems all down to Protonix and its generic. Oh gosh I can now get out of bed in the morning and walk no joint pain in knees shoulders or arms. These PPi’s are dangerous.. Please try and find alternatives. If you come of Protonix or the genetic mske sure you ween yourself off gradually. I’m not sure if I have Barrett’s as the test seems to come back different every 3 years but I do not want to live in agony or develop any of the major issues associated with PPi’s in later years

    • Thanks Karen! I told gastro doc yesterday that I want off PPI drugs and he wants to do the EGD scope to see if the Barretts has worsened and then discuss weaning me off meds. I’ve tried several times to wean but tummy pain always won and I went back to popping pills. I will report back later on the next stages of this saga!

    • This is alarming to me I have been on Protonix for over 2 1/2 years, although my doctor did tell me I needed to come off of it, it works for me with the acid reflux, never knew some of the symptoms I am having are probably related to Protonix, I have bad leg pain in my ankles, my fingers hurt all the time, and I have severe issues with my teeth, and my jaw, although I do have TMJ, so I don’t know what is going on, or if it is the Protonix, but I think now I need to come off of this medicine, how did you ween yourself off, what do I do, I don’t want to have withdrawals, and I did try to come off of it once, and my acid reflux got worse.

      • Well I was on 40 mg morning and 40 mg afternoon. I bought myself a tablet cutter from the pharmacy . I decided to do this over a period of a month or two so my first week I took 3/4 of protonix. The second week I took 1/2 protonix . I tried to take 1/4 Protonix the following week but it was not working well so I had to spend a couple of weeks on the 1/2 protonix. Then I went onto the 1/4 Protonix for a couple of weeks. I did contact my gastro whilst doing this so that I had some medicine after this so he changed it to 300 mg Ranitidine morning and night and I am fine. I stressed to him no PPI’s. PPI’s can cause osteoporosis. Hope this helps and good luck

  16. Just adding my story to the rest of yours. Was on prevacid for 20 years (not sure of dose) for GERD / reflux / esophagitis … then switched to protonix 40 mg for another 4 years, then diagnosed with barretts esophagus (no dysplasia) 2 yrs ago and dr upped protonix to 40 mg 2xday and added ranitidine 300mg 1xday.
    So after being on PPIs for *years* I still get barretts and am now taking max high doses of these drugs. Plus I still have heartburn even at these max doses of drugs! Also have IBS and fibromyalgia. Dr takes biopsies for everything every time he does a GI scope or a colonoscopy. I do not have h pylori, etc.
    I watch my diet, do not drink, am not overweight, get regular exercise. 56 yr old female.
    I too have heard all the stories of how bad these drugs are and now the kidney damage related to them along with everything else. Went to my gastro doc today to ask about other alternatives for barretts (surgery or whatever). He said to just keep taking the pills and wants to do another GI scope to see if anything else is causing me to still have heartburn, etc. ugh
    I’ve tried weaning myself off many many times over the years but always had too much pain so gave in and went back on them. Have tried many many many alternative / natural approaches as well. Nothing works.

    • Follow-up: Since my original post in July I’ve seen my GI doc 8 times and he has ran multiple tests and procedures on me testing for everything under the sun to see why I’m still having reflux symptoms even though I’m on protonix to 40 mg 2xday and ranitidine 300mg 1xday. He is very open to me getting off the PPIs and told me to start weaning myself off the protonix and take the ranitidine up to 4 times a day. Said to wean off slowly like take protonix every other day for a week, then skip two days in a row the next week, then skip 3 days in a row the next week etc etc until I’m completely off protonix and only taking the ranitidine. He said the goal is to see if I can avoid rebound and manage daily with a ranitidine in morning and at night. He isnt’ too concerned about the barretts and said the ranitidine should keep things in check if it manages my symptoms well enough. We shall see how this works!
      He also thinks I have an overactive esophagus along with the IBS and that is what is causing the reflux-like symptoms. Wants to put me on a low-dose antidepressant to calm things down in my tummy. I am resisting that route for now but may consider down the road.

  17. I’ve been taking nexium for at least 10 or 15 years for acid reflux from my hiatal hernia and ibs. Nexium has helped me to have a normal life without constant heartburn. Since hearing about the dangers especially kidney damage. I’ve tried weaning myself off while eating antacids but I have trouble keeping the acid away and I’m worried about esophageal cancer from all the irritation. I know someone that died because of esophageal cancer from irritation caused by acid reflux. I’ve heard about natural licorice chews helping but haven’ tried it yet. I broke down and took a 20mg nexium and it helped calm down the acid, it was so nice to stop the acid but still need to stop taking it some how?

    • I was on PPI s almost continuously for the past two decades. Finally after learning of evidence they inhibit vital processes in other cells I switched to zantac a couple of months ago. The first week was quite bad but now the discomfort is not bad at all. I also have lost about 15 lbs by limiting my calories so my BMI went from the high end of normal to near the midpoint. That has helped a lot because I have a hiatal hernia.

      Also it is not clear that ppis prevent cancer. They reduce the acidity but you still have the reflux. Zantac is less effective and still poses the risks involved in lowering stomach acid production, but it does not inhibit proton pumps, which are apparently in cells besides those that produce stomach acid.

    • Personally, I have found 4 papaya tablets, sometimes
      more, give wonderful relief from reflux. Tastes good, too.
      If you have blood sugar issues Swanson’s
      vitamins has a non sugar product.

      • Just now trying papaya tabs after weaning myself off Nexium.
        Memory loss is my reason for getting off Nexium.
        Desperately hoping for reversal!

    • OK have been having the same experiences, got off the med but had to go back. If you find any thing that helps let me know.

  18. Been taking rabeprazole sodium (Aciphex for more than 15 years). Back in the 90s, I had esophagitus due to hiatal hernia. They were going to repair the hernia with surgery, but it never happened, and a second surgery for abdominal hernia, installing mesh, would prevent the access for the hiatal hernia fix. So they put me on antacids. Most of them were in sufficient so they finally got me on Aciphex and that did the trick and got rid of the Barrett’s cells and chronic discomfort. Insurance companies, every time I switched to a new one, put me through hell to try other drugs. Most of the time to my dismay. So I’m back on Aciphex and I get it imported from Europe via Canada. And now I read this mess of information. Good grief. So if these drugs are so bad, why aren’t they taking them off the market? I have tried many over the counter drugs with no success. Prilosec, Zantac, etc. If I have to quit this drug, this is going to get bad. Any thoughts? Thanks

  19. Thank you all. I asked my gasto doctor about surgery a while back and he said it would not help. Im not sure if I have Barretts as my results come back each time different sometimes Barretts and sometimes cells are changing. After reading your comments I am currently weening myself off the 40 mg of Protonix. Im now on 20 mg and oh what a difference my stomach feels like its not churning all the time and the reflux and heartburn have improved. My joints seem to improving a little. I m also on 300 mg of Ranitidine at night. Im giving it another week then going down to 10 mg and see what happens. I hope to just divide the Ranitidine in 2 and take 150 mg morning and 150 mg at night . I am annoyed as these meds should be banned they see to do more damage than good. I will keep you all updated as to how it goes

    • Karen, I’m interested in your results of cutting down. I take 40 mg of protonix twice a day along with the 300mg ranitidine (prescribed after Barretts diagnosis). I also wondered if I could have the surgery to stop acid reflux and be able to get off the meds. Your doctor told you no … I thought it was an option. I need to ask mine again about it. It does seem like he told me I would still have to take the meds even if I had the surgery b/c of the Barretts. So what’s the point of surgery if you still have to take meds? geez. Anyway sorry I got on a tangent … was just curious as to how your tapering off has gone.

      • Hi Elaine I understand you are on 80 mg. I assume 40 morning and 40 at night. On 80 mg it would take 8 weeks. The first week you cuit down to 30 mg morning and night (use a pill cutter) then each week decrease by 10 mg on the last week if working well make sure you have another medication at hand. If you cannot get to your gastro just phone them up and explain no PPi’s. I am on ranitidine 300 morning and night. If your gastro won’t do this then go to your general Doctor. When I say working well I mean that the symptoms are no worse than if you were on the Protonix. As to prevention surgery some people it works and no meds some not. if you have Barrett’s then they do not normally operate until the cells have changed to the next level before cancer. I know from reading one of the best methods is the Halo. It is an op where they laser the cells which have Barrett’s. Hope this is of help. Any more info let me know. Please let me know how you get on

  20. My wife was prescribed pantoprazole, after taking it twice she had extreme lower back pain, in her hips and the pain shot down her leg. She was on the floor and unable to move. After taking her to the hospital and having all her bloodwork checked out, everything came back fine. It was the drug. The minute she stopped taking it, all the pain went away.

    Definitely have a conversation with your doctor and always check the side effects of these medicines as they ended up causing way more damage than helping.

  21. After a few months of PPI’s I had anaemia, exhaustion, hormone problems, inflammation, muscle cramps and joint pain. I took Ranitadine, Omeprazole, Lanzaprazole, Pantaprazole and Esomeprazole and they were cycled due to my side effects. I have come off them now (without the support of my GP who says they are perfectly safe and refused to connect certain symptoms to the drugs) and am trying to manage just with diet – this is difficult as the stomach acid in my case is causing me pulmonary problems. Despite this, I feel so much better than I did on the drugs and several symptoms that my GPs told me could not be connected to the use of the drugs have disappeared or improved. Thankfully my boss at the time I became ill was a knowledgeable medical consultant who knew straight away what my symptoms were and wrote me a letter to show to my GPs (who were disinterested and uncooperative up until that point). I also have a good consultant who is pro anti-reflux surgery rather than lifelong drug treatment and has now referred me for the surgery. If I watch my diet carefully for life and the surgery is successful I hope never to need these drugs again. I am not anti drugs I think they are excellent for short term use of ulcers etc however giving them to people indefinitely without acknowledging or understanding the effect on the body is incredibly negligent in my opinion. If you can afford the surgery, do it or if you live in the UK see if you can get a referral.

  22. Ive been on Prilosec and or Nexium since about 1998….I am furious about this!! The last 5 to 7 years, anemia, Vitamin D deficiency, Vit B 12 deficiency, kidney failure due to calcium in the blood and not being absorbed, Fracture…sinus infections tooth infections…I was thinking and wondering why all these things were happening!!! I am now realizing that all this or the majority could have been caused by this drug!!! I am in the processes of ridding myself of this drug and suffer from heartburn and upset stomach!

  23. I have been on protonix (40) once a day for 15 years now. My doctor increased it to (80) as I have Barretts. I still just take the 40 once a day I also take ranitidine at night and carafate during the day. I had my gallbladder removed 7 years ago. Recently I have had pain in my spleen and my liver, joint pain all over and stiffness in the morning. I am 49 years of age and have had all the blood tests going, I do mean all by a hemotologist. All bloodwork came back fine I have had ultra sounds which showed a borderline spleen and borderline liver both at the top end to call borderline. My joints hurt all the time. I have a hip issue where the bone is worn down and that hurts to. My hematologist thought I had an inflammatory disease. Blood tests say no (even RA Lupus) no I even had a nuclear test to see how the liver is functioning (everything fine). I had my 3 year endoscopy and nothing has changed. Went back to my General doctor who said I must have the start of arthritis and that not to worry as my liver and spleen are borderline and that they will repeat blood work and scans in a year. I am also at the near end of the menopause so it is hard to know what is what. I am scared as I am beginning to wonder if this is the use of Protonix and what can I do to help myself?

  24. I have been on nexium 20 years, 2 a day for the past 2 yrs. Recently, well for about a year I am no longer able to walk a very great distance without having to stop due to the pain in my calves an hip. Once I stop for just a moment I can continue but only in short spurts. I have been studying up on long term effects an muscle deteriation an bone weakness are indeed effects. Can I reverse this? I also have been diagnosed with Barrets an am very close to cancer. I am noticing now that my right arm muscles are very weakened. I had blood wk done an although everything looked good my MCH an the other were very high which means my cells are to large to pass freely through my vessels. A side effect of among things that don’t apply to me but one being long term antacid use. I now have a blockage behind my eyes which is related to the MCH which in turn is the nexium! Would the surgery for my stomach help to reverse this?

  25. Heh, typical. ( very cynical about medicine. I’m still flabbergasted that doctors have no nutritional teaching nor have any of them, including gasteroligist ever discussed causes. It’s always medicating the symptom!)

    Here is my problem, now turning 57, been on one form or another since 21! Every thing that could happen taking these long term has. Thyroid, but the HUGE doses I’m told I MUST take have no effect on my symptoms (body temp 96.7-8 normally is only one of the many symptoms).

    Gallbladder removed, was told it would be deadly if not done immediately.

    I’ve had bacteria problems, digestive, intestinal tract, erroneously diagnosed with Crhones for 30 years!!

    Now I’m trying to get off nexium, reading about it, drinking the apple cider as needed, but I’m concerned about my gallbladder being removed.

    Can I go back without any medication? I’ve been trying to get off everything, can’t find any doctors willing to agree that this is smart, but they have tried. I’m still ill, now I think it’s my turn.

    Suggestions as to what steps I can take. I’m limited on funds, no longer working. I’ve contacted natural doctors for this but they all want very expensive office visits with 500-1000 per month in supplements. My health has no price, but adding 1300 to my budget isn’t feasible right now.

  26. Has anyone been diagnosed with osteoporosis and has also taken a PPI for years? I was on Omeprazole for more than 16 years and now I have been diagnosed with extreme osteoporosis of the spine. I am in extreme pain all the time. There is no osteoporosis in my family history, so it was not hereditary for me. I blame the PPI’s that I was on for so long. Please, if anyone has any thing similar, please share your story with me. Thank you.

    • Yes, I have been on these drugs for years, and have been diagnosed with osteopenia, having problems with my spine, fingernails, hair. I feel memory loss it makes me feel like I am going crazy. Since I have been diagnosed with osteopenia I have been trying to get off I stopped cold turkey it worked for awhile but, had to start again it really sadden me. So the reason I am posting is because I have found out what works instead of depleting your body of all good things replace things like calcium with magnesium, ultimate flora prebiotic, I am taking 15 billion live cultures with 8 prebiotic strains. You can get 30 billion which I might go get, the more the merrier I would say. I have been taking vitamin B12, D3, krill oil high doses. Eating Chia seeds with smoothies and with odwalla drinks, and incorporating yogurt. All that being said I feel much better than I have ever felt. By the way during the days when I stoped my meds and I started having a issue of acid and stomach pain I ate an apple it took it away just like that , amazing I know. I have been off for 3 weeks and it’s working give it a try it can’t hurt. It worked for me it might work for you.
      God bless and may He bring health to your body, mind and soul.

        • Susan, I’ve been on Pepcid AC for maybe seven years. Last winter, I tripped and fell, breaking the bone in my right hand. After that healed, I decided to get off of Pepcid. I took fresh lemon juice diluted in water several times a day, as I weaned myself off of Pepcid. I’ve been off of it for about 4 months. One night, two weeks ago, my stomach was burning, so I took a Pepcid for two nights. The third night I stopped and was completely miserable with horrible stomach burning. It took about a week for my stomach to settle back down again and the pain to go away.

      • Thank you for this info. I have not tried the pre-biotic, so I will start. I just do not know hoe to tell which brand is the best. Could you help?

      • I have been on 40mg of nexium for 3 years I have sever hip pain can’t stand for a long period of time leg pain I have an overactive bladder now and when I speak to my Dr about these issues she disregards what I tell her now she said I have huge masses on my ovaries I’m wondering if these are due to the nexium now after reading these comments

    • Yes my husband was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of his hip. Took him 2 yrs to go from a mild arthritis to now age 45 needing a hip replacement! Rediculious! !!

    • I have taken nexium for about 20 years and when I don’t take it, I have heartburn (indigestion). My doctor recently took me off saying that “new findings” show it is bad for bones and my latest bone density test wasn’t good. Now I have the heartburn back. Wondering if zantac is also a PPI??

  27. Hi everyone I am literally floored right now to hear all of the problems with PPI. I have been on basically all of them for fifteen years and in the last 6 years I have had 7 surgeries all starting with joint pain, gallbladder removal, knee surgery and a fractured spine level 3 fusion , hernias ect. I have been working very hard with my doctors to try and figure out what is wrong with me I have literally been tested for everything HIV, Hepatitis A,B,C,D, lime disease, and almost every bacteria known to man and I get the well there is nothing wrong with you attitude from everyone. The frustration is at an all time high because I know and feel the issues but it doesn’t seem to help others understand me. My sister brought this to my attention and will be talking to my doctor tomorrow to see if it’s possible all my issues steams from this if anyone has any advice that would be helpful I would really appreciate it the hell I have been through I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy and I hope if it’s this they can help me and others going through the same keep your head up we will get through it together!!!!!

    • Inflammation from the blood being too acidic will pull calcium & magnesium out of the bones hence all the inflammatory conditions. Start by relining your gut with glutamine for one month whilst taking a digestive enzyme with each meal and start weaning off your PPIs. During this time stick to your blood group diet (Dr D’Adamo blood group diet). Once you have weaned off the PPIs then change your digestive enzyme to contain one with betaine hydrochloride. Make sure you sit to the table when eating and relax for 20mins after before getting up and about to do things.
      Kind regards , hope this helps you. Divera Black- Bch Sc Nutrition, Dip Naturopathy, Dip remedial therapies -Australia

  28. My husband has been on Pantoprazole for 20 years and has full fledged dementia, which I started noticing around 15 years ago, when he would turn on the wrong street coming home (we’ve lived in this house since 1971). Dementia does not run in his family. His brain no longer sends the message to his stomach and bowel to contract and digest solid foods. Our primary care physician wants to put my husband on another drug for his Barrett’s esophagus, but right now we are trying to build his strength back up after losing 15 pounds over the last eight weeks. If he is taken off of Pantoprazole, I will post what the new drug is on here.

    • Does anyone know if the damages done by long term use of Pantoprazole can be reversed? I’ve been on it for 15 years. I’ve noticed my short term memory is really getting bad. I also wonder what my future is going to be like. Can the FDA be held responsible for any medical cost due to the release of this medication when knowing what the risk were??

      • Larry, the FDA certainly should be held responsible! They know it and still have not pulled the drug from the market. I am sorry to hear your short term memory is not what it should be. I’m not sure if the short term memory comes back after stopping the drug. I’ll need to do some more reading.

        • Thanks. The more information the better!! We may have to start checking into legal possibilities. Would insurance cover future problems with having medical issues from this medication. What about some one to take care of us. I’m single , no children.

        • PPI’s certainly have their place in reducing stomach acid whilst being treated for ulcers and helicobacter pylori. Unfortunately GP’s learn to diagnose disease and fix symptoms with Pharmaceutical drugs. They don’t learn how to treat the overall person or how to prevent disease. Once you have relined your gut and got your stomach acid back to where it should be and go on the correct diet for your DNA then I suggest taking a supplement Acetyl L Carnitine to help get your memory back.

      • Guys have i’m acidic like all of you, i’ve take antacid for almost 1 year. try to take ginger tea every day while you eating it can help to reduce your acid.

    • I have been on Nexium for over 20 years. Twice a day for the past year. It controls my reflux but for many of these years I have had horrible stomach pain and constipation. Could the long term use of nexium have caused my stomach to no longer properly digest food therefore leading to the constant pain and constipation. I have had a negative colonoscopy and upper endoscopy a year ago. I have to take herbal laxatives at least 3 times a week or I will go up to 10 days without a bowel movement and then the pain is unbearable. Do you think all of this could be caused by the nexium. I eat a healthy diet with lots if veggies and fruit and only drink water and I am about 15 pounds over weight but not obese. I also have fibromyalgia so I don’t have a lot of physical activity. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Barbara

      • Barbara, if you don’t have enough stomach acid you will not digest your proteins. These proteins rot and ferment in your intestines causing inflammation in the bowel. The inflammation dries out your stools and overloads the liver which leads to IBS. If you fix your stomach ph and have the correct diet plus detox the liver you should be fine. I would also recommend taking some extra essential fatty acids in your diet such as flaxseed oil and Chia seeds to help with your stool movements.

      • thanks for that info i have only just been told by a friend about nexium and found this blog so like you i will come right off nexium right now its interesting how now they can be bought off the scripts crazy !! now so my question is what kind of apple green or red?

  29. Hi, I’m wondering if anyone has had Pantoprazole prescribed due to controlling stomach acid as a result of the galbladder being removed? Mine was 7 years ago. The 20mg Pantoprazole keeps the acid at bay, but reading all of this, although nothing about problems after galbladder removal, would there be a non medicinal solution for my acid problems? Would like to hear from anyone in the same situation. Thanks…Suzanne

    • I had my gall bladder removed and take a tablespoon of lemon juice mixed with water each day. (rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards.) It does help the heartburn. If I watch what I eat, that helps, also.

    • Get and read a book “Why stomach acid is good for you” by Jonathan Wright, MD It will explain the whole mess and why PPIs are the wrong thing to use.

  30. Been on a PPI for about 2 and half years. It has not been a good 2 years of my life. I have a HH & Barrett’s but since being on the PPI many other problems have occurred stomach polyps, stomach lining infections, fatigue, cramps, body aches and generally feeling unwell most of the time. Reading what many other people have written PPIs do not agree with many. I am hoping there is an alternative in future.

  31. I was given Omeprazole 40mg daily when I was having Chemo and Radiotherapy ten yrs ago and have never been able to come off them. I cut down to 20mg about 18 mths ago and, as long as I remembered to take it every morning, it kept my problems at bay. Three weeks ago I decided to stop them again and I’m really suffering with heartburn, sleeplessness, stomach and back pain, headaches, anxiety, etc, etc. Everything I eat and drink (even water) triggers heartburn. Another BIG problem is a choking cough…does anyone else have one? I’ve tried Bragg’s ACV and am now taking quite a few Rennie tablets daily. I don’t know how long this is going to take to regain the balance of acid in my stomach or if going cold turkey works.

    • You cant go cold turkey off PPIs. Itll give you an acid rebound as you can see. Google withdrawals of PPIs. Youll need to ween yourself off over a month. I took Zantac 150 and it really helped but please Google for help with this or you may have month of agony going cold turkey. Ive read to go back on and when stabilized ween yourself off. I’m not a doctor so maybe check with yours.

      • Had to do a follow-up to give hope to those who are still trying to get off PPIs……
        I did it….I’m off Omeprazole…. I had 4-5 weeks of pure hell and I swear it wasn’t easy, many times I wanted to give in and I even had an overnight stay in hospital as the pain was so bad I thought I was going to die. With the help of OTC antacids, ACV and being careful about what I ate I am virtually GERD free…not even had to take an antacid for at least 6 days.

        • Please anymore tips on stopping ppi anything. Im on week 5 and still hell, im getting asthmatic from the acid. How do you take the ACV? When? What else do you take?

          • I still have daily problems but I take a Gaviscon or Rennie tablet as soon as I feel the slightest twinge and that works for me. I also have freshly squeezed lemon juice in warm water every morning. I have stopped the ACV for the moment and I am trying to get find out what triggers it. I always take a rennie before bed too. Any bread, beef, some cereals, lettuce and tomatoes, red wine are a no no. Beef and bread stick in my oesophagus and I get a choking cough but I’m finding it hard to give them up. Chinese food doesn’t affect me at all. It will take time and I wish you all the best.

            • I just weaned of using PPIs after 20 years. So far I’ve had no serious issues. I took about 6 weeks to wean off gradually. For what it is worth here is what I did:
              1. used the following natural supplements:
              – L Glutamine
              – DGL tablets before meals
              – digestive enzymes.
              2. Avoid reflux trigger foods
              3. Eat smaller meals and nothing at least 3 hours before bed
              4. Chew gum after meals
              5. After meals try to go for a walk or keep moving.
              6. I’m a big fan of ginger when I feel stomachy. Buy real ginger and grate it over food, teas and chewables.
              I hope this helps.

          • It certainly does help to watch what you eat but it is very difficult when nearly everything, including water, triggers the acid. I have considered seeing a dietician and also food allergy testing but before I do I’m going to try sorting myself out as the tests are pretty expensive. At the end of the day “you can’t put a price on your health”

        • Moira,
          Thank you for sharing. I have been on Protonix 40mg 2x per day for 5 months after being diagnosed with moderate Chronic & acute gastritis. I had an endoscopy and bioosy to determine this diagnosis. No H-Pilori. My doctor also wanted me on 300mg of Zantac. I did not do that, thank goodness.
          The PPI seemed to help the first few weeks, then I seemed to go backwards. I developed worse digestion, food intolerance, severe neuropathy, fatigue, muscle weekness, periodic ringing noises in my ears and have lost 25 pounds on my already thin frame. I can hardly eat anything and have been on disability from my business for 5 months now. My life has stopped!
          I have had every test known to man, including MRI due to all of these other symptoms.
          I decided after a few months of hell going backwards, to seek functional & natural doctors. So glad I did! They are thinking all the symptoms are related to the imbalance that the PPI is causing.
          I am now being treated for the neuropathy, am on natural remedies like probiotics, DGL licorice, slyppery elm, marshmallow root, PepZin GI to coat and heal the stomach lining and some other supplements for inflammation.
          I also receive weekly intravenous nutrition until I can eat more food to get my nutrients.
          I am now on day 6 of weaning off the PPI Protonix, 20mg at a time and have started some rebound effects.
          My traditional doctor said I would need to wean off 20 mg at a time for a month on each weaning cycle. That would be 4 months. That seems a bit long to me.
          Any thoughts from you and the group would be so much appreciated!
          I wish you all the best on your healing and recovery.
          Thank you!

          • Hi Karen,

            Make sure that you are free of H Pylori. This happend to me where pylori came negative in endoscopy and so my doc was treating for hyper acid and gastritis. I was same on ppi for 3 1/2 month and one day suddenly I found that I could not get the food down. I went to ER and have them do another endoscopy and they found pylori over growth. I.am taking all natural medicine to treat myself. I heard in endoscopy you sometimes don’t get pylori.

    • Wow, I fully understand your pain. I have been on ranatidine for the past 20 years. One day I decided to just stop the pills and see what would happen. By the time it was night, I had unbearable heartburn and stomach pains. I cannot go a day without this. Even water, as you say triggers the acid. I too am always sleepy, tired and miserbale. And, I always have the feeling like I am getting the flu or sore throat.

      I know there is no cure but what else can we do? We need the pills.

    • I took PPI for about 30 years. I started weaning myself off about 3 months ago. It is a long painful journey. I take DGL licorice root, l-glutamine after each meal and at night, Alka-Seltzer Gold, aloe vera juice, and drink slippery elm tea. I still have heartburn, especially at night when I lay down, but it is getting better. My NP told me it takes a long time to heal the stomach lining after years of PPI.

    • Moira it is not advised to just stop you PPI’s . You need to reline your stomach first and also have a digestive enzyme to aid digestion while you wean of your PPI’s. It also requires you to eat the food only that you have the enzyme to breakdown. This is a gradual process. By stopping abruptly without relining the stomach will cause major problems.

      • Hi…it must be about three months ago I stopped taking the PPIs and I have had some terrible problems, mainly a cough and some serious choking when eating and drinking. I still get occasional acid reflux and a touch of heartburn. Thee days ago I took an Omeprazole just I get a little relief from choking and I stopped drinking tea, eating bread and potatoes and have been eating more fruit and veg and I’ve been o.k since.
        I would like to know more about how to line my stomach and about digestive enzymes though. Thank you for your reply, you certainly know what you’re talking about.

        • Moira, when you eat your stomach pumps acid and enzymes to digest the meal. Depending on your DNA /blood type your stomach will build up enough acid somewhere between 1 – 3 on the PH scale. Once this is achieved the lower value opens to let the partially digested food into the intestines. If the acid level does not build up then the valve will not open and you will feel a sense of choking. To reline the GUT take 1/2 teaspoon of L-Glutamine in a small amount of water 1/2 hour before meals and take a digestive enzyme with your meals. After 2 weeks change the digestive enzyme to one that contains betaine hydrochloride to lift the stomach acid back to where it needs to be. You can get your blood group diet from Dr D’Adamo site.

  32. I’ve been taking Pantoprazole 40mg for 15+ yrs. Just finding out the risk. I’m pushing 50 and worried about what my future will be. Now what do I do ? Can any damage be undone?

    • Hi Larry. Just like you I have been on Pantoprazole for close to 20 years. It started at 40 mg twice a day. Over the years I have dropped to 40 mg once a day and now 20 mg once a day. I’ve done well on that but now that I am 55 and know about risks, I want to get off. I guess it’s all about having a plan and the courage to see it through. Do you have a plan yet?

      • Tried stopping the meds. Lasted about three days. Over the counter antacids weren’t doing anything for me. tried changing my diet but, everything gives me heartburn. Milk and water included. Guess my choices are pain or Dementia. Any ideas?

        • I took PPI for about 30 years. I started weaning myself off about 3 months ago. It is a long painful journey. I take DGL licorice root, l-glutamine after each meal and at night, Alka-Seltzer Gold, aloe vera juice, and drink slippery elm tea. I still have heartburn, especially at night when I lay down, but it is getting better. My NP told me it takes a long time to heal the stomach lining after years of PPI.

          • I Brenda –
            I was diagnosed with Moderate Acute and Chronic Gastritis 5 months ago. My traditional doctors prescribed me 40 mg Protonix 2x per day. They also wanted me on 300 mg Rantidine, which I was not comfortable doing thank goodness.
            PPIs are poison and ruin your stomach and flora balance. They have their uses, but should not be used more than 2 – 4 weeks. I would stay on the course to totally taper off this if at all possible. I was on them for 5 months and could not digest a thing, lost 25 pounds, got severe neuropathy, ringing and noise in my head. I had to go on disability from work. I also needed intravenous feeding. My life fell apart. I was able to taper off 80 mg of Protonix in 4 weeks. I take all the natural stuff. A good probiotic, DGL licorice, Slippery Elm, PepZin GI, L-Glutamine. I also take Siberian Pine Nut Oil which coats and heals the stomach. Works well for me. There are lots of natural choices that will help heal your gut You can also use Gaviscon if you need some immediate relief, but I did not do that very often. A good and gentle enzyme that also coats and helps heal the stomach is Acid Soothe from Enzymedica. It made a big difference for me.

            I also got a homeopathic remedy from my functional integrated doctor that really helped with the pain in my throat and stomach.

            I am now on a Gerd and Gastritis diet, which is actually enjoyable compared to the few things that I was able to eat while on the PPIs. I monitor the PH value of the foods I eat as well. In my case, my stomach was not making enough acid, so the PPIs were really bad for me.

            I am now getting treated for the neuropathy and still on the mend. These almost ruined my life. I wish you much luck in taking charge of your health and healing.


            • Karen, thank you so much for sharing your story. I will try some of the products you have suggested to aid in my healing. May you find complete healing as well. Thanks!

                • Hi Karen, I just got some Acid Soothe. I am still experiencing heartburn daily, it is improving(not as severe). Can I take the acid soothe after each meal or only when the heartburn is severe. This is a difficult journey and I appreciate your advice. Thanks.

          • Would you help me? I have had a horrible time over the past month. Cant eat anything….had all kinds of test nothing! I have lost 32 lbs in a month. I’m miserable and need off of the ppis and my belly to be better!

  33. I’ve been on 80 mg of Protonix for about 10 years. I suffer from short term memory loss. I was prescribed it, as I have Barrett’s disease and there’s nothing they can really do to make my acid reflux better, except prevent it. It’s been about 3 years since my last upper GI, but I best get one and talk to the doctor about Protonix and my memory issues. I’m not sure if I’ve every been tested for my B12 levels either. Might need to see about that as well. This short term memory thing gets my family very frustrated, but maybe it’s not just me, it’s the drugs I’m taking. Need to learn more, that’s for sure.

    • Connie, have you tried glutamine powder mixed with water. I have Barrett’s and it seems to help me. I mix a heaping teaspoon in 1/4 cup water and drink it after each meal and then before bed.

    • Just had a BRAVO test and , after being on acid reflux meds (per doctor’s orders) for 17 years, found out I have NO acid reflux, but Bile reflux instead. Whole new thing to learn about.

  34. Have been on pantoprazole for 3 weeks in order to “protect” my stomach during an AINS treatment.

    It’s been a nightmare. I ended up several times at ER, thought I was having a heart attack.

    Headache, uneaven heartbeat, stomach pain, chest pain, tingling in hands and feet, muscles cramping, fiever, tons of gaz in the digestive track (so much that I could no more eat nor drink), weakness, general malaise, high anxiety which turned to panic attack, constipation the first week then abdominal cramping and severe diarrhea. I lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks… I developped gastroparesia, increased liver enzymes, blood and protein in my urine and have been several time dehydrated…

    As I was complaining about stomach pain and not beeing able to eat, my doctor increased the dosage. This resulted in more troubles and general anxiety. Then he told me I had to see a psychiatrist because my symptomes were all due to a sudden depression.

    I stopped the drug and used apple cider vinegar to stop acide rebound. It worked quite well. Now diarrhea has stopped, gaz is gone and I can eat and drink again.

    But I still have intense headache, vertigo and anxiety….

    This drug is a poison !

    • Maria,
      4 months ago I was diagnosed with acute & chronic gastritis. I could hardly eat and was in a lot of pain. My doc put me on 40mg protonix 2x per day. Does not help. Still can hardly eat and burning in throat. 2 months after I took PPIs I developed noise in my head, foggy head, head zips and severe muscle weekends and tingling & burning in feet and legs, as well as, muscle spasms. I had to go on Disability from work.
      Docs say it is not cuz of PPIs. They now want to add 300mg zantac. After rea mding your post, I am thinking it is. They cannot give me answers. Did you go thru horrible rebound going off. How long did it take? I am scared and frustrated. Thank you!

  35. My wife has been on pantoprazole (Protonix) for over 10 years. Had a B12 deficiency and now is being treated for dementia. This makes me very angry. Why would doctors keep her on this medication? We’re getting off now, too late though I’m afraid.

      • I have bee taking every drug on the market. As my gets use to one and stop working mu doctor would prescribe another. I have been taking them for over 30 years. I have severe back problems, had surgery and may need another.

      • Susanne, I also have been taking it for many years (32 actually) and have developed shocking short term memory loss. I will be interested to hear if you get any feedback!

  36. Wow. I heard today about the link from PPI’s to dementia on Fox news. So, I googled this and am stunned. I’ve always been a proponent of good nutrition and health. About 3 years ago I got Dequarveins which is tendonitis in the wrists. My Dr. had to remove part of the tendon in the right. And, I’ve had about 4 total surgeries on my wrists. But, after each surgery my dr. would give me Naproxen and and protonix to help with the Naproxen. Now I read that the protonix causes wrist, hip and bone issues as well as dementia. This is all because of mal absortion issues. The body needs magnesium and potassium to survive. I can say that since I was taking these I have become borderline anemic. I’m surprised the doctors are not aware of these issues. I’ve long since stopped taking the PPI since I don’t like taking medicines except natural ones. For any stomach ulcers (if you cant take Apple cider vineger) I’ve always eaten raw red potatos since it has an enzyme in it that coats and heals the stomach naturally. But, the iron malabsorbtion I’ll have to take iron pills. Also, look up at the crap they’ve been spraying. Yes, the gridlines in the sky. That’s barium and alluminum spraying on us all day almost everyday. If you research, barium also depletes potassium. So, if you really don’t trust your doctor now, why the hell would you trust these people spraying over our heads? use common sense folks!!

    • that’s exactly right Renee and Cheryl…..I’ve been thru the rig a marole with about ten doctors the past 12 years or so-I didn’t get it either until doing research on it. the toxicity of this planet is why so many people are sick….manmade toxicity. including the crap spraying overhead. many theories as to what’s going down on the planet.

  37. I have been on Pantoprazole for about 20 years. I started at 80 mg a day but have reduced to 20 mg. after reading so many posts that talk about bad side effects I feel very fortunate. I have had no negative effects over the 20 years. My scopes have been clear and any symptoms of reflux have disappeared. Having said that, I would like to try stopping the use of this PPI because of the long term use fears. I am 55 now and live a healthy life. I should probably mention that the reason I started this PPI was because of an atrial arrhythmia that developed due to chronic irritation of the vagus nerve from acid reflux. Every time I swallowed my heart rhythm would change. It stumped the heart docs but has since been recognized by more research. Several years of this arrhythmia disappeared in a month after taking the PPI. Anyone else notice this heart rhythm connection?

    • Yes I’ve had many doctors look at me strange when I described what happens after I eat. Pulse starts racing I get hot all over and feel faint, the only thing that helped was prevacid but started having leg burning which turned into foot numbness which turned into blood clots, I’m only 36 years old and don’t know what to do I’ve tried every ppi with the same results, leg burning and occasionally palps

      • Hi Danielle. Doctors always looked at me skeptically when I told them about the heart rhythm issues. I came to learn over the years that there is a definite connection between our heat and our GI tract. The PPI’s seem to have taken care of that issue but now I want to go off them and I am concerned about the issue returning. Quite a dilemma.

  38. I was on PPIs (nexium) for 7 years when I had a gastroscopy and it was found that I had a belly full of benign polyps. The GI specialist said that they develop because the acid cells in the tummy are no longer allowed to perform their function, and so in their attempt to make acid, which they can’t, they become enlarged and form polyps. For some people they get so many polyps that they can block the food getting out of the stomach into the duodenum. One year after stopping the medication I was rescoped and the doctor reported that most of the polys were gone and those remaining had shrunk. There is a lot on google if you search under “PPIs and gastric polyps” Apparently it is very well known now and accepted by GI doctors. I got myself off by cutting down to 1/2 a day for a week and they switching to Zantac. It’s not as good but I’m okay if I stay away from spicy food, garlic and pepper. And always sleep on my left side as the tummy has a sort of pouch to the left side ( called the fundus) and when you sleep on that side the undigested food sits in this area and does not put undo pressure on the lower eshopagus and duodenum. One other thing. I had a colonoscopy the year I started Nexium and all was fine. 7 years later, when my tummy polyps were discoverd I was also diagnosed with 3 colon polyps. One had a ‘ high degree of dysplasia’, which means cells are turning but not yet cancer. I had them removed and tatooed (ugh) so that that spot can be looked at in future scopes to see if they return. Did I get these because of the PPIs? So far research is not sure; say this is something to keep an eye on and more research needed. Some people have report fatty liver. I am a teatotaller but have very mild fatty liver. I have a very healthy diet and go to the gym 3 times a week; I do not smoke . I take no meds other than Zantac, There is some suggestion that fatty liver can be caused by poor absorbtion. Could we, on PPIs, have poor absorbion due to lack of acid production?????

    • Hi Gail, I have been on a PPI for 2 and a half years (HH/Barrets). I was scoped about 3 weeks ago and polyps where found in my stomach. These are caused from the use of PPIs. I have been through 3 stomach/intestine infections in 2 years. I must also go for a colonoscopy now as I am having problems with stomach cramps, bloating etc. These last 2 years for me has been hell so i need to seek advice on getting off of the PPI. Regards David (SA).

    • Hi Gail, interesting what you wrote. I have been on PPI’s for 6-7 yrs and had a gastroscopy in November 2014. The gastroenterologist mentioned I had a lot of fundal polyps and some were hemarroghic in appearance. Previous to that I had not one polyp in my stomach. I’m so annoyed that I was left on these drugs for so long and no one seemed concerned! I’m worried about my memory and concentration. I’ve noticed they are not the same in the last 3 years and wondering if I’m b12 deficient which I believe can cause this. I have weaned myself off the PPI tabs and it’s been 5 weeks since I stopped. I hope some of the damage can be reversed including the memory difficulties. It’s really worrying me. Would anybody know approx how long it can take for nutrients to start being absorbed properly again and when this may convert to an improvement in my symptoms? Thanks

  39. I have Mast Cell Activation Disorder so how am I going to avoid taking an antacid long term? I have to take Zantac and Zyrtec around ovulation and my periods to control symptoms in addition to eating low histamine, low oxalate, and low salicylate. I take Quercitin most of the time but sometimes it gets so bad I have to take the H2 blocker.

  40. Until a few days ago I’d been taking antacids off and on for years at a dr recommendation for calcium. This year decided to be consistent about it! After recent bouts with heartburn and sour stomach actually needed them but suddenly ive been sick for weeks..including yeast I think.. My dr prescribed a PPI w/o even seeing me. I didn’t take it. Also, I love salads- I could drink vinegar. Wondering if I created my own monster! Off tums, added more probiotics, hoping to heal soon.. New doc next week. Hope it works..

    • Best of luck. Hey, I’ve heard from several sources that Bragg Raw organic apple cider vinegar is actually very very good for the digestive system. Diluted – not full strength, like a tablespoon in 8 oz of water (or other liquid.) It’s a special vinegar because it is unheated and unpasteurized (but you don’t have to refrigerate it after opening). And contains the “Mother” of Vinegar (strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules). It really helped my reflux and indigestion. Since you like vinegar I’m hoping that might help you too!

  41. Hi just thought I had to put in my 2 cents. My daughter has been on ppi,s for 10 yrs or more. She has just been diagnosed with autoimmune pancreatitis and gastro paresis just wondering if this could be the cause of prolonged use of ppi’s can anyone comment

    • I’ve been on pantoprazole for 3 weeks and have been diagnosed with gastroparesis which I did not have prior taking this crap. This drug got me in a lot of troubles. I lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks. I could simple not more eat nor drink because of the tons of gaz present in my digestive track. I had to stop it and 3 weeks later, I eat normally again… except that I now have systematic reflux…which I also did not have prior taking this drug.

  42. i have taken antacid that is omperazole for 4 years in rare case. but now there is some symptom on my legs and arm and hand which includes my hand is too cold ,my foot is cold and similarly it become hot . and also on my legs particularly on upper legs there is some burning sensation .but there is no visually detected changes on my hand and legs .what is my best solution plz help me

    • I have been on PPIs for about 30 odd years , and on Medium for about 10 years , have tried to get off of them but the reflux was unbearable. Please help.

    • Snap , ive been on 120mg of nexium for 15yrs +. If i miss a day the acid is unbearable, it has rotted my back teeth , it comes out of my nose at night and wakes me with puke reeking gung and makes my throat very sore.
      One good thing of all this acid ive got a husky voice now, not dog husky the other one.
      Im stuck between a rock and a hard place with ppi’s ,do i dont i, if i dont i suffer badly. So i take them.

  43. I have been taking Nexium for about four years. Last year I began having issue of feeling numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. I had seen two neurologists and have had numerous blood tests to find only a slightly elevated RA factor. The only feedback I received from a top neurologist in NYC was hopefully my symptoms go away.

    I also have had some weird random pains in my hands and on the top of my feet. Then came bizarre muscle faciculations. They would move around all parts of my body. Also have had extremely dry mouth at night and occasional metallic taste in my mouth. I have been very frustrated that top doctors including two top neurologists, a rheumatologist, and my internist can not figure this out. I guess they figure from all of the blood work, nothing is abnormal besides the RA Factor. One neurologist suggested I might be dehydrated and I should drink eight glasses of water per day.

    I recently read the warning on the side effects of Nexium and have decided to stop taking it which I did about four days ago and will not go back unless absolutely in pain.
    The warning talked about vitamin b-12 deficiency and magnesium deficiency. These both may be causing the symptoms that none of the doctors have figured out. I would be amazed if it might be this simple but want to give it a shot. Too soon to tell but can not believe that I have spent the past 10 months running around to doctors and thinking I have some serious illness which may have been caused by taking Nexium for about five years.

    • Do you have an update? Did you get tested for low B12 levels? My husband was on Prilosec for 15 years and is now experience terrible headaches and facial nerve pain. We’ve been to 15 doctors and no one has checked his B12 levels yet.

      • Been on nexium for 12 years, have headaches and facial nerve pain. Next stop, a neurologist. Hope this improves.

    • my name is constance and I’ve been on Nexium for over 10 yrs. and I have been dealing with nausea and some stomach pain had 2 scopes done and all I get is you have a small infection and I given antibiotics I need answers and I’m going to take myself off nexium!

      • Hi Constance, Your story sounds similar to my own. I was on ppi for 10 years 6 of them I was on Nexium. I started with nausea and stomach pain more than a year ago. I also had the scope and everything except some inflammation was fine. I decided to get off PPI once and for all. My Gastro doctor sort of helped me which didn’t really help if you see what I mean. He switched me to a different PPI but I gradually weaned myself off them. It took me a total of 8 months to do it. It cannot be done fast or you will have acid rebound. My GP gave me famotidine so I gradually switched to that and then weaned my self off it. I struggle every day with Gerd and sometimes have to take famotidine or zantac. PPI’s are only supposed to be taken for 2 weeks at a time which I really don’t understand because once you have GERD or acid reflux you have it and 2 weeks doesn’t cut it. Good luck with whatever you do. If you need any help getting off the Nexium send another message and I will try to help you. lily

        • Lily, your post gives me great encouragement to keep going. I’m 7 months off PPI and still have daily acid reflux. How are you doing now has it got easier as time goes by. The side effects of PPIs was awful but the withdrawel is pretty bad too. Thanks again for posting as success stories are so important for those of us still struggling. Mgt

      • Constance, I took PPI for about 30 years. I started weaning myself off about 3 months ago. It is a long painful journey. I have tried my things to help heal my esophagus and stomach lining. I take DGL licorice root, l-glutamine after each meal and at night, Alka-Seltzer Gold, aloe vera juice, and drink slippery elm tea. I also try to eat fermented foods daily. Apple cider vinegar is supposed to help, but it burned by esophagus. I have Barretts. I still have heartburn, especially at night when I lay down, but it is getting better. My NP told me it takes a long time to heal the stomach lining after years of PPI. Hang in there.

        • Elevate head of bed at least 6 inches or more by putting blocks or books under legs. If head is higher than abdomen it decreases night time reflux. Propping on pillows won’t work. Your body needs to be straight with head and chest higher than stomach.

  44. Yes PPIs can cause these side effects, but long term acid reflux can lead to cancer (Barrett’s esophagus). All medications should be taken with knowledge of the risks and benefits. It is very easy to condemn a class of medications without the facts.

    • PPIs are no guarantee against Barrett’s. I have been on them for 14 years and recently had to go through abalation therapy to burn out Barrett’s and low grade dysplasia. Since starting them I have developed Asthma, Migraines, Anemia, B12 deficiency, fatty liver, enlarged spleen, and hiatal hernia. I am in the process of prescreening for surgery to get off of Omeprazole.

    • True. Tired of the chicken little mentality. We’re all going to die sometime. Why not enjoy life while we’re here. I take it and it has stopped my acid reflux which I had for over 30 years and nothing helped it. I now can eat and not have to worry about that awful acid.

      Oh and one more thing. If you have acid reflux and it suddenly stops it could be a symptom of Barrett’s.

      And most of these so called “natural cures” are just garbage. I went to a naturopath and spent almost $200 on garbage a few years back. Wound up in the ER because one of them made me so hyper. The ER doctor was disgusted and said the $50 vitamins she sold me are the same as the ones found at WalMart.

      Natural stuff is crap. Will never go that route again because most of it does NOT work. The only natural stuff I use now is medical marijuana for insomnia and pain.

  45. At this point, I am furious that I was talked into taking PPI medications for over 24 years. I have been experiencing severe back, hip and leg pain for the last 12 years. I have spent a fortune on medications and treatment for these condones . Only by accident, while preparing for testing for nerve damage did I discover that the Nexium I was taking was the primary cause. I had to stop ( suddenly) taking the Nexium in order to take Diazapam for a procedure and the first night the symptoms reduced 50%! I was so shocked, amazed and angry! I tried to continue going cold turkey but only lasted about 2 weeks. Still working on getting off this medication. Without it I did not need 4-5 medications I was taking for pain.

    • Susan, I took Nexium for years but it eventually caused a lot of problems. It took me 8 months to get off it because of the acid rebound effect. I now occasionally turn to famotidine at night or otc zantac. I watch what I eat and so far although I do get heartburn I handle it quite well without a ppi. It makes me angry that doctors just keep on prescribing this medicine without warnings and they do not recognize ‘acid rebound’. I have seen several gastro doctors that looked at me like I had 2 heads. Good luck with it you can do it and you will feel better in the long run.

    • Hi I am a Swedish woman and my English isnt that good, hope you understand.
      Ive been using Nexium for many years, Ive got an hernia(?)and severe abdominal pain, thinking that its heartattacks since it hurts in my chest.
      I had never had such pain before using Nexium.
      Two month ago I stopped taking the drug, I am eating drugs for Diabetes2(Metformin), Hypothyroidea(Levaxin), antidepressive medicine because of my anxiety and a few other medicines.
      When I quitted Nexium I experienced a lot of horrible side-effects, like them you have when taking the drug??
      After I stopped? I am so dizzy I can hardly walk, it feels like my body is in a fire, burning tingling sensation, anxiety, aching throughout my whole body and much more.
      I have googled allover internet and I havent found anyone experience side-effects like this, only increased heartburns.
      Do You or anyone you know about having these horrible side-effects when they are getting of the drug.
      My doctor doesnt know or believe me.
      I really hope you read this post and that You can help me.
      I’m not sure I’ll find this post again so please send answer to my email or you will find me on Facebook.
      And what’s the name on the remedy I have to ask for when I can get hold of a homeopath. Thank you

      • Hi Susanne,

        I’ve experienced the same symptoms as yours. I’m off Protonix (pantoprazole) since 5 weeks.

        During the first 2 weeks I had a terrible acid rebound. I managed it with herbs, natural medecine and diet. Now I feel better, can eat again but still not as much as before (I developped gastroparesis when on Protonix) but things are slowly getting better.

        But I still have headache, feel very weak, have muscle twitching, and I’m dizzy. My doctor does not neither believe me. He referred me to a psychiatist !

    • Why did u have to stop the PPI when u had to take Diazapam? I have been on both for several years and my husband said I have terrible short term memory loss!! I am looking into the LINX procedure so I can get off the Nexium. The closest Doc. that performs this is in Albany NY…I live about 4 hours north of Albany, but cant find a doc. closer.

  46. I had a viral infection in my stomach area, and Dr worried I could have ulcer so he prescribed Pantoprazole 40mg x 1per day as a “precaution”.
    He is a good Dr, but swore it was a mild drug and I’d hardly notice it as no side effects.
    First week only a few pains/soreness on left side and back. I wrote this off to having slept on that side for a several days straight.
    Next week I started having gas build ups and my stool became harder. I also had flashes in my right eye and mild headaches and a total loss of appetite.
    Then I developed an chronic pain on my right side and couldn’t sleep and had extreme fatigue. It felt as though I was getting the infection back. I’ve never felt worse.
    After readiing various patient reviews and government web sites it became clear to me that I should stop taking thiis drug.
    Bothers me that Dr and pharmacy info never mentioned side effects. I wouldve stopped two weeks ago had I been tolkd about this.

    • I have been receiving posts made by many patients suffering from GERD on Chris Kresser’s Website which are automatically copied to my email address [email protected]. I am very concerned that the majority of patients suffer so very unnecessarily from GERD when there is a cure for it in Homeopathy which I have prescribed to literally thousands of patients, the majority of whom have confirmed that they were CURED in a few days.

      I have not found any response from anyone who is able to help these patients and it just breaks my heart to know that they continue to suffer for lack of anyone who can help them.

      I do not wish to prescribe on this Website but if anyone wishes to post their problem on my Website http://www.joedelivera.com , I shall be glad to prescribe this remedy free of charge.

      I shall post this message on each of the posts on this page and if the owner of this Website objects to my doing so, please feel free to delete my message which is motivated by a sincere desire to help suffering humanity.

  47. I have been on 40MG of prescription Omeprazole sine July 2014. I have been constantly tired, headaches, vision problems (changes), depressed, joint aches, feel out of touch (mental issues) and very dizzy. I just feel like I have been in a fog. I stopped taking this med about week ago…still feeling a bit strange but feeling a little better. How long does it take for this med to comletely exit your system? I am still taking Tagamet…is this the same type of medicine? Thank you.

  48. After years of only being able to sleep on my left side, and almost sitting up, plus having sudden expulsions of burning acids into my throat and lungs, I was prescribed time delay omeprazole twice a day. Since I am sensitive to many meds, I have only taken it at night prior to sleep. It has done wonders for my sleep, and improvement of my esophageal health. A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed as having esophageal varices, which are varicose veins of the esophagus. These can rupture and hemorrhage. Fortunately, a hepatologist said that they appear to be blebs, simple skin folds, which are not dangerous. However, I am very cautious about stopping the action of a normal body function, such as the production of cholesterol, or stomach acid.
    Just before I began the omeprazole, I had a brain scan, which looked completely normal. 2 years later, I had a stroke. This time the scan showed 12 small blockages. Every time I have asked my PCP, she says that many people take them for decades, with no problems. However, it is very difficult to tie results back to the causative factors in many cases. My wife thinks that the omeprazole may have caused my strokes.

  49. I have been on Nexium for 6 plus years. I am somewhat active as it ride horses with my husband and we team rope together. I will be 63 soon. Upon reading this website I find that all my “ailments” are quite common to Nexium. Approximately 6 months ago I awoke with my face swollen. It now does it every night with my eyes getting the brunt of the swelling. My doctors say that I am having a systemic reaction to something but we have tried several things (including no makeup) to no avail. Whatever it is it had happened every night for six months. I did received a steroid shot four days ago that have lessened the severity of the swelling. I have people even ask me when they see me if I have been stung by a bee. Do you think that the Nexium has anything to do with it. If I skip it one morning I have heartburn by that afternoon.

    • Dear Bonnie, why don’t you try 1 -2 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar diluted in one glass of water. It should instantly alleviate the heartburn and GERD symptoms. Vinegar and lemon, although acidic turn alkaline as soon as they touch the stomach. I try to drink this twice a day, but don’t always. I’ve not had a heartburn ever since.

      • You can get barretts esophagus without symptoms. What is the solution. If I stop taking Dexilant I get hoarse with flu like symptoms in a matter of days.

      • Totally agree about the apple cider vinegar. I had been taking lansoprazole for thirty years. Ten years ago I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with angina, while in hospital it was discovered my magnesium levels were dangerously low and deuterium umpteen tests it was never discovered what had caused this. Also around Fifteen years ago I suffered four different fractures over a three year period. I also developed asthma and had several chest infections every year. Last April(2015) I received a letter from my GP stating that there were some concerns about PPIs including brittle bones, low magnesium and potassium levels. I googled this and to be honest was so shocked at what I was reading that I went cold turkey and never put another lansoprazole in my mouth. I started taking cider vinegar each morning and I cannot sing its praises high enough. (I did find the first month or two difficult but kept some Rennies for situations where the acid reflux was severe). Since then I have no antacids of any description. I cannot believe the difference in my health. I no longer suffer from shortness of breath or chest pain, extreme tiredness, muscle and joint pain, nausea etc. I had also been diagnosed with Diverticular disease, don’t have any problems with it now either, blood pressure is normal and I stopped taking all other medication. I can’t believe how these tablets(PPI,s) were causing all my other problems. I am just hoping that after 30 years on this medication that there won’t be permanent damage done somewhere inside that hasn’t raised it’s ugly head as yet.
        I had an aunt who was a nurse and I heard her say mamy many years ago she didn’t trust doctors and medications. I think I understand now why she said this. To anybody suffering from GERD please try the cider vinegar remedy and give it a couple of months but do take every morning.. So many people tell me how well I’m looking now and I tell them I’ve just quit all medications!

  50. I have been taking Omeprazole (Prilosec) since 1999–that’s 15 YEARS!!!. It all started by a doctor telling me I needed to start taking the drug for the GERD I was experiencing. One week turned into i month. One month turned into several months, then into several years!! Now almost 20 years later, and I am medical mess. I have so many things wrong with my body now. From severe joint pain, to IBS, to bone loss and a fracture,to a scale weight loss, but a very huge abdominal area, to my body being totally alien to me at age 57. I have asked doctors for years if what was wrong with me could be because of the use of the PPI and not any doctor has said that I needed to come off the omeprazole In fact, a couple of the doctors increased my usage of the PPI. I have asked and asked, I have begged for a doctor to help me come off this medication.No doctor eith can or will help me!!! I have tried my self, but I get acid reflux (GERD) so bad that I need to go to the hospital!! I NEED HELP!!

    • Nadine, It is very difficult to get off a ppi so a lot of patience is involved. After 11 years on a PPI I am now free but it took me a long time to get off it. If you are serious about getting off it you will have to be vigilent with your diet. You don’t say how much omeprazole you are on but you can open the pills and take out some of the granules to start reducing. I counted every granule and then took out so many per pill. You can obtain empty pills at the vitamin stores and make your own meds. Do it slowly. It took me almost a year to get off the omeprazole and I still have some issues now and it has been 4 months since I stopped taking it. You will get ‘acid rebound’ every time you reduce it but it is worth trying. Do some research into products that can help you as you go. If you need any more input send another e-mail to this site and I will get it. Good luck – lily

      • In reply to Lily–Thank you for your input. I am so worried about all the reports on the PPI’s and Ibuprofen. I am having so many symptoms that I believe are from the use of the PPI’s. I do want very much to come off of them. You said you could give me some more information on how to come off of them. I would appreciate any info you can give me. Thank you.

        • Hi Nadine, Have you done any research on stopping the PPI. I am no medical professional so I can only give you my own experience. I was like a sheep going to the slaughter and trusted the doctors. I went to the emergency room with bad pains in my chest so they treated me as if I was having a heart attack. I was having very bad heartburn on and off but I didn’t relate it to taking Advil which the doctor told me to take for hand pain. I ended up having an endoscopy and the Gastro doctor just said ‘keep on taking the PPI’. So I kept on taking it and my GP kept on giving it. I thought I had to take it for life!!!! NOT!!! Fast forward 10 years. I was taking 40mgs nexium but started to have chest pain difficulty swallowing and all the symptoms I started with. Something my GP mentioned after having many visits and tests resonated with me. He told me that Nexium can mirror the exact symptoms it is trying to cure. At that point I started to research and found several websites where other people were having similar problems. I also went to see a Gastro doctor who again wasn’t much help at all. He gave me omeprazole 20mgs to switch to. Oh no I found it awful to drop the dosage from 40mgs of nexium to 20mgs omeprazole. I was sick for 3 weeks but I didn’t give up. I did learn that was ‘Acid rebound” Eventually around the 9 week mark I started to feel somewhat better. So, I decided to start cutting down the dosage myself. I took some empty pill shells and counted the little balls in the omeprazole and cut them by one quarter. I stayed there until I re-balanced again because when stopping the PPI or reducing acid rebound can be very real. it will be worse than when you just started with acid reflux. I also tried a product called ‘Acid Ease’ and I bought some DGL and took that before meals and whenever I needed it. You can look those up too and see if they might work for you. All told it took me around a year to get off the PPI. I still have some issues but I watch what I eat and avoid the triggers. Sometimes the heartburn comes out of the blue and then I either take a Zantac or some famotidine. Sometimes I get it day after day and then I can go for weeks without it. So I just never know. What does your doctor say about it? Have you had an endoscopy? did he tell you, you can get off the PPI. I have found that the doctors are not much help. You are the only one that knows your own body. Digestive Issues are so different for every person and the doctors can only generalize or they just blow you off which I feel is what happened to me twice. I hope you succeed in your quest.

      • I also tried to stop taking this drug and I also have eaten them since 1996 I think.
        I stopped taking them two month ago and got very sick.
        I got the same side- effects you can get when TAKING the drug, when I stopped.
        Now I am counting the small granulats, my pills have 162, and I am taking away 10 each week.
        Do You or anyone know if you can have side-effects when you are trying to quit the drug. I’m very dizzy can hardly walk from my bed to the bathroom, feels like I am on a boat in storm, anxiety, fatigue, pain all over my body my joints hips and so on.
        I really want my life back and will be very grateful.
        I’ m not sure I’ll find this place again so please find me on my mail or FB if you can help. Thank you ps I’m Swedish so excuse my English

    • Nadine, do you take the raw organic apple cider vinegar or just apple cider vinegar as in all grocery stores ????

  51. Well I Just came across this article while researching side effects for my dog who’s been taking acid reflux meds. Not a happy camper because I’ve been on these medications for almost twenty years. I have suffered from acid reflux for years due to taking too much ibuprofen which has destroyed my stomach. I have had bone density tests and so far I’m fine. Now what do I do?? So sick of all this stuff!!!!

    • Lou-ann, I read your post so I am replying to you because I had the same sort of thing happen to me. I took Advil for a long time for pain in my hands. I tore my stomach up and was put on a PPI. That was 11 years ago. Last year I became sick again due to Gastritis caused by the PPI. I started to do a lot of research and began to realize I should not have been taking the PPI for so long. To cut a long story short. I began to reduce the PPI gradually. I still had acid rebound every time I reduced but I stuck with it and a year later I am PPI free and feeling a lot better. Oh yes I still have some issues with heart burn and not feeling very well. I try and stick with a GERD diet and either take over the counter ant-acids or famotidine when it is really necessary. I now have more good days than bad.

  52. I had been taking Omeprazole since 2005. After feeling chronic fatigue for 3 years which I thought was just related to my fibromyalgia I looked up Ferritin(storage iron). Mine was borderline low(10-11) and found that that means I had early anemia. My hemoglobin was normal! The ferritin is found on an iron panel. I faxed my results to a hematologist who confirmed my suspicion. I saw a Medscape article that states Proton pump inhibitors are linked to malaborption. The hematologist diagnosed me. I’ve been taking prescribed iron and will need IV iron he says since the oral iron isn’t increasing my ferritin levels much. My GI thinks I might have gastritis( likely from all the iron I’ve been ingesting three times a day).Waiting for blood results to see if my fat soluble vitamins(ADEK) are being absorbed. The GI didn’t believe that my Omeprazole could be causing the malabsorption! I asked him what you don’t believe Medscape?!(a medical site)I am avoiding all proton pump inhibitors and am taking Pepcid AC maximum. Leslie Mercer RN

  53. So glad I’ve had these type of forums to look at! Doctor prescribed me Nexium on Monday for GERD and for some reason I googled this name before getting the script filled…. After the stories I’ve read here and on other sites I think I’ll just do everything I can naturally to try and cure my reflux…. Thanks to all those who have posted their stories!

  54. It has been over a decade since I’ve used PPI meds. After nervous system symptoms among others, I went to a longevity clinic physician that suggested I try betaine HCL with pepsin and to gradually work the dose up to the level needed to stop heartburn and dyspepsia. In short, it worked. Reflux stopped. I know on no studies on the topic but it use has been around for at least 40 years. The name that pops on this topic is Dr. Wright who has or had a clinic in western Washington state.
    By the way, PPI meds do not stop reflux they only change it nature and make it more mutagenic not less. Indeed, esophageal cancer rates have gone up since the advent of
    acid reducing drugs and PPI meds (acid blocking drugs). Bile can be refluxed all the way up into the esophagus and will be in solution if the stomach isn’t at it normal highly acidic state. And against inflamed tissues, bile can be mutagenic as I understand it.

    Also high dose melatonin has some modest level of research indicating it is quite helpful in the context of chronic heartburn. Do a Pubmed search on this point.

    I’ll also suggest an old school internet look at the largely dead usenet group “alt.support.heartburn” as it has one denizen that
    follows what I just suggested. Be patient and sort thru the chaff and side comments for the nuggets.

  55. I have been back and forth from the ER, Doctor’s office and GI’s office. I was prescribed 40 mg Omeprazole which I’m taking twice a day and Ondansetron 4mg for Nausea. This has been going on since end of August. I was having severe left chest and back pain. Completed a CT Scan, Endoscopy and an Ultra-sound. The Endoscopy revealed mild heart-burn and the ultra-sound came back with nothing. However, the CT Scan said thickening in last part of stomach, antrum. The chest pain and back pain has lessened but I’m extremely nauseated especially in the evenings. I’m not getting a lot of sleep and feeling fatigued. None of the doctor’s can tell me what’s going on. Any advice or insight would be appreciated. I do not feel like myself and have not been for a month and half. Thank you

    • JG,

      I can relate! After six months of 40mg of Protonix once daily, I now have elevated liver enzymes, shaky feelings, bad headaches, difficulty swallowing, numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, and a dry mouth. I have felt sick everyday! Looked up the side effects, and I had the majority of them. Yes, I have stopped taking that daily pill, and now using only natural products for relief, and I can honestly say that I feel much better!
      Wishing you the best!

      • I’ve been on omeprazole 40mg for almost 3 years now. GI and Primary said I had IBS and GERD. I moved last year to Baton Rouge and last month my primary Dr asked why I was taking this? He suggested I stopped. I was complaining about severe fatigue, bone pain in my shin and knees and numbness, tingling feeling. I recently had vitamin defiency test and B12 was at the low normal side so just told to take otc supplement. Saw a neuro the other day and he thought I was crazy basically explaining this pain. Nobody could or would figure it out. My fingers hurt, wrist and basically achy all over. It started about 5 weeks ago to where I had to stop going to the gym. I’ve stopped taking as of today. I was only taking if needed but after reading and researching I see I’m not alone……and I’m not crazy….

        • Oh and I have had the majority of the other side effects. Black stool, water stool, red dot that appears and disappears….list goes on and on….

      • I’m also trying to get off the drug. Did you experience dizziness, fatigue or anxiety when you stopped taking the drug? Susanne

        • Suzanne, I will reply; I have seen several of your comments.

          I have been taking Nexium for 3 years, 40mg, for estophegutitis. I have found some benefit. I can swim with little or no upset stomach, go for a long, hard cycle with no burning in my stomach. (Workouts increase stomach acid). I have gone a day or two here and there without, if I have used all the medication, and I have the obvious ‘acid rebound,’ but I also find your post intriquing because I also have fatigue when this happens, and being off-balanced.

          After starting to taper off Nexium five days ago, these symtoms have returned, but not so dramatically because I still take 20mg. I then found this site because I wanted to see how others have accomplished quitting. I find it increible that it can take one months to quit, but we’ll see. My own method of dealing with withdrawl is to embrace the suffering and admit I am the one to blame for this suffering, and I have suffered much more in my 30 years in this world.

          I think it is very reasonable for you to have these symtoms. Every body is different. Imagine your body fighting to find balance. You are already a sensitive person (taking anti-anxiety pills). But if you use mind over matter, you will see these things pass, if they are truly caused by NEXIUM withdraw.

          God Bless.

    • I have a condition called Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia & have taken a ppi for many years and also iron tablets. I get severe itching which keeps me awake, I have tried Lansoprasole, Omeprasole & Pantoprazole but they all cause itching. Has anyone else found a ppi that doesn’t cause itching?

      • I have same problem. I took Omeprazole for 2 weeks and had severe itching so my doctor told me to change to Famotidine. Now the itching is better but still happens sometimes. I wonder why antacid med makes me itchy. I don’t know if I should quit Famotidine too.

      • I’ve been on PPI’s for 15 years. I developed severe itching after a couple of years, but found I could take a Claritin with my PPI and prevent the itching. I know there’s risks with all medications, but my quality of life has been much better since beginning this regimen.

  56. I was diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus nearly 3 years ago. Let me start with telling you, I’m not what you would call a “good patient.” I was prescribed 40mg/day of omaprazole and would not take it. 2 years later, a follow up endoscopy revealed no change in the Barrett’s and when the doctor asked about the meds, I told him I never started taking it. He scolded me and insisted I start. I revealed to him that my father had just died at 58 years old and that he had bottles of this same drug (taking it until the day he died) and I even more so now was not going to take it. Four weeks ago, I had a follow up and the Dr pleaded with me to start taking it , talked of the horrors of esophageal cancer and I finally gave in.
    Two weeks later, while playing in my adult soccer game I was stricken with terrible chest pain. I tried to power through it but after 40 minutes, came off the field. My heart was racing and just wouldn’t slow down. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me and had been experiencing the most terrible muscle cramps, mostly in my feet, toes and hands for a few weeks at that point but didn’t make the connection. I drive to the ER, was still in Tachycardia and to rule out a cardiac event, they tested my CK levels. They revealed that cardiac muscle CK was not the problem, but my overall CK levels were 2231. Normal is 0-160ish. I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis. The Doctors were stumped because I didn’t fit the “classic” Rhabdo patient. The 3rd day in the hospital (I’ve at that point received constant IV fluids, some magnesium and pain meds) the doctor reviewed my medication and said she believes it may have been the omaprazole. I wasn’t sold and when I was released from the hospital, I called my gastroenterologist office and spoke to a nurse. I told her my adverse reactions were Rhabdo and hair loss. She quickly said hair loss is a known side effect but Rhabdo…she put me in hold and came back to reveal, yes actually Rhabdo is a rare side effect to PPIs.
    Had I not been playing soccer, how long would this have gone? Before my father died, it started with Tachycardia, severe muscle cramps and then organ failure.
    It’s not a stretch to think a father and daughter have the same sensitivities to drugs.
    What a horrible, uneccessary way to die.
    If these drugs are going to be pushed, there needs to be better and more specific monitoring in place.

    -a very sad daughter

    • Oh my gosh. I have gone into cardiac arrest twice now and the last time about a year ago, I almost died. It was touch and go for a while and was shocked several times and intubated. The cardiologist took me off nexium and put me on 4 magnesium per day. Then they put me back on it because of the horrible gerd. Now I want to wean myself off of it but the pain is so horrible without the nexium. I will try to take apple cider vinegar and some supplements. I have to look up the rhabdomyolysis.

      • Try: Aleo Vera and zinc carnosime (75 mg 2x a day). PPIs are poison.

        Eat lots of green vegetables; cut out sugar and grains for a while.

      • Try HGL. You can purchase at a good Health Food Store. It is very good for acid reflux. Also I heard a chiropractor said he tells his patients to take 1/4 teaspoon sea salt morning and evening. Sometimes 3 times a day. I would suggest the Himilayian Salt. Anything natural is better than all these meds with all these bad side effects.

    • I’m so sorry to hear your story and for the loss of your father. I was wondering how you’re getting along now. I was recently diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus and will not go back to using PPI’s. I used them for years before correcting a hiatal hernia with the Nissan procedure. Technically I should not have reflux, but alas 5 years later I’m told I have Barrett’s. May I ask how you’ve gotten along and how you’ve addressed your Barrett’s esophagus condition?

  57. i have been on nexium for 12 yrs. i have since needed nissen fundoplication because just the meds weren’t working and i am a professional singer with major throat problems. after the nissen surgery (2yrs ago) i have been able to control the acid along with…Nexium…tried going off of it, but as soon as i tried, the acid flies right back up again. so, i asked my GI dr how i try weaning off of it because I have been getting infections every 2 months it seems. I usually dont’ get sick often, but it just seems that any little bit of stress – i’m sick. Even taking vitamins, drinking green shakes packed with protein powder, probiotics, every kind of suppliment you can think of………makes no difference it seems. I am so frustrated because no doctors have really told me it can supress the immune system. i’m figuring this out myself! I am not taking nexium every other day for 6wks to see if it can be done. My diet must be strick or I feel acid in my throat – if i eat before bed, dont have the bed raised and do this on the day i DON’T take the pill. I’m just sick of the whole thing at this point and pray I can get off of this once and for all. Any feedback is greatly appreciated! thanks! 🙂

  58. My pf has been so bad I could hardly walk curtailing my dogs desire for long hikes around the neighborhood! Stretches have been out of the question. Icing only helps temporarily. I have also been experiencing pain and constriction in my hands as well. I am a print artist using carving tools and the pain has curtailed my art output over the last year. I finally put feet & hands together after seeing a wonderful chiropractor. She asked me my health history. I have been on a daily dose of Nexium (40 mg) for sixteen years! How’s that for self abuse! Anyway, she commented that all Proton-Pump Inhibitors like Nexium cause magnesium deficiency, the results causing soft tissue inflammation and constriction due to tissue calcium build-up. I gradually came to understand that without proper amounts of magnesium, calcium leaches into soft tissue and cannot be dissolved and eliminated. The soft tissue in my hands and feet cannot move easily and properly because of calcium deposit build-up~ just like appliances in your home! This build-up is referred to as adhesions or sometimes scar tissue. I immediate quit using Nexium. I haven’t touched it in a week. I supplemented my diet with magnesium glycinate (800 mg per day) and soak my feet and hands in Epsom Salts with contains large amounts of magnesium sulfate which is highly absorbent. This has reduced the pain almost 90%. Also, when I feel like symptoms of GURD are coming on (regurgitation) I take an extra magnesium tablet. Within five minutes, no more symptoms. Had I known all of this sixteen years ago, I would never had taken Nexium. My medical doctor has been oblivious. Foot and hand specialists wanted to operate! So glad I said no two years ago. Feeling much better now. I am a male, age 61 and felt like I was 91. I am 200 lbs. and eat too many carbs and sugar. I changed my diet to more meat and veggies and less dairy and grain about a month ago. I’m already feeling much better and losing a few pounds! YAY! My dog likes the new me also!

  59. I have been on Nexium 40mg twice daily for 20 years +. I noticed over the last few years my concentration has declined, chest and abdomen pain, which I seen a heart doctor about and received a clean bill of health on that. I have pain in the hip/leg area, shoulders and still feeling nausea after taking this medicine this whole time, Having bowel problems diverticulosis, IBS and a nervous stomach is the whole reason I am taking Nexium. What would be my first step to get off this? It seems that is does more harm than good.

  60. I have a hiatus hernia with acid reflux. I an 60 yrs. old been on Nexium for 25 yrs. the only thing that stops the pain in my chest and back. Never had a problem. Also take probiotics. Only way I can have a normal life.

    • Nexium has only been on the market since 2001 so you people that swear you’ve been on it 15, 20 and 25 yrs are wrong. I used to work as a pharma rep for AstraZeneca, the company that makes Nexium and even though I was a cardiovascular rep, I recall the launch of the product.

      • Before Nexium it was Lanzo, then Omeprazol, now Esomeprazol.
        Esomeprazol is the same as Nexium.
        Maybe we all should have called the drugs PPI instead.
        Anyways it’s the same shit

  61. I’ve been prescribed both a PPI and H2 blocker for gerd symptoms. I have a hiatus hernia and was found to be positive for h.pylori bacteria (which was treated with a 14 day course of antibiotics, etc). Once treated for h.pylori, I was prescribed omeprazole (40mg daily), and about month later, was also prescribed (by a separate doctor..my gastroenterologist) ranitidine (300mg) H2 blocker for a month. After the 30 days on the ranitidine, I decided I didn’t want to be taking such strong medicine, so I stopped that one (about a week ago)…

    My physician told me (at the onset of this exercise) that I needed to take omeprazole 40mg daily for 3 months to see any improvement. I didn’t feel comfortable with this, but eventually started taking the medicine, and have now been on it for 10 weeks. I would like to ‘stop’ but have been reading it’s important to wean from it, versus a cold turkey stop. Can you give any advice here? I was really disappointed when I returned to my internist last week, and was advised that I need to stay on omeprazole “forever” ?!?!?! and not to worry about the side effects as long as I’m taking Vitamin D and getting exercise.

    I’ve read your series of articles and they make a lot of sense to me. I’d prefer NOT to take these medicines, and would prefer to take your approach. I just need to figure out the best way to taper off on the omeprazole.

    Thanks for any light you shed on this!

  62. I’ve been on PPIs for over 10 years and specifically Nexium for a little over a year now. I deeply appreciate seeing the comments of others expressing symptoms of possible side effects to these drugs. I’ve been back to my doctor many times about things like dizziness, vomiting, chest pain, joint pain, just to name a few over the years never thinking of possible side effects from drugs. What I’m not seeing in these comments though, is any kind of discussion of the risks of NOT taking them. I’ve tried lesser amounts of PPI and I rapidly develop esophagitis, which can be uncomfortable. Having recently had ablation therapy to clear the damage done by years of GERD, not to mention several mucosal resections to remove displastic cells – some of which have been high-grade, I feel like I can’t be without PPIs. For me, the side effects are worth my being able to keep my esophagus. I’m not sure what the alternatives are to prevent Barrett’s cells or worse. We’ve tried just about everything over the years and find that maximum doses of a PPI seem to be the only things that keep my esophagus clear – which is monitored by endoscopy every 3 months.

    Are there some of us that just have to live with those side effects if we develop worse symptoms from not taking them? I feel like that’s my reality, but I don’t really know. My doctor is a specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and I have complete faith in his treatment plan for me. However, we have never discussed drug side effects, only the effects of me not taking them at the recommended doses.

  63. I have been told that low acid and high acid produce the same symptoms. By taking antacids we are lowering our acid levels even more, opening up the door for H.Pylori bacteria ulcers. It was suggested to me to do a simple at home test to see if I had high or low acid reflux. When you are having symptoms of reflux, drink an 8 oz glass of water with 1 Tbl spoon of cider vinegar. If your symptoms are alleviated you have low acid and need to look into HCL tabs to increase the acid in your stomach for adequate digestion. If your symptoms worsen you would benefit from an antacid medication. I try to drink 1-2 glasses of cider vinegar daily and it has helped my reflux greatly.

    • When you did the acid test with the vinegar were you still taking a PPI or were you off it. You didn’t mention that the vinegar must be raw acid cider vinegar with ‘the mother’ in it. ‘The Mother’ is the sediment in the raw vinegar. What measurements did you use?

  64. In 2005 I discovered that Nat Phos 6x, the Biochemic Cell Salt will neutralise GERD and will replace all PPI drugs far more effectively. What is more, it does so in a few hours after taking a few tablets.

    I have shared this information with reference to many cases of GERD which were stabilized with the majority CURED on my Website:


    If you wish to discuss your problem with me you may do so, free of charge, on:


  65. Wow I just stumbled across this website and I have been reading all the stories of people being on a PPI for a long time. I am one of those people. 10 years and different PPI’s nexium being the last one. I have done well on it for a long time but just have started again with the burning stomach and nausea. My GP actually mentioned that Nexium could contribute to the problem and he promptly put me on famotidine. I took it for 3 days and was so sick I almost went to the emergency room. Right away I went back to my security blanket Nexium. Maybe it would be a good idea to only take Nexium every other day and try to wean myself off it but I am afraid after being on the medicine for so long that I might get really sick again. The gastro doc I went to years ago did the endoscopy and just said ‘keep on taking the medicine’. He was no use at all and so my GP continues to give me the prescription. Any advice would be appreciated as I am unsure what to do. Where can I find more information about nexium?

  66. My husband has been on PPI for over 12 months Since he started taking it he complained of headaches but wasreally concerned he had a brain tumour as he was getting forgetful and unable to remember words. He said he could no longer do x word puzzles which he was excellent at. He has been back to the DR a few times complaining he thought he was getting dementia. Not once has the Dr tested him for B12 levels. Had his second follow up endoscopy last november there was still eveidence of GERD medication doubled and over xmas I was really concerned that he was losing it. He was asking me really bizare things and his language was all mixed up. Then something woderful happened He ran out and didn’t get his script filled. I had done some research and suggested he wait till we saw the Dr. He didn’t get back there and just refilled his script In the time he had stopped the medication he appeared to speak more fluently and understand things more easlily but when he restarted his script he was was again having difficulty with his speech and remembering things. He has stopped now and I have done a lot more research and am very concerned that permenant damage has not been done. The drug companies are certainly not going to do any research the are making so much out of these drugs. Who wants a perfect oesophagus at the compromise of a wrecked body I will be bringing as much evidence to the DR as I can and will be spreading the word. (I’m a nurse)

    • Yes, I think many people should be raising hell about these drugs. I just recently found out that my father has been taking Prilosec for 12 years. In recent years his forgetfulness has become severe dementia. And apparently nobody has told him that there is even a possible connection to Prilosec. I am in the process of trying to talk with the doctor, who seems very resistant to change.

  67. I have been on Nexium for several years. In that time frame, I’ve developed so many problems from chest pain to gastrointestinal issues (colitis), to skin, hearing and vision problems. I also have an increase in my arthritis pain. My doctor would treat the symptoms in some cases, tell me to live with the others. Not once did he mention discontinuing the Nexium even though that is the only medication I take. After reading a list of the side affects and long term use dangers, I’m furious! I am destroying my body for the sake of heartburn. How stupid is that? I will never take another “little purple pill” again. Oh and did I mention the outrageous price of this stuff?

    • How did you manage to get off Nexium? I am struggling with awful feelings with and without it. I get pressure in my chest, a weird quivering feeling and general malaise. I am trying to do it slowly as I can’t just quit that hasn’t worked at all for me. I would love to hear how anyone gets off it and what their symptoms are besides the burning feeling.
      Thanks lily

      • I did it gradually…first fantodine instead on drs prescription (like pepcid), then digestive enzymes, then green vegetable juices which I did myself (celery, cukes, ginger, some lemon juice)….my husband (formerly an internist) suggested a small sprinkling of MSG when to told him I never had symptoms after eating chinese food, no matter how late) and craved hot and sour soup.
        Now also veto and zinc carnosine since my last endoscopy which showed ulcerations again…but I have been symptom free…Oh cut out alcohol.

        Keep reading and keep trying.

  68. I’m a 19 year old diabetic who has been on prevacid for two years then nexium for 7 from when I was 10… it started out with some stomach pain and a clean endoscopy. Now I have eosinophilic esophagitis, gastritis, acid reflux, broke my arm once and ankles 5 times, not to mention the sever stomach pain and daily liquid bowls. Along with sever adhd, and trouble with memory and clear though. It makes me very nervous being so young. I’ve been to what was supposed to be some of the best doctors to only be given the same PPI.. IT WAS recently I discovered what the real problem could be. Not to mention even after being of nexium for months I still have a lot of issues with low magnesium levels and it burns so bad threw iv treatment. I’ve suffered or years in and out of hospitals. And missed all of high school due to it.. what are some things I can read from you to maybe help my problems. I’m currently working with a lawyer as well for the wonderful affects of nexium not to mention my Dr prescribing it was getting money for prescribing nexium. It’s sad what they can do to us all with out even knowing the truth. Any reply would be greatly appreciated.

  69. When I accidentally learned of the problems with extended use of medium I was very concerned . First I took Prilosec due to avid reflux which would cause me to lose my voice. I wax a teacher so that was a real problem . Then my doctor prescribed nexium to repair the damage. I’ve been taking these drugs for 20 years . I 61 and feer the dementia factor . Any suggestions ? , I’ve stopped taking the nexium

    • My husband has been on pantoprazole for close to 20 years . He was diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. He is now 76 and has dementia. I noticed changes of his short term memory about 10 years ago. He can no longer drive, because of his inability to think and reason. He would stop in the middle of busy traffic, trying to figure out which way to turn, in a familiar area. Along with the dementia, he also has contractions of his hands. He vomits if he eats a heavy or late meal. I really cant begin to list all of his problems, but there are many. He will not stop taking this medication, because he feels so terrible if he forgets a dose. These PPIs should be taken off of the market!

  70. I have been taking Nexiam 20mg for the past approximately 10 years for gastro reflux. Today I read an article regarding some side effects…..which gave me a shock, as I have all of the symptoms mentioned. I definitely need to stop taking Nexiam, but what else can I take for the gastro reflux and heartburn?

  71. A friend directed me to this website as he was aware of my efforts to help patients who present GERD, all of whom have been taking PPI drugs for many years, which I read from some posts here, even go beyond 20 years.

    I am a Homeopath (not professional as I treat all patients free of charge). I live in Sri Lanka and am 84 years of age and drive daily to work. I have proved that Arnica 30 in the Wet dose which I have used since 1996 nightly has been responsible to maintain my life at the level that I enjoy today with BP <120/80 , Pulse 70 and normal Cholesterol and Triglycerides and No Diabetes or other ailments that are considered as normal at my advanced age.

    Getting back to GERD, the remedy I have prescribed to thousands of patients is Nat Phos 6x. The full title is Natrium Phosphoricum which is Sodium Phosphate, potentised to 6x or 10 to the power 6 (6X6X6X6X6X6) which is the equivalent of 1/1 Millionth of the salt. Nat Phos is one of a group of 12 Biochemic Cell Salts discovered about 150 years ago by Dr Schuessler and is available at any Health Food outlet in tablet form.

    Almost all patients who have used Nat Phos, many of whom were wedded to the PPI drugs for years have confirmed that they discovered almost instant relief and that within the hour their GERD was history.

    You can read more about my therapy if you do a Search for GERD on my website:


    I would also recommend that you spend a few minutes reading the account of Ed Kazmi who suffered from GERD for 26 years and in CURED.

    Link below:


  72. This makes me furious. It helps a lot of things make sense though. I am a little late reading this but found your article after a google search stemming from curiosity after reading a post about the Amgen settlement today. I never had any issues until I got pneumonia at age 19 and wound up with adult onset asthma. From that point I was on a carousel of doctors and ever increasing drugs that lasted 10 years, took me from 118 lbs to 250 lbs and left my immune system shot. I always assumed my weak bones were from massive doses of corticosteroids but now I wonder. I had a bad atv accident and compound fractured my right arm in 2005. My bones were so weak they had to operate on my arm 3 times and it has 2 plates, 16 screws, a bone graft and is wired together with steel sutures. I do have a high hernia but since I changed to homeopathic medicine in 2009 I have no issues with GERD or asthma. I believe the asthma meds caused the gerd. I’ve gone into liver failure and have constant issues with infections. I’m allergic to almost every antibiotic and I take supplements everyday to help with nutrient absorption.

  73. Hi Chris, thanks a lot for your articles regarding GERD, I am 19 years old and I have been on omeprazole/rabeprazole for about 8 months. At one point of time, i recalled a doctor telling me to take 40mg omeprazole twice daily, which i did. Anyway, my stomach issues wasn’t solved. Instead, it just got worse and worse until I chanced upon your website and realized that my problem could be caused by low stomach acid instead.

    I have followed your methods: betaine hcl, gentian root, enzymes, probiotics. And I’m feeling much better, my stomach issues: bloating, nausea, reflux. have been dramatically reduced. I feel that i’m almost back to normal.

    My question now is I would like to ask if there is a chance that my long term medication of ppi for 8 months would have caused damage to my body that is irreversible?

    Once again, thank you and I wish to hear your reply.

      • Have been on Nexium am and Zantac pm for many years and also had missed fundoplication about 10 yrs ago . The surgery was due to extreme gerd due to the muscle below it not closing off so the acid would wash up into my esophagus. I also have dysmotility and Barrett’s . My gastro dr tells me I must take it to protect
        my esophagus. Any suggestions???

  74. Thank you for your life saving article. I have started taking anti acid drugs in 11/2000. By mid 2005 I started feeling fatigue and disoriented. I visited doctors and run all kind of tests including MRI to the brain. No up normality was found and was diagnosed with depression and ended up with anti depression drugs that I took for couple of weeks only (I was not really convinced). In 10/2010 the same symptoms have become more intense plus occasional headaches and nick pain. The MRI revealed sever damage in my nick disks, the causes for fatigue and the disorientation remains undetermined until I read your article where you have mentioned that anti-acid drugs may increase the risk of dementia.

    My question now is that the health damage that was caused by prolong use of anti-acid drugs, the dementia in particular, is it reversible? Would it go away or improve when I stop taking anti-acid drugs?

    Thank you and hope to hear your input soon.

    • If the problems were caused by B12 deficiency, there’s no way to tell if they are reversible until you build up your B12 reserves again. Unfortunately, some B12 deficiency-caused neurological damage is irreversible.

  75. Two of my patients, who are pharmacists, have told me that it is widely known that people are only supposed to be taking GERD/reflux meds for 6 weeks. They see the same people come back with the script over and over again, even though they know that that was not the intended protocol for these drugs. But as pharmacists, they can only educate the patients about the risks, since only a “Doctor” can alter their drug regimen. Bot made a big deal about the risk of osteopenia and fracture and stated that there is a LOT of evidence out there, with many lawsuits in the works and yet to come. The FDA is a day late (but NEVER a dollar short) once again.

  76. Please help….

    I’ve been on PPI’s for approx. 20 years from the age of about 18. Initially for heartburn and indigestion, but latterly more and more symptoms have been added to the list. I’ve got raised ALT & AST liver enzimes, raised anti-nuclear antibodies, multiple food intolerences (YORK TEST), hypothyroidism, skin rashes, itching, headaches, stomach pain, fatigue, poor memory and concentration, very poor circulation, and the list goes on.

    I’ve had 3 endoscopies, pressure tests, liver scans, and much more. Everytime I’ve been to my GP he asked me to increase the dosage of PPI, at one point I was on 60mg of omeprazole.

    Recently I got myself tested for food intolerance as I was desperate to get to the bottom of this. I was intolerant to milk, eggs, chicken, wheat, gluten, and lots more. Since I stopped these foods the heartburn has stopped for the first time in 20 years, I’ve added HCL with pepsin and good bacteria to my diet also.

    I’m so angry that this has dragged on for 20 years.. I’m feeling a little better now, but need my Doctor to get me referred to get to the root of the cause.

    I’m hopeful i can get these issues resolved but I’m struggling with my Doctor. Can you advise a way forward for me.


  77. congratulations for your web site.
    i have worked as a scientist for more than 40 years…and seen first hand the damage that long term use of nexium drugs and alike can do to humans.
    after 6 weeks of usage,……switching to a good complex of “”good probiotics”” will cure you.
    god bles
    dr david
    ps. soon…we will have a web site to help anyone with their case of acidity…etc with no cost.

    • I would really appreciate any help I can get to get off nexium but can’t do it cold turkey. When you say ‘good probiotics’ what does that mean. How can I start to get off nexium and what shall I expect. I have tried but always go back to it however I think it is nexium that is making me sick at the moment. My doctor did mention that nexium can mirror the symptoms that it is supposed to cure. Help! Thanks Lily

    • Which combination of good probiotics do you recommend? I’ve been taking Culturelle and would like to stop the Nexium if I could get more relief.

      Thank you

  78. I was prescribed Nexium and Pantoloc after being diagnosed with what they considered to be GERD, even though my symptoms did not really match.  I tried them both, maybe a total of a few months, but thankfully I stopped because neither really did anything.  It’s a shame that these pills are prescribed as if they actually solve the problem when all they do at best is temporarily mask the symptoms.  The more I learn about the “health” system the more I feel that we are alone to figure things out for ourselves.

    • Yes, we should always be our own advocates. On the other hand, there are practitioners working outside of the conventional medical system that have a more sophisticated understanding of functional medicine and promoting health than many doctors. You could try consulting one of them.

  79. Hi
    Thanks for your wonderful website.
    I have two questions which I would be grateful to have you answer.
    The first: My chiropractor says it is a bad idea to take fish oil with food because it decreases the absorption of other nutrients. He says it should be taken between meals. iS that correct, in your opinion? I’ve never seen this discussed.
    The second question I have is where on the FDA website it says that Prilosec, etc. increase the possibility of dementia. It seems to mention dementia being cited as a possible risk factor for fracture, but not as a result of taking the drug.  I may have misread it.
    I hope you have the time to answer.

  80. I’ve been taking Protonix for 2 years for a hiatal hernia.   It has worked wonderfully to eliminate most GERD symptoms.  However,  in the two years I was hospitalized for 5 days for a bacterial infection in my colon and last week had to have my appendix out.  Last year I suffered a vertebrae compression fracture just from on strong cough!   I am a 50 year old female, in otherwise good health.

    Hearing this news is rather eye opening as I have been given no warnings from either my internist or my gastroenterologist about issues related to long term use of Protonix.  Guess I’ll make a Dr. appt. tomorrow.

    • I hope you have an open-minded doctor. Many are unaware of the risks, even though the scientific literature is very clear on the increased risk of infection that comes with PPIs. Maybe you could print out some of the studies I linked to from my articles on the risks of acid-stopping drugs, particularly the ones related to infections. You might want to read the GERD series and try some of the suggestions. Check out the comments on each article. You’ll see many reports of dramatic improvements from people who have tried the low-carb approach with HCL. Good luck.

      • I totally agree with you Chris but if I show any proof of what PPis do they claim it to be BS so what is one to do sit there for an half hour arguing with the Doctors who will not back down from what they believe?
        They have totally NO use for anything natural.

  81. I was on Nexium for nearly 10 years because I would wake up at night breathing in acid.  I finally self-diagnosed myself with sleep apnea.   My doctor still encouraged me to take Nexium for my occasional heartburn.
    Then I got test results back from my yearly physical that showed I was anemic.  This was odd.  My doctor gave me iron supplements to take.  I started investigating side effects of Nexium and found one site that claimed it caused anemia because the stomach needs acid to get at the iron in foods and supplements.  After taking iron for a few months (still on Nexium) and not having my blood test numbers change, I decided to stop Nexium.  I’ve been using Zantac for the past month.  I have had more heartburn, but it hasn’t been bad, and I know that it could be “reactive” from stopping the Nexium.

    More importantly, my energy levels have been higher, and I just went for another blood test today that I’m sure will show normal to high iron levels.  I feel like I actually may have too much iron now, based on some other symptoms, but the test will tell.  I really *should* have too much iron in my system, when I’m taking an iron pill every day.
    My mother in law used Nexium for a month and became anemic.  She went off Nexium and the anemia went away.  Why don’t our doctors know this?
    My goal is to be off Zantac as well.  Thank you for the excellent articles.

    • My son who is almost 4 was diagnosed with reflux when he was 2 weeks old his pediatrician prescribed him rantidine 5 ml twice a day well about 5 months later our pharmacicst informed me that the Dr prescribed him 5 times the amount twice a day too much. I did some research on rantidine and overdose symptoms and they weres severe hallucinations and severe stomach cramps. Now my child has some learning g and behavior disabilities wondering if it could be from overdosage for the long could be the cause.

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