A streamlined stack of supplements designed to meet your most critical needs - Adapt Naturals is now live. Learn more

FDA Sounds Alarm on Dangers of Antacid Drugs


Last updated on


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 series on my blog clearly explains how to do that.

ADAPT Naturals logo

Better supplementation. Fewer supplements.

Close the nutrient gap to feel and perform your best. 

A daily stack of supplements designed to meet your most critical needs.

Chris Kresser in kitchen
Affiliate Disclosure
This website contains affiliate links, which means Chris may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. You will pay the same price for all products and services, and your purchase helps support Chris‘s ongoing research and work. Thanks for your support!


Join the conversation

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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 ????

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    • Sorry. Clarification the Medscape article relates to the long term chronic use of proton pump inhibitors.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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! 🙂

  17. 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!

      • Magnesium is great but it upsets my Stomach easy with Gastritis. Eating foods is the best getting magnesium. I try very hard not easy when foods are limited!

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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!