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FDA Sounds Alarm on Dangers of Antacid Drugs

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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 series on my blog clearly explains how to do that.

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228 Comments

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  1. 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!

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

      • apples give me worse indigestion, I’m trying to eat rolaids and tums but they don’t work, is Pepcid as bad?

        • 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??

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.
    Moira

    • 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.

          • Try eating KIWi fruit after every meal that might help it helps with digestion.

            • 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!
          Karen

          • 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 agree….Ive tried also with the nexium, I cannot swallow or eat! , I have no choice but to take them.

    • 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.

  11. 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

            • 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!

              • Brenda –

                I wish you luck, too. Please let me know how you do!

                Karen 🙂

                • 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!
      Karen

  14. 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.

    • Is this dementia reversible if one stops taking this? I have taken it 20 yrs and my short term memory is very bsd

      • 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/fda-sounds-alarm-on-dangers-of-antacid-drugs/comment-page-3/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_1"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_2"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_4"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='699' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_5"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Skin' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Skin' /> </div> <p style="display: none !important;"><label>&#916;<textarea name="ak_hp_textarea" cols="45" rows="8" maxlength="100"></textarea></label><input type="hidden" id="ak_js_4" name="ak_js" value="20"/><script>document.getElementById( "ak_js_4" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() );</script></p></form> </div>
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