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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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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.