20 years on omeprazole...need help coming off!!

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Hi, 

I'm 47 and have been taking omeprazole for the best part of 20 years. I recently discovered that the recommendation (by those wonderful/caring people at the pharmaceuticals!) is 14 days so yep, really need to come off em!!

Originally diagnosed with reflux oesophogatis (probably didn't spell that correctly!) and was told the valve that stops acid rising was damaged (too much smoking, drinking, and spicy food in my 20s) I have already reduced to 10mg quite some time ago and would really like any tips on coming off them for good.

I have a constant irritation in my stomach probably due to not digesting food properly, ringing in my ears, bloating/distension, depression/constant suicidal thoughts, and I also get acne/roscea etc- all of which I believe are connected to the imbalances caused by omeprazole.

Its also worth mentioning that I have NO FAITH WHATSOEVER in doctors whom I firmly consider to be glorified drug pushers for the pharmaceutical mafia. Yes that may well be a sweeping generalisation but I have yet to meet one who does not fit that description so I make no apologies for that whatsoever. Having said that I did once have a lovely doctor who, the day before he retired after 40 years, told me he was completely  disillusioned and ashamed of his profession and that I should always look into natural 'alternatives' before taking the "rubbish that we give you" (bless him!)

I am also on a very low budget having lost a lot of work lately so need affordable suggestions if at all possible.

Thanks in advance :-)

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  • Posted

    14 days... Yikes! I'm on it for 3 years now. Last time I went to one pharmacy to get it they said it was usually for use for a short time. Went to my GP to check, and he said it was to continue. 

    Was a bit doubtful so I signed up to this thing, have also been wondering if my meds are linked to weight gain. Doc said it's not linked, and that it's fine to take.... Not sure I believe so been looking for help. 

    Personally I'm not sure if it is something I'm heavily into so I'm afraid I've no real advice on how to get off it. Then again I might change my mind if I did need to! wink

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    • Posted

      Yes, every doctor I've ever spoken to has said omeprazole long term is fine. We get some kind of acid indigestion/heartburn etc, we go to the doctors (those we have VERY wrongly been domesticated into putting on pedestals!) and they say it is caused by stomach acid, and so they give us a tablet that stops the production of stomach acid. Unfortunately what they (and we) had forgot to consider was that acid is natural and absolutely vital for proper digestion and therefore our health so acid isn't the problem, its acid finding its way to parts of our body (like the oesophegas) which are not lined to protect us from it that's the problem we should be dealing with. Its like a warning light coming on in your car which you promptly turn off (block acid production) then ignore the cause- which is the standard practice of allopathic medicine and its pharmaceutical (profit!) driven mentality. I honestly believe that going to the doctors is akin to taking a spaceship to a dodgy backstreet mechanic (albeit a very smartly dressed one!)
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    • Posted

      I am posting this because about 6 months ago I was online looking for answers as to how to give up omeprazole after almost 8 years on it, and was unable to find many answers. My husband looked it up and was telling me about all of the long term health risks of taking it for long periods of time.  He says it can effect you heart, not to mention hair loss.  Anyways, I asked my doctor for anything that could help with the massive amount of acid reflux I have experienced in the past when I have missed a dose of omeprazole and that I wanted to use it to maybe get passed the worst of the acid when coming off the omeprazole.  She prescibed 1GM of sucralfate to be taken four times a day, an hour before meals and at bedtime.  After a month I don't even need to take this anymore. But I definetely needed it for these past four weeks as my acid reflux was really bad when first stopping omerprazole.  This stuff works so good, in the beginning I did have to avoid things like soda, and coffee, but even when I did drink these things the sucralfate made the reflux manageable.  I did supplement with TUMS when I was having a reallyb bad day.....But as I said after one month I am eating and drinking normally and off the both the omerprazole and sucraltate.

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    • Posted

      I was wondering can sucraltate? be bought over the counter?  I ended up buying Omerpazole over the counter and started by opening tha capsuls (because the hard pill didnt seem to work as well for me) only to find and hard pill and some of the granules in side!  I figure cutting back was best way to get off of it. I also saw something on youtube talking about it's not To much acid in our stomaches it's really not Enough thats where the problem is.  I duno just don't being on something long term,..my insurance stopped covering it long ago. So just googled If eating an Apple a day would help wean you off Omeprazole and this page popped up.  Thanlks for all the information!!

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  • Posted

    I can't take omeprazole because it made my hair thin and lots of people have subsequently posted the same problem of hair loss. I'm now on another drug which has different problems! Friends who have acid reflux have suggested a more alkaline diet which seems to make sense. Problem with doctors is they don't tend to study diet at medical school (as my sister who's a GP has admitted!)
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    • Posted

      My Dr actually prescribed Potassium Citrate. I have IC and was prescribed this to make my urine more alkaline, but it helps with the acid stomach too. 
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  • Posted

    It may also be caused by bad bacteria located at the LES wc produces air pressure causing the acid to force it way up the oesophagus. Try the following and let us know how it went for you, cuz I had a little relieve.

    Amoxicillin 500g(in capsule) - 2 morning 2 evening

    Apple cinder vinegar - 1 teaspoon per day during your meal

    If you have boating/indigestion

    Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda in water and drink.

    Do not drink another one until 24h has passed.

    Hope it works for you. God Bless

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  • Posted

    Hi Mark,

         20 years on PPIs.  Long time.   Here's what I woud do.  1 & 2 are to replace the minerals and vitamins that lack of stomach acid has probably caused. 3,4,& 5 are for the bloating and other digestive problems.  6 is to find out the extent of any damage that has been done,  7 is to help get off PPIs. 

    1. If you are not already, begin suplementing your diet with calcium citrate, magnesium asparatate, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin K2, as well as an all purpose multi vitamin and mineral.  The Mag, and D3 should be taken with the calcium, as they are necessary to get it absorbed into the bloodstream.  There are several brands of Calcium supplements that contain all three, to make this simpler.  The K2 can be taken at any time.  K2 is to get the calcium out of the bloodstream and to the parts of your body that need it.

    2.  Get a second supplement with just magnesium,  to be taken at a different time of day than the calcium.  The mag you take with calcium gets used up in the absorbption process, so you need more for the bodys other magnesium requirements.  Due to modern agribusiness farming methods, the magnesium level in foods has dropped dramatically over the last 60 years.  All those charts you read that show the typical vitamin and mineral content of individual foods are pretty much uselsss now, as they were created from tests done between 1930 and 1960.  What we eat, where it comes from, and how its grown are all vastly different now, and not for the better.

    3.   Take a probiotic.

    4.   Take digestive enzymes

     

    5.   Reduce carbohydrates in your diet.  The bad backeria in your system love to feed off of and ferment carbs, creating gas.

     6.  Schedule an appointment with your doctor for tests for osteoporosis.  Also be sure to mention the other issues - stomach irritation, ringing in the ears, bloating, depression/thoughts of siucide.  There could be something else going on.  While I am absolutely in agreement with your opinion that most doctors just repeat what they learned in med school, and do not keep up even with sanctioned medical advances, let alone natural or holistic healing techniques, they can at times be useful.  We just have to remind outselves that they are not Gods.

    7.  If you are down to 10mg/day of omeprazole, and want to continue to work yourself off of it, it should be done gradually.  If there is a 5MG dose available, switch to that.  Or if the 10mg is a pill cut it in half.  If its a capsule, while it can be a bit messy, you can try opening the capsules and taking only half at a time(you can buy empty gel caps).  Other options are taking the 10mg only every other day, or switching to an H2 blocker like Zantac(OTC), starting with the 150mg dose, and gradually reducing to the 75mg, then going every other day, every two days, etc. etc.   If at any time during this process, your heartburn or reflux returns badly, then you know you are going too fast, so back up a step and continue that last step longer.

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hello again,

      just been looking at suggestions again and I'm a little troubled about point 6. My problem is that whenever I have approached a doctor there are severe 'cultural' restraints and I always end up feeling totally un-listened to (for want of a better term) They are just so dismissive of people doing their own research and it's usually their way or the highway which i find infuriating and so I end up brushing them up the wrong way (and they really don't like people having opinions outside of what the pharmaceuticals have trained them in!) and now I really dont ever want to go to the doctors again if I can help it. Also the 10 minute slot "whats the problem?", "I have a pain", "I have a pill" routine nonesense is just wholly inadiquate and totally uninspiring BUT I really don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

      Does anybody have any tips on dealing succesfully with such institutionalised ignorance/arrogance? I also appreciate that doctors do their best with the 'knowledge' they have been 'trained' in and would like a positive experience with one. How about writing some kind of pre-appointment letter (brief, respectful, and to the point)? I know it would be a little unconventional but at least it might get their attention rather than the usual automatic dismissal of my 'laymans' and 'uneducated' concerns...???

      Any other suggestions anyone?

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    • Posted

      There are some doctors who are at least tolerant of patients doing their own research and being knowledgeable about their condition and the possible treatments.  And there are even a few who will encourage you to pursue natural means of treatment along side the conventional, or even as an alternative, if they dont feel you are in danger of getting sicker.   Others, as you have obviously found out, take it a little more personally when you suggest anything other than what they prescribe.

      For example, my new gastroentologist (prior one retired), after informing me I had Barretts Esophagus, sent me  on my way with a prescription for Omeprozole that had a full years worth of refills!   This was the first I had heard of the drug, and it only took me a little research, and a few visits to message boards like this one, to convince me that was a mistake for long term use.

      I developed a mostly natural strategy, involving occassional Zantac(a less powerfull acid reducer), alginic acid,  diet changes, eating specific foods to reduce acid formation and reduce gas, others that had healing prorperties for skin tissue, high dose beta carotene, herbal supplements like DGL and boswellia, raising the head of my bed, no eating or drinking within 3 hours of bed time, etc. etc. etc.  I had this all typed up and handed it to him at our next visit.   He read it, and he had heard of some of these things(DGL) but not others (Boswellia), and encouraged me to continue them as he did not think I was endangering myself with them. Of course he wasn't that happy when I told him I wouldn't take Omeprozole, but was using a combination of Zantac and a Gaviscon type medicine instead.  But he didn't throw me out of the offcie or get all preachy on me or anything.  

      All I can say is, keep looking.  Try other doctors.  Do some searching in the country where you live for databases of holistic doctors.  Chriropractors and Accupuncturists tend towards the more natural approach, and they are likely to know of conventional family doctors who lean that way.  It could take a while, and I am sure your insurance might limit the flexibility you have, but its worth it when you find a good one.  

      After 20 years on a PPI, I would bit my tongue for a while just to find out the condition my bones were in.  Look up the symptoms of osteoperosis and if you have any of them, get the tests done.  Unfortunately, there are often no symptoms until you break a hip or something.

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    • Posted

      Hi, thats really helpful again so many thanks.

      I live in UK so is all national health (for now at least!) and unfortunately I cant afford private health care at the minute. I admire your approach with your doctor which is highly commendable and yes i will check out the condition of my bones etc.

      Just out of curiosity you recommended calcium citrate and magnesium asparatate. What is the reason for the citrate and asparate?

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    • Posted

      Hi. Was really interested to read your reply to Mark. I posted my concerns about omeprazole over a year ago - mainly about the problem of hair loss which many doctors seem unaware of and which, like any other adverse symptoms, they're encouraged to report to the drug companies. 

      I've adopted your approach of swapping to slow dose of Zantac plus Gaviston which a throat specialist recommended to take before going to sleep as a protective measure to coat my throat from acid reflux which does help

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    • Posted

      Hi Anne,

      I seem to remember zantac (and losec) and looking back I think these were what I started on before the doctors changed my prescription to omeprazole (without a single word of consultation of course!)

      Is zantac something I can buy over the counter?

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Yes you can. Although Zantac is a prescription drug it's now so widely used that you can buy it over the counter. But obviously if you can get a doctor's prescription it should work out cheaper.  

      If you want to swap medication, you can also talk to the pharmacist. They're extremely knowlegeable about adverse reactions      Regards Anne

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