Is being a 24 yr old male taking 20mg of omeperzole twice a day dangerous?

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I have been placed on a PPI called omeperzole I

Currently take 20mg twice a day for server acid

Reflux disease. The doctor told me that she has

Never seen acid reflux this bad in a 24 year old.

So far I been taking the medicine for about 2 month

I have not yet seen a change in the symptoms. She said that I would have to take this medication the

Rest of my life. Is it time to start thinking about

Having the acid reflux surgery to help fix this?

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23 Replies

  • Posted

    hi joshua,

    i used to take ppi called nexium 20mg 2x/day too.

    make sure you take it correctly, it HAS to be taken at least 1/2hr before meal. if taken without meal, the efficacy is reduced 30%

    have you done any test eg. helicobacter test, endoscopy, barium meal test?

    if you have helicobacter, you have to erradicate the bactery first with antibiotics, otherwise you won't get well

    the endoscopy can tell you whether you have gastrtis, ulcer etc

    barium meal test is for gastroparesis -delayed stomach emptying

    allergy tests to find out whether you are allergic to gluten, lactose intolerrant etc

    the ppi is just to make your stomach produce less acid, but it wont fix the underlying condition. with less acid, even if you still reflux, the reflux wont damage your esophagus and will let the your esophagus to heal itself in time.

    same as you after 4 months with ppi i didnt feel any imrovement in my symptoms.

    my doc performed an endoscopy on me that everything was actually clear.

    apprently my esoohagus has developed sensitivity (you can google 'functional heartburn') so even with normal reflux and weak acid i still felt the pain.

    my doc then prescribed me amitriptyline (anti  depressant) startling with low dosage 5mg gradually up to 30mg. 

    after that i felt slighly better but still feeling bloated and belching all the time.

    it's confusing because the symptomsof reflux, sensitivity are the same.

    and then i realized 1 of the side effect of nexium is bloating.

    apprently with less acid produced by the stomach, it can cause indigestion as well because our stomach need proper acid to digest food.

    so now i gradually reduce my nexium dosagefrom 40mg to 30 then 20 then at themoment 10mg....i actually feel better now. 

    don't forget the diet too. you have to find a suitable diet for yourself, as everyone is different.

    i bought jamie kouffman book 'dropping acid', you can find it on amazon if u are interested.

    but above all, i'd suggest you find out if  you have any underlying problem that causing the reflux,

    good luck joshua!


    • Posted

      Vicky, that was one of the best responses I have read here on this forum. Very informative and helpful. I hope there are more people like you with your experience on the board.

      Joshua, stay vigilent and positive. Figure out when you start to have your issues and then try to think back to figure out what may be causing it. The docs are there to treat and we have to play the detective to figure out the route cause. Nightime seems to be a big issue for most. I can only add something basic to vicky's response and that is prop yourself up at night. Add blocks to the feet of your headboard or frame or sleep on a wedge....Don't eat for 4 hours before bedtime and drink very little if you have to. Koufman's book is essential.

    • Posted

      Hi Joshua/Vicky,

      I was 34 when I started experiencing problems. I am so so worried about this condition. I went to doc with indegetion after an umbilical hernia repair and then further investigation revealed gallstones. Gall bladder whipped out! May be check if you have gallstones?

      Anyway, that was supposed to be the end of the matter but unfirtunately I have suffered ever since with nausea and pain. I have had 3 endoscopies............1. Severe infalmmation, 2. completely normal, 3. Bile reflux, minor inflammation. My biopsies came back clear but I am still worried this may be cancer.............I had the biopsies done 8 months ago and my doctor is saying that is the end of the road, there is nothing more they can do................should I fight for more tests? More endoscopies? My daughter is only 6, I can't beleiev this is happening to me.

      I hope you get a good doctor Joshua...............push for an ultra sound, then an endoscopy, PPI's have never worked for me, the only thing that seemed to have any effect was Antepsin and that is no longer available in the UK. Why do I get inflammed stomach but to Helico B, No ulcer? I am sure it must be something serious and it is stressing me out!

    • Posted

      hi paul,

      i know how you feel. i can so relate. i have young kids too.

      so your gallbladder has been taken out? i dont have any personal experience on this but you might be interested to jeremy bernal book 'the gallbladder survival guide'. i heard it's very useful.

      if your tests all came back negative but you still feel the pain, maybe it's functional heartburn. my doc described func heartburn as 'sensitive nerves'. apparently after having reflux for too long, my esophagus nerves became sensitive, and they translate everyting as pain to my brain.  it's like when we have a cut on our finger, the cut has healed but when we touch it, it's still painful.

      my suggestion'd be if u go to see your doc again, ask for a possibility of func heartburn. as i said earlier my doc prescribed me with low dose amitriptyline to calm down the nerves. when i googled, i saw some other docs use different types of anti depressant drugs to tackle this eg gabapentin, klonopin, etc all with small dosage. but my doc said amitriptyline is 1 with the lowest side effect and easier to get off. 

      good luck paul!


    • Posted

      Hi Vicky, really grateful that you got back to me and sorry for taking so long to reply. I don't want to bother you but you do seem to have a lot of info that no one has ever really talked to me about before and it would be great if you could give me a bit more advice.

      The background you know and to be honest some of what you have talked about makes me really think my problems could be related to my mental health...........I know this sounds crazy but if I drink alcohol (not to excess but maybe 2 or three glasses of wine) my symptoms seem to go makes me think that I may be completely stressed with my life and that that is what causes the problem to always be there.

      I am a teacher, I work hard, I do a lot of childcare with my daughter, I do not feel too stressed but maybe it has manifested itself in my stomach? Do you think that is possible? I know most people with these issues are the opposite to me they think that they are not stressed but the doctor thinks it is mental......may be I am the other way round?

      I am sort of grasping at straws but I am willing to try anything and it is the first time anyone has linked my issue to anti depressants (I mean you feel they may possibly help me).

      I will order the book you suggested too but I have to say that changing diet has not really made any difference to me but I will say that weirdly the more excessively I eat the better my stomach feels and that is affecting me mentally and again conversely to everyone else, I am gaining weight!

      My specialist has said he will give me a Ph test but I have to wait until March, I just want to feel better, I always had an iron stomach and I never thought this would happen to me especially at my age, I am so so anxious and any help that you have given me up to now has been really gratefully received. How did you get on after you started the Anti D's? Thanks again. Paul

    • Posted

      hi paul, sorry for the late reply. my condition has been up and down especially that i've been trying to reduce my nexium, well it's been hard.

      how are you going btw? i'd say that before you go down to take anti depressant drug, you'd better take all the necessary tests to rule out other possibilities e,g. gastritis, ulcer, gastroparesis, hernia, etc. 

      With the anti depressant drug, (i use amitriptyline) my doc advised me to start with a very small dosage then gradually increase it every week or so, so i started at 5mg and gradually increased it to now 30mg. my doc said the effective dosage for stomach nerve hypersensitivy is between 30-50mg but some people might need up to 75mg. The effect of the drug is not immediate, and for me it took about a month at 30mg to experience some relief. some other docs use different type of anti depressant drugs like citalopram, gabapentin, klonopin, etc which one is more effective apparently is different from 1 person to person, so it's abit of trial and error.

      pls consult with your doc first before trialling any drugs as some are not easy to get off from e.g nexium.....


    • Posted

      Hi Vicky, really sorry to hear you haven't been well...........I am at the stage now where when I next see my gastro specialist I am going to demand better treatment. He even had the nerve to say I had been on his books for a long time. All I want is a diagnosis!! I couldn't agree with him more, 3 years and still with no diagnosis and no new treatment. I really struggled last week but I only see the Doc every 6 months!! I am now dosing myself up with Domperidone which seems to be the only thing that even touches the sides of this illness and helps me to get to work.

      I am sooooooooooooo depressed! I was always so well, and now everything has turned upside down. I just wish I could get a diagnosis and then I could decide what to do, I am willing to pay for any op if necessary. I am going to push my Doc for Ph testing and an improvement in my treatment and more frequent appointments as I have been extremely patient to date. As my wife says (she is Chinese) "A crying Baby Gets The Most Milk", in o ther words, be nice and polite and expect to be at the back of the queue, kick and scream and you should get what you are entitled to. I need to be more Bolshie!!

      Any way, what is Nexium? Is it a PPI and has it helped you in anyway and why are you coming off it? In some ways I am glad PPI's haven't helped me, it seems as though lots of people have trouble with them in the long term. On the other hand I wish I could get to the bottom of my problems! Taking 3 Domperidone a day at the moment and that can't be a good thing! Hope you find a way through, we are all in this mess and it is great having your input and support. Paul

    • Posted

      Be very careful with how much Domperidone you take as this is most recent advice:

      Domperidone (Motilium) is associated with a small increased risk of serious cardiac side effects. Its use is now restricted to the relief of nausea and vomiting and the dosage and duration of use have been reduced. It should no longer be used for the treatment of bloating and heartburn. Domperidone is now contraindicated in those with underlying cardiac conditions and other risk factors (see below). Patients with these conditions and patients receiving long-term treatment with domperidone should be reassessed at a routine appointment, in light of the new advice


    • Posted

      hi paul,

      if you find domperidone/motilium helps making you feel better, i'd suggest you put gastric emptying test as your first priority testing. domperidone is used to speed up gastric emptying in gastroparesis. 

      derek76 is right, every medication has its own side effect unfortunately sad so unless the benefits outweigh the side effects, then try your best to avoid it.

      as for my case, i'd tried my best to avoid nexium (ppi drugs) as i was so afraid of the side effects, but unfortunately my gerd got worse and worse to the point that i gave up and had to take nexium. and my delaying of taking nexium has caused my esophagus to develop hypersensitivity. how i wish now that i had taken nexium earlier!

      while waitinig for your test, i think you had better avoid food with high fibre and fat. those are the no no food for gastroparesis as they are harder to digest.

      and  it's sad isnt it? some docs enter this profession without passion at all! 

      if i were you i'd find another doc. if your doc is uncaring, no matter how hard you 'scream' at him, his nature is still uncaring, and the last thing you want is if he just makes up any diagnosis and shoves you with a cocktail of medication to 'shut' you up.


    • Posted

      I am not sure, but I think he ruled out gastroparesis although I have not done any specific test, I think he took blood to etst for diabetes and he said that was negative so ruled it out. I am sure it is something to do with what you say, don't wat to go in to too much graphic detail (!!) but I never fully empty when I go to the toilet and ever since I started on the domperidone 3 times a day (only been on it for 1 week so far) I have really, really improved although still not compleetly better but compared to last week when I was just sooooo ill, it's like chalk and cheese. I agree with Derek and am grateful for his advice but, honestly I have just been doing this for a week and like you I aim to stop when I go to my specialist in March. No way I could have got through Christmas feeling as I did, now I am quite looking forward to it!!

      How do I go about requesting a new doctor? I thought once my GP referred me that I was stuck with whichever specialist I was given. I was not aware that I may be able to request a different hospital or specialist. It is funny, when I feel a little better I am sure that I can't be seriously ill and i believe my doctor when he says that (and I can accept my clear endoscpy biopsies) I do not have anythings erious wrong with me. When I am ill and my stomach is inflammed I am sure that I haev something serious. At teh moment I am just grateful that I can function and am really grateful for your help and support even though you must eb sick of these massively long posts!

      So what next for you? How is your Doc? Do you get anywhere with them and what are their suggestions for you? Is it acid reflux you have or are you still waiting for a definitive diagnosis.

    • Posted

      well, from what i read, most gastroparesis sufferers are diabetic due to nerve damage, but not all of them, some people could get gastroparesis from just a bout of stomach flu. you can google what causes gastroparesis to find out. the only way to rule out gastroparesis is by taking the gastric empyting study. you can google this too to know how the test is done.

      so you had done your endoscopy and the result is clear? that's good news! smile at least we can rule out ulcer, gastritis, esophagitis, helicobacter and hernia smile

      where do you live btw? i live in australia. here we need to get a refferal from our gp to see a specialist. i usually search my 'own specialist' by asking for recommendations of good doctors from friends or health forums or google search and then mention it to my gp to be referred to that doctor. i had a bad experience when i just let my gp refer me to any specialist that came up on his list! and if i'm not happy with the specialist, i'd come back to see my gp and ask his help to refer me to a new one. unfortunately in ozi specialist consultations mostly are not covered by insurance, but the good thing is we can decide ourselves which doc we want to see without any interference from insurance company.

      as for me now, well, i've been reducing nexium since sept! everytime i reduce the dosage, i'd get acid rebound sad and the hypersensitivity makes it worse, coz i get confused whether the pain comes from acid rebound, hypersensitivity or the real reflux coming back... my doc is actually against me reducing nexium, but since i started nexium, i've got low vit d and my iron's so low that i keep feeling lethargic sad not to mention the bloating side effect from nexium, but i know without nexium my esophagitis wouldnt have healed....

      well good luck paul. if u can try to find abetter doc that can really help you.

    • Posted

      Also in Oz and new to this excellent forum! My wife and I have both successfully shed PPI's. The secret was discovering DGL. We take 2 tablets 20 minutes before each meal. Hard to find these in Australia for some odd reason as they are highly regarded in Germany and USA. We took these for 2 months whilst still on PPI then slowly reduced PPI. Suppose you realise you can reduce Nexium by putting it into apple juice? Agree that a good specialist does take some trial and error. Our big peeve is they all want to solve ones problems with yet more drugs with few ever suggesting natural ways. There is good info on You Tube by John Bergman - extremely realistic approach that really makes you think. DGL by the way heals the LES and fixes stomach mucosa - wonderfu stuff and only 7 cents a pill and you dont get rebound if you forget a dose. Of course you do need lifestyle changes to keep it working. Vegetable juice three times a day and magnesium taken transdermally seems to have done the trick for us!

      Best of luck with your quest!

    • Posted

      hi rex, glad to meet someone from ozi too in this forum! and thank you for sharing your tips to get off nexium!

      i was at 40mg/day for 4 months until sept, then i've been reducing to 30,20,10mg and now i'm at 10mg every 3rd day. like you and your wife, i've been using slippery elm and dgl. i also gargle with bicarbonate soda and take gaviscon if i start feeling the pain or burning symptoms.

      unfortunately, besides reflux problem, my doc thinks i also have esophageal hypersensitivity prob. because evenwhen i was at 40mg nexium, i was never free of symptoms, i always feel bloated and belch many times! and the gas causes me to relfux! to this prob, my doc prescribed me endep (nerve drug) and ordered me to stay with nexium until dont know when sad

      did you/your wife have any bloating/gas problem when you guys on nexium? i've been wondering whether the bloating is aside effect of nexium or it's really just my stomach being sensitive. 

      how long did you take to wean off nexium? and how long did experience acid rebound after your completely ceased nexium?

      thanks rex for sharing!

    • Posted


      Looks like we all go down the same path! On slippery elm with alovera. Prescribed motilium for bloating. Dumped it after reading about the nasties plus having heaps of interactions (physillium husks in smoothies work far better but no more than 4 table spoons a day). At one stage last year we reached the prescription FREE list which really was disgusting (I mean how crazy is it to take Pariot, Nexium and Ranitidine all at once?), so started researching more natural cures instead of band aids as seem to be used by most doctors. Now down to 1/2 a BP pill a day rest is supplements. Chrissy has an anti depressant but we think that is thyroid related. Couple of things you could try - Buderim Naked Ginger from Coles or Woolies will take the sting out of your throat (but it does have some sugar!), Hamiltons Aquae spray is really good when you wake in the middle of the night! Lemon juice as ice cubes work well and break up muecos. Alpha Lipoic Acid will fix saliva getting confused and thinking it is acid when its really alkaline.  It took two months of struggle to get off ppi's. Chrissy was on Somac so it was easier for her. I was on the same double dose as you! Also have a hiatus hernia. We are both feeling great.  Chrissy has about zero nasal drip and morning coughing fits are gone - thanks to DGL. We are both feeling 200 % better after sheding all those useless meds. I still have the odd bad night waking with a burning throat. Just introduced zinc and it seems to be doing something. Stopped all Gaviscon (hard to do!) be aware though I'm not cured and have no bread, cakes or dairy and of course zero sugar and no coffee!

      Hang in there! You'd think living in Melbourne we would have zero problems getting diadnosed but it truly is hopeless. One is forced to use Dr Google. Wonderful how we can all help each other isnt it?


    • Posted

      thanks rex!

      interested in what you said that you avoid bread, cakes and dairy.

      i read articles from norman robillard website, where he said that reflux is caused by undigested carbohydrates which can't be absorbed by our bloodstream, and then those undigested carbo are fermented by bacteria in our small intestine, the result of that fermentations is gas. excess gas pushes our les to open, and the acid escapes to our esophagus = reflux. that's his theory.

      his theory ties closely with ibs sibo (bacteria overgrowth). i actually mentioned this to my specialist, i asked him whether i should go for hydrogen breath test, but he dismissed it, he said it's very unlikely that i have sibo. well, my whole drama with reflux was actually started after i had my appendectomy last year, was given heavy antibiotics after the surgery and 6 weeks after that i had bad reflux right after eating 1 pear. the condition got worse and worse after that.

      rex, have you ever done a hydrogen breath test? 

      i'm actually wondering what causes us not being able to digest bread? carb malabsorbtion? gluten? but it's impossbile to get celiac just out of the blue....sibo? iunfortunately 20mins consultations with doc is not enough to discuss so many things with him, and most docs just want to rush rush and rush us out of their room sad


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