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Long term use of Omeprazole


I am a long term user of this medicine and wanted to share my experience of this medicine and my condition which was diagnosed some 15 years ago.

I was diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), I have for many years suffered with diahorea stomach bloating and general pain and discomfort in my stomach. I have had several endoscopys and various other tests including an ultrasound and at first they discovered nothing unusual and put it all down to IBS. I had several treatments for Helicopacter Pylori and I am still not sure if it ever cleared up. I recently had an operation to remove my gallbladder and gallstones after the acid reflux was very troublesome. I have now since had another endoscopy which has showed I have a hiateul hernia. I have been on Omeprazole for over four years after having acid reflux type symptoms along with my IBS. I wanted to ask about being on this medicine long-term and the possible other organs in my body that could be damaged. I still have very bad indigestion and stomach aches and wondered if these tablets actually work for me anymore

111 Replies

  • Guest Guest


    I have only been on Omeprazole for about 3 months but I have found it an absolute life saver. I combine it with Domperidone or \"Motilium\" and the combination is bloomin brilliant for my IBS! I tested negative for H.pylori and so the docs and I are pretty sure it's as simple as IBS and no stomach ulcers or ugly cancers etc (I'm only 25!). My IBS got progressively worse from the age of about 18 until I HAD to go to the docs and demand they give me something as I was off work I was that ill.

    I've found that making sure my \"trigger foods\" are under strict suveillance, my stress levels are reasonable and remembering my meds works wonders.

    Good luck with your meds and from my experience Omeprazole is the best thing that could have happened to me!

    • carrie 07795 carrie 07795 Guest

      If you have the IBS nasty talk to your doc about being referred to your hospital's nutritionalist as this can only be done by GP referral. Ask to be referred for the FODMAP diet.  This has been devised by Guy's and St Thomas' hospital. I found after 1 week my IBS almost disappeared.  After 10 weeks I am now slowly reintroducing FODMAPs and finding out which foods really set it off. Their success is 80% of relief of symptoms.  It has changed my life for the better.

    • marilyn29538 marilyn29538 Guest

      After weaning myself off of omeprasole with the blessing of my gastro, he wanted me to try to get off of the other anti-acid I was taking, ranitidine. That was more difficult. I was still having terrible heartburn. I had been on these types of drugs for 20 years which scared me and my gastro. I was eating Tums. I also had this extended, hard stomach with gas,etc. I couldn't get a doctor to tell me why. My daughter started an on-line search re my tummy. She found info on FODMAPS and the diet. It seems to make sense for my condition. I stopped eating FODMAPS for 5 weeks. My stomach flattened out and was soft, not hard. I was so much better. I then added back only gluten. After a week of gluten, I was back where I started. Deleted gluten again and the hard tummy, pain and heartburn have almost disappeared. I have also found that I can't eat any beans or raw apples. Starting to now see what other FODMAPS I can add back to my diet. This diet is worth the trouble. It is more popular in Australia. Try it. What do you have to lose?

    • MarilynH MarilynH Guest

      Just remember that this drug is for very short term use. Long term use has many dangerous side effects

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  • Guest Guest

    Hi HG84

    Found this site earlier today which lists some bad signs for long term use....


    (ad the 3 w's in front as otherwise i can't post it)

    Like with anything on the internet though i wouldn't take whats said their as gospel....

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  • Guest Guest

    I am 52 and I have been on Omeprazole 20mg for about 18 years now.

    I started when it was only available as Losec. It completetly changed my life for the better.

    Pretty early on I found that taking the 20mg every other day worked best for me unless I feel I have a particularly acidic reaction to some food in which case I just take an extra one.

    I can say hand on heart that I have been lucky enough to experienced absolutely no side effects. However, I know that I would not now be able to give the drug up. After so many years my body is so used to the regular drug that if I was to miss, say, three days I would get an uncomfortable reaction - But I am quite happy to stay on it for the rest of my life and have no worries.

    I felt I should post this because you always get lots of negative reation posted on the internet making people frightened and I wanted to provide a positive side.

  • Guest Guest

    I am a 34 year old woman that went undiagnosed for 14 years until a holiday to the US. I too was diagnosed with gallstones, had my gall bladder removed and subsequently was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. I was initially presecribed 10mg omeprazole and over the years this has increased to 40mg. I have not suffered any of the side effects listed but I too know that I will be on this drug for the rest of my life.

    I have read negative feedback but wanted to say that it has completely changed my life. It may be that you also need to increase your dosage so I would speak to your doctor.

    Any other feedback from other people regarding long term use and also its effect on pregnancy would be appreciated.

  • busygal busygal

    I am a 71 year old female, and I have been taking Omeprazole for about 15 years, and I also find it to have been a life saver for me.

    To my knowledge, I have had no bad side effects whatsoever, and I cannot get through an entire day without it. I have severe discomfort in my chest and heartburn without it. With it, I eat anything I want. It is the one medication I couldn't do without.

  • laf laf

    I am 51..i have suffered digestion troubles for quite a few years one way and another..ive had gut candida,ibs,indigestion and other food related aggravations! Anyway, and after taking omeprazole prescribed by my GP for a month or so i felt great and could eat or drink anything,so,i stopped, thinking that all was now well !...within a week it all started again.I struggled on feeling really miserable and getting nowhere even though i was trying to avoid..bread (which im still not happy about eating) lemons,oranges,celery,wine,salmon,any oily fish,onions...loads of other every day things! So,back on omeprazole....problem cured !!!! im so grateful for this 'letters' page,it was on my mind as to whether you could indeed take the 'wonder drug' long term. im happier after reading other peoples experiences..thank you.

    • lesley58188 lesley58188 laf

      Hi laf

      Have you thought about the FODMAP diet which has to be undertaken with dietetic supervision? A lot of the foods you mention I had difficulty with and FODMAP has changed my life and I am now reconsidering my use of  Omeprazole.

  • Potty P Potty P

    I have just stopped taking 20mg omeprazole daily, having been on it for over 3 years. I was previously on ranitadine (can't remember how to spell that). I was prescribed it for acid reflux as a result of anxiety disorder, stress and a mood disorder. So, clearly I was on many other meds too. Having said that, I haven't knowingly experienced and side affects to the omeprazole.

    However, I stopped taking it 2 days ago as I had been advised to do so by my gynaechologist as I'm wishing to become pregnant. It has warnings about using this drug in pregnancy. It's a no no.

    So, how've I been ? Today I'm significantly better. The first 2 drug free days were hell. My acid levels rose and rose and kept me awake all night. I read in my herbal remedies and supplements book that acidophilus (again not sure about spelling) the probiotic, is a useful alternative. I take this in tablet form from a reputable health food shop daily anyway for breakfast, so I helped myself to another one. It settled it down a lot, though didn't completely cure it. The next day I bought some indigestion tablets as my book recommended calcium carbonate (chalk essentially) and my pharmacist didn't do a generic compound. By evening I was acid free after just 4 tablets. Today, I've needed none.

    I was warned that reflux could return once meds are stopped, but thankfully it was short lived.

    WARNING I have read this week that omeprazole can, over long term use, cause magnesium deficiency. I was advised to take magnesium, together with copper, as a supplement.. Taking magnesium alone can deplete copper supplies in the body, apparently. It's worth researching magnesium deficiency on the net to see if any of the symptoms sound like you.

    • geo53955 geo53955 Potty P

      Hey potty , I have been on omeprazole for 2 years and it really helped with my acid reflux symptoms and indigestion . I'm taking one pill in the Morning 20 mg. I m really planning to stop the omeprazole . Did you say that when you stopped the medication u had acid reflux symptoms for 2 days ? What exactly did u do so these symptoms went away without omeprazole ? Please let me know

  • rodger1 rodger1

    Hi - similarly I have been using omeprazole for many years - about 10 maybe. initially i used it for about 1 month until the hiatus hernia symptoms cleared up, but they came back again. My doctor told me to just take it "on demand" - whenever I felt i needed it. Well it works out that I take one capsule per day, usually at bed time and it keeps all symptoms at bay. I dont get the symptoms every day but just about. So I take the omeprazoe every day. I dont see any side effects - my hair is fine, my dick is fine, my teeth are still there... seems ok.

  • mmsqgo mmsqgo

    Hello, I have been taking omeprazole on / off for good 3 years but lately my chemist told me it's not the best thing to do and that omeprasole can cause even cancer so I got bit scared. I googeled a bit and yes there are few worrying signs of prolonged use of omeprasole. I have no side effects and my body seams to work fine, I take usually one pill every other day during evening time. I am bit confused now so planning to see doctor and ask for advice, are there other better medicines?

  • mag2 mag2

    Hi ... As a child I always felt sick .. especially at night when I lay down in bed ... there was no trips to the doctor so I just lived with it ... when I got to teenage years it became acid bubbling up and I started to drink gallons of bicarbonate soda mixed in a bottle of water ... it helped a little bit !! Then after years of this I got a pain in my chest .. got worried and went to see my GP ... He sent me to the hospital for a tube down my throat test ... it found that I had tiny little ulcers around the opening of my stomach ... also that the valve to my stomach wasn't closing properly .... Reflux !!!! So they put me on Omeprazole ... OMG wonder drug !!! I had been taking pantaprazole for a year or so with a little change ! I have been taking Omeprazole for about 5 years now 20mg twice a day ... if I forget to take one I know about it with acid , chest pain and feeling sick !! My GP wants me to cut down to one a day and I totally refuse to !!! As far as Im concerned its to save NHS money !!

  • Safarisue Safarisue

    I came on this site as I have been taking 20mg Omaprazole ever since I had my gall bladder out 10yrs ago recently I have been suffering with acid reflux so thinking I may have a bigger problem went to the doctors who just told me to double the dose. Having read everyone's comments I'm not as worried as I was but I think I will still get a second opinion to see if there is another problem that the Omaprazole is masking.

    thanks everyone for the information very useful.

  • Madness Madness

    I was taking Omeprazole (Losec) 20 mgs for around 10 years and it was most effective for acid reflux.

    I have had a hiatus hernia from birth and though not over weight, I found that as I got older the symptoms became worse as time went by.

    Following a series of events, my medication was changed to Nexium 40mgs (this is of the same group of drugs but stronger) Both work by preventing the secretion of hydrocholric, stomach acid.

    Incidentally, this does not stop reflux, it merely stops the burning sensation in the Oesophagus thus making it non painful to the patient. Reflux still occurs but damage is still occurring to the Oesophagus and since the introduction of these ppi's (proton pump inhibitors) there has been an increase in cancer rates, thought to be because the patient is less aware of the reflux and subsequently not avoiding foods that increase the reflux in the first place.

    Within 24 hours I was experiencing tinitus and vertigo big time, so much so that I fell onto my hand and sustained a very nasty fracture...this led to a DEXA scan which showed me to have Osteoporosis in my spine ( a spine of someone 30+ years my senior) and my hip, Osteopenia elsewhere. I was horrified and terrified as Id blindly taken medication and not done any in depth research.

    I decided to research and found that it is said that PPI's (Omeprazole and Nexium being two of them) cause the body not to absorb Magnesium and other nutrients/vitamins thus, over time causing the early onset of Osteoporosis. Of course, we have stomach acid for a reason, if we remove it, then it stands to reason that it cannot do its job and subsequently we will suffer the consequences. There have now been some test cases which have been silenced but successful in Courts.

    It occurred to me finally that I had to stop taking this medication and try to find a way of coping without this medication, this turned out to be a complete nightmare.

    I had no issue for 24 hours and then the acid literally flooded by into my stomach and I was in complete agony, even water caused production, I felt that if I didnt take more medication I might die, the pain was excruciating and worse when I tried to lie down and sleep. I had no sleep for several nights.

    It was so difficult to do this, my GP tried to persuade me to start the meds again even intermittently but I refused. Gaviscon was my only friend! I felt as though I had a huge lump in my throat which threatened to occlude my breathing.

    I searched and searched the internet for answers and finally found the blog of a man in Sweden who went through the same as me, it took him ages and then finally he met a Physician who suggested he might have a Lactose intolerance! This was one of those Eureka moments in life for me.

    All my life getting heart burn, I would drink milk to neutralise it and after a short time it would worsen and I would need more milk!

    Lactose eliminated from my diet changed my life, I am now very sensitive to it and if there is a small amount consumed, I am somewhat it agony..bloating, pain, acid, nausea, diarrhoea...a total nightmare!

    It really is essential to know what is causing a problem, so often it is a simple answer like nutrition, something you are sensitive to. Milk is not made for humans, its made to feed a calf to 500kgs!!

    Also, whilst I was taking the Omeprazole, I suffered increasing ill health, my immunity was terrible, I would catch anything going (I lived a healthy outdoor life and ate well, no pre made food)I ended up taking Antibiotics every few weeks and had incessant Chest Infections.

    Since removing this horrible drug from my life, almost 3 years ago, eating healthily, taking purely vitamins, minerals and oils NO medication other than Gaviscon as and when ... I have had no chest infections, no colds, no illness and NO Antibiotics. It takes time for the stomach to settle and it was the most painful experience but thank God I have adopted a very healthy life and now life is worth living.

    I am in the Medical profession and I do not deny the place for Modern medication, however like everything in life, look for the simple answer first. Look for the reason rather than immediately for the easiest solution!

    • samuel77832 samuel77832 Madness

      How long did it take for your stomach to settle?

      How old are you?

      How long did you have the lump in your throat as I have that feeling now?

      And are you gonna be able to reverse the results of your Dexa scan by not taking this medication?

      And how are you doing now with it?

      I have been on PPI's for about 12 years now, I am 34 male and have tried to ween myself off of them but its absolutely Horrible.  (I feel sorry for my wife and 2 kids because it changes my whole outlook on life and attitude when you feel like this and nobody understands unless they have been through the extreme like I have and sounds like you have to.)   I don't drink milk or anything lactose related. I try to eat very healthy along with food combining as well.  I prop myself up at night and do not eat less than 3 hours before bedtime.  I have even considered the procedure where they tie the upper part of your stomach to the lower part of your esouphagus to play the role of the LES.   

      Hope you get this.  

      Thanks in advance for your reply

    • Madness Madness samuel77832

      Hi Samuel, apologies for the delay.

      It took a few weeks to settle my issues with the excess acid, great pain and even greater determination. I totally understand your situation, its absolutely horrendous. I found that it was dictating my life, my moods and the only respite from it was taking another Omeprazole! The determination has to be paramount here.

      I certainly hope that I can reverse the Dexa scan results though there are no definite promises. I do however feel most strongly that there is NO quick fix to this. I was offered a 6 month injection to build bone density but I refused it, (anything that stays in your system for 6 months sounds scary to reversing that! Also, a very rare fracture of the femur was listed in the small print on the net as a side effect...but it would build up bone density incredibly fast. The two put together spelled instability and brittle bone to me. Now, two years or so later of looking at this drug, the incidence of this fracture is incredibly, frighteningly high) 

      I believe that bone needs to be built slowly and with the correct nutirents and no other way. So, I await to have another scan.

      Through diet and 'thoughtful' living, I feel so healthy and havent had one chest infection or even a cold since in over two years which is incredible seeing I was getting chest infections every fortnight, regular antibiotics etc etc.

      How long did I have the lump feeling in my throat? It was also for a while, possibly a month or so (sorry I dont recall as its a time ago)the 'lump' feeling is I think due to erosion/imflammation of the oesophageal lining, so until youre able to reduce the reflux, it will continue to be irritated.

      Recently I have had some excess stress in my life which led to me eating later, I could feel the 'lump' returning and I was horrified... so, I have returned now to eating no later than 6pm and having little to drink until I get up in the morning.

      I do not eat any animal products, I eat as much organic food as possible, I have found that eating almonds most definitely quashes the acid, which is interesting... I eat masses of fruit (I couldnt eat any before unless I took the dreaded tablets) I drink lemon and water, sometimes apple cider vinegar (first press) and avoid actual sugar. I only eat spelt flour. I cant eat foods with chemicals in them, processed foods or high fat foods.

      It has changed my whole life and also I have lost weight that wouldnt shift before, v slowly but with no adverse effects. Its a pain in some ways being so picky about foods but sincerely, you are what you eat.

      In short, its an horrendous start, the pain with drive you insane esp at night ...but if you can be incredibly strong, chew on the almonds and maybe introduce foods one at a time (try the Paleo diet, its amazing..more about foods,recipes rather than calorie counting), you will feel so much better eventually Im sure.

      As you said, unless you go through it yourself, there is no way of understanding how horrible this is to go through.

      I saw my way through by drinking gallons of Gaviscon which unfortunately contains parabens, I only looked this up a few months ago stupidly... you will need something like this to keep your sanity, the almonds will help and that was a recent discovery too...

      I honesly feel your pain, the thought of going through it again is terrible!! Thinking back, even water gave me pain sad Good luck and if I can help, message me)

    • helen87569 helen87569 samuel77832

      Hi, I was on omezrepole for 10+ years and nexium before that. My brother also suffers from gerd. After trying to stop it I had a severe reflux attack that lasted over 6 hours. He told me about natural ways to help it and he is cured! I slowly weaned off the meds and started taking apple cider vinegar... It works! I take a shot of it in a medicine cup and flush it down with a glass of water. I do this a couple times a day and now mostly just do it when know I will be drinking wine... This was my worst offender! The acids are now balanced. In my stomach so even if I don't do the shot I am OK. It tastes horrible but Better than gerd! It works instantly on attacks too. I was drinking a lot of alcohol and stated feeling heart burn and literally 5 min after a shot of braags apple cider vinegar and a water chase it was calmed. Good luck. That med is making you dependent on it... But it actually hurting you.

    • emma2467 emma2467 Madness

      I have read your account with great interest. As an omeprazole user I have also been struggling with iron deficiency and desperately wondering why my iron levels have not gone up. I have had an iron infusion and levels went up. But it is only after some reading that I discover that omeprazole inhibits iron absorption. I am trying to stop the omeprazole but it is incredibly difficult. I am trying all the things which others have recommended on here. Not an easy thing to do. I just hope there is light at the end of the tunnel and I can no longer feel burning in my throat!


    • sharon07754 sharon07754 Madness

      I also been on that for over 10 years and I've been having alot of vertigo and muscle ache and back hurts alot and just recently found out I have osteoporosis, do u think I should take to my doctor about it? I tried to not take it for a day and was up all night with acid reflux bad !!!

    • Madness Madness emma2467

      Hi Emma2467. I dont know if you eat large amounts in one go, but if so..cut the amounts right down, maybe eat more frequent meals, dont eat after 6, (eat a good while before lying down to sleep) raise the head of your bed around 9 inches and then ensure that for the time youre trying to leave off the Omeprazole, that the foods are non acidic fairly bland.

      There is no easy fix to going through this, sadly when the proton pumps start to work again, they seem to have a party and flood the stomach with acid sad BUT, find out what works best for you in terms of possibly: 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda in some water, Cider apple vinegar in water works for some, I personally find that if I feel the acid coming back now, I chew organic almonds... I think you will most likely need some sort of antacid like Gaviscon to get through these first few days.

      Its a lot of experimentation with foods, finding out what does and doesnt suit you. Ive already said that I now eat no dairy or animal proteins/fats.

      Ive never been so well.

      It might be worth noting also when looking at what youre consuming, some research points to Fluoride added in tap water combines with calcium to a form that the body cant absorb.

      Good luck, sincerely its so worth the effort, I havent even had a cold in 3 years since sorting myself out! smile

    • Madness Madness sharon07754

      Hi Sharon07754

      Yes, there are many nutrients that are not absorbed with the absence of acid...nutrients that are vital to good health, not only bones but also the whole body!

      Magnesium is essential for muscles... athletes use a lot of magnesium, any extra exertion uses up more, as does stress in your life (some great books out there written by Drs purely about Magnesium..well worth investing in, youll be surprised what insufficiency does to your body)

      I think everyone should report their experiences to their GP definitely.. if you dont tell him, he cant be informed, he will get all his information from Pharmacueticals who produce these drugs and feedback is essential.

      In the end though, you must do your own research on the net, read books and educate yourself sincerely... no one has as much interest in your health as you!

      There are many products on the market as supplements and theyre necessary if you have Osteoporosis or Osteopenia. Try getting a Calcium/Magnesium bone mix with Boron,vitamin D and Vitamin K and other trace elements.

      Try drinking water free from Fluoride also...

      A good diet with nuts, leafy green veggies and fruit also.. Best of luck with getting yourself off this drug, be strong and determined, it does take a while sad

    • emma2467 emma2467 Madness

      Hello . Thanks so much for the reply and useful recommendations. I have had no omeprazole for almost two weeks. It is tough and I have had one day where I did not take gaviscon. I have eliminated dairy and a lot of fats and drinking lemon and water. I have two friends my age who take Omeprazole and also I discovered both my neighbours take it too. It seems quite a lot of people are prescribed it. From November to December last year I had a very painful wrist and thumb and this was whilst I was taking two lots of 20mg omeprazole. When I suggested to the doctor that ' could it be a side effect of the omeprazole?' he didn't seem to think so but I was not convinced.

      I Just wanted to ask how it was before you felt no burning?It is a nasty thing. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Madness Madness emma2467

      Hi Emma, I feel your pain..literally!

      It was a few weeks if Im totally honest with you, the soreness from the acid when it flowed back was then difficult, it felt as if I had a lump in my throat for a while, it was only at this point that I discovered that a major part of my problem was dairy.. I discovered a blog from a Swedish man, I was mirroring his experience and he had been to numerous specialists when he eventually found out what his issue was (not forgetting the Hiatus hernia, which I had from birth) 

      Im sure its different for every person but I do believe that nutrition is half our problem as humans, since this time I have studyied nutrition in depth.

      I find that many doctors dismiss the facts out of hand, indoctrinated by the big Pharmas who feed the industry but the tide is changing, there are many lawsuits going on around the world against this drug and winning. I have many colleagues who think I have lost the plot smile

      Its your duty to yourself to keep on top of research and developments, just as it is to make the decision to swallow the pill in the first place.

      You must be patient with yourself, the acid will come back at times, but when you examine what you have eaten/consumed, you will find your way through and know what aggravates your stomach. I find that I cant drink wine now, I thought it was a problem and it definitely is.. for me its like drinking acid! sad

      Im about 3 years on from being off this medication and although it might seem like a long time, it was well worth it..never been so healthy and rarely get any acid issues ..

    • lettie44 lettie44 emma2467

      Hi Emma, I'm in the same situation. I was diagnosed with acute iron deficiency anaemia  in March last year. My doctor had me jumping through hoops with internalcamera examinations and then decided they would check my bone marrow levels. Imagine my shock when I discovered the link between Omeprazole and iron absorption. Why didn't my doctor know this , I wonder, instead of frightening the life out of me with fears of bowel cancer. I'm going to have a word with my pharmacist about a alternative to Omeprazole as I really have no faith in my doctor! 

    • emma2467 emma2467 lettie44

      Hi Lettie, yes it is a shock to find out that Omeprazole inhibits absorption of of iron as well as other minerals. I have struggled with iron deficiency for eight years and I have been taking omeprazole for eight years but no GP has told me to stop taking the  omeprazole even when I have struggled to tolerate iron tablets and not been able to take them. I was wondering why the ferritin levels never went up after each blood test.

      I have had no omeprazole for three weeks and will go for a blood test in a few weeks. Another side effect of taking the omeprazole I think was aching in back and wrist, dry skin, difficulty sleeping, more anxiety than usual. Will keep posting here. Good luck with the iron. Are you taking iron tablets?

    • deborah13074 deborah13074 Madness

      This is all great advice and similar to the kind of diet I've been following myself with good results.  I've had all the PPI's with side effects and after researching them discovered how bad they are long term.  Plus they seem to soak up the natural acid in your stomach which causes further discomfort.  Its not easy sticking to a totally healthy diet especially if you like to eat out and I've now lost too much weight which is causing me further concern.  I've found that a bitter herb called centaurium works really well to stop the reflux - taken 5 minutes before eating, as does aloe vera, probiotics, magnesium and omega 3.  Although omega 3 can also cause flare ups in some people.  There's lots of info on the web around trigger foods - just a case of finding your own, I find chocolate, coffee, sparkling wine (in fact anything fizzy) and fried foods are the worst offenders

    • val224 val224 emma2467

      Hi. I'm new to this site, but your symptoms really struck a chord with me! Have you ever been tested for COELIAC disease? I was only diagnosed at 54yrs of age, after my daughter was diagnosed. The iron def. is a classic symptom, and my mother was diagnosed at 79 after I made a fuss. It was too late for her. It is a simple blood test and is more common than is realised. If you have it, persuade your family to get tested too as it runs in families. Good luck!


    • emma2467 emma2467 Madness

      I just wanted to say I am hugely grateful for the post here that you wrote. It helped me so much and gave me inspiration where there was no hop. I do not take omeprazole any longer. I control the acid reflux by diet. I should never have accepted the omeprazole. I was on it for eight years. Coming off it was a nightmare absolutely but I cut out all the things recommended. I have lactose free milk and cheese now and that does seem to help. No alcohol. Many thanks. Good luck to anyone else who wants to stop it too.

    • Benson-1 Benson-1 Madness

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    • samantha70486 samantha70486 Madness

      I was interested in your post. I've only been on omeprazole for 1.5 yrs. I was diagnosed with a grade be hiatus hernia via a scope. At first everything was fine, but then I started to get side effects. I didn't realize they were that until I did some research and actually reach the PIB.  After speaking with my physician it turns out I do suffer from clostridium difficile , tremors and difficulty breathing. These are listed in the PIB, but we know the mind can suggest things which is why I spoke to a professional first.

      Because of my reactions, my physician is asking I take myself off the med. He does not want me back on a PPI. He suggested I see a nutritionist.  I decided to look at homeopathic remedies.  I am weaning myself off of the medication and going back to a very old remedy, which has worked well so far: charcoal dissolved in water (a good amount of water). It used to be available as a powder available in most chemists, but I have now found it in pill form. I still recommend the dissolving in water. I can't "stomach" the apple cider remedy.

      Any other suggestions/thoughts are very welcome and appreciated. 

    • Madness Madness samantha70486

      Hi Samantha, it's very difficult to manage in many ways!

      years on I find that food dictates much of how I feel.. however over time I've spent so many hours researching and reading about nutrition.

      my thoughts have changed recently due to the fact that I think evidence stacks up against calcium supplements and of course all the remedies for acid control contain calcium. 

      I know thatcider apple vinegar sounds horrible but if you make up maybe a tablespoon of the vinegar in two tablespoons of warm water (maybe add a splash of maple syrup to quash the taste (I realise this is sugar but the remedy still works) and take a good sip of this before you eat anything. This works for me, most of the time, not all unfortunately.

      im not a fan of drinking bicarbonate of soda because I believe that the real issue for most people ironically is low stomach acid.

      Getting your diet on track has to be the answer, you'll get to know what you can or can't eat.

      i just cannot eat cake with margarine in it... it's too painful after the event, processed foods with additives also cause pain. Maybe we are the lucky ones in that our bodies are rejecting things that are bad for us? 

      Those who can eat everything although free from pain, are possibly doing untold damage to themselves ... I like to look on the bright side!

  • rjdriver rjdriver

    I only took Omeprazole for one day. Had headaches and constricted throat, so stopped. Have read extensively about the long term side effects, and they are not good. While it brings blessed relief to those with constant heartburn, there should be a mandatory warning about the use of these PPI drugs.

    As someone else mentioned above, PPIs greatly reduce the production of stomach acid. The result is often insufficient absorption and metabolization of vitamins and minerals, particularly, calcium, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin D. Since most people don't get enough of these nutrients in their diet to begin with, it's not surprising that osteoporosis is the most well known side effect. It's already started, and the more severe lack cause by PPI use only accelerates the process, even in young people.

    But what are the other effects? Many of them are unknown as these drugs have not been around that long. But here's my speculation. Take it for what it's worth. If improper absorption of vitamins and minerals is the result, it can only get worse. It's interesting that many people in this forum who report long term PPI use, have also had gall bladder problems. I read the same thing in forum after forum. My neighbor's wife has been on PPIs for 5 years, and just informed me last week she need to have her gall bladder removed. While I have no medical explanation, I doubt this connection to gall bladder problems is a coincidence. And life only gets more complicated without a gall bladder. Neither PPIs or antacids can stop or neutralize bile acids.

    Since it's the actual presence of stomach acid breaking down the food in the stomach that causes the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus to close, isn't the use of acid suppressing drugs likely to keep it open longer and more often, allowing the little bit of acid that IS there, to get up too far? Is that why many people on PPIs while mostly free of acid indigestion still report occasional acid reflex into the throat? For those who have had their gall bladder removed and get that reflux, perhaps it's not stomach acid at all, but bile acid instead. Either bile or stomach acid will cause damage to the esophagus, and after repeated exposure, the esophagus will attempt to alter the cells in the damaged area to mimic stomach lining cells, which are a protective against such acids. This mutation of cells results in what's known as Barrett's Esophagus, and it can lead to cancer of the esophagus in a small percentage of those diagnosed with Barrett's..

    Even though esophageal cancer is still fairly rare, it's incidence has increased over the last 20. Is it just a coincidence that PPIs were introduced about 25 years ago? There ARE NO SYMPTOMS of cancer in the esophagus. A 60 year old lady where I work complained of headaches. After aspirin and prescription Motrin use did no good, an MRI revealed brain cancer. And it had already spread to the lymph nodes, spleen, and bones. She had part of her brain removed, and is on chemo, but the outlook is not promising. After several months of testing they finally determined where the cancer had started, in her esophagus. They estimate it had been growing for over a year. NO SYMPTOMS until the headaches, at which point it was beyond cure.

    Those of us with severe reflux or heartburn issues are the lucky ones in terms of catching this early. We get endoscopies, which is the only way to spot cancer in the esophagus in time. Let me restate that many of my conclusions above are speculative, because we just don't know. Please consult your doctor before stopping any medications, especially PPIs. They need to be weaned off of gradually to prevent a raging return of acid.

  • rodger1 rodger1

    Hi All, further to my earlier post re the wonders of Omeprazole and lack of side effects i can say that after reading other people's posts, i now realize I was/am suffering from side effects. A few years ago i started getting a lot of cramps and also problems with tendons, neck and back pains etc. I started taking calcium and then also magnesium supplements. This has helped the cramping and the tendon, joint problems. So I see the mention of side effects such as early onset of osteo etc probably have merit. i am still taking the Omeprazole - I have to, nothing else helps the hiatus hernia. The magnesium and calcium are probably necessary aspects of the therapy.

  • Madness Madness

    Omeprazole should only be used for periods of time and then rest, it should not be used continuously.

    When you stop taking this drug, you will experience a flood of acid, this is when people relent and take the Omeprazole again.

    Please dont ignore when people post regarding the side effects of this drug, they are real and they will destroy your bone structure, your immunity and will stop you being alerted to your stomach contents doing damage to your Oesophagus.

    The Medical field is beginning to recognise the issues:

    January 31, 2012: New research published in the British Medical Journal has found that women who take Prilosec or other Proton Pump Inhibitor medications regularly for at least two years have a 35% higher risk of suffering a hip fracture. Women who are post-menopausal and smoke had the greatest risk of a hip fracture.

  • Dee Bee Dee Bee

    In April this year I underwent the Keyhole Nissen Fundoplication operation, which sadly went wrong. The surgeon unfortunately cut through two arteries, which meant they had to open me up, top to bottom. sad

    Afterwards, I experienced considerable Bloating pains, which I had been warned about. I stopped taking 30mg Lansoprazole and suffered worst acid reflux than before! Following my own research and advice from two other consultants, I was told that I was suffering from Rebound Reflux, due to suddenly stopping medication. I stopped taking medication in September after more slowly phasing out the PPI's over 3 months.

    In hindsight I would not put myself through a similar operation, but adapt to a more stricter diet and lifestyle! I feel I am no more better off now albeit with milder symptoms, but thankfully no longer taking any worrying medication.

  • felicity c felicity c

    I have been taking omeprazole -( essentially this is bicarbonate of soda )- for 2 years as an ant- acid because I'm on naprosyn an anti inflamitory drug for my Anklyosing Spondilitus and lately had been experiencing really bad indigestion and stomach pains. I didnt know why until I heard a discussion on radio 4 about omeprazole and this made me stop taking it as it turns out not only can it cause the symtoms it is supposed to prevent but is also a cause of bone damage - oesteoporisis and arthritus.WHY ARE WE NOT WARNED OF THIS WHEN OUR GPS GAILY DISH OUT THIS DRUG ! Everyone - stop taking it now. Since I stopped I have felt better and have no stomach problems - I drink lots of water and make sure I eat when I take the naprosyn - simple but effective.

  • rodger1 rodger1

    Hi Felicity... I hear you!! I had been taking it for about 10 years?? I started to get all sorts of bone and joint problems, cramps etc. I had to take Omep every day or I got bad reflux. Someone on this site suggested that I change to Gaviscon which I did. The first couple of days I got acide but then things settled down. Now, I do not have to take Gaviscon every day, maybe every other day and I am not getting the reflux or pain (I had hiatus

    hernia). My back pains, joint aches and cramps have also improved drastically. I think I was well on the way to getting premature ostheoporosis. So, Thanks to the guy who wrote to me... Madness was his name, but not his demeanour..... Yeah, GP's - mine just told me to take Omep on demand and dont worry.... problem was my body demanded it every day and like you, I think the Omep got to a stage where it was producing the symptoms itself.

    Can you try gaviscon? I believe there are no side effects

    • felicity c felicity c rodger1

      Hi rodger1 - since my last post I've cut my Naproxyn down - I only take one 500mg tablet in the mornings - this just about relieves most pain and inflammation ( its always there even with the double dose prescribed ).

      I dont take any antacids but I do drink lots of warm lemon water ( squeeze a good amount of fresh lemon juice into warm water) every morming and evening. Lemons are acidic outside the body but alkaline when digested and this seems to work - its also supposed to have a lot of health benefits apart from the obvious vit C, calcium and potassium content.It aids the digestive system so helps the process of elimimnating waste products from the body preventing diarrhea and constipation.It helps maintain the immune system and acts as a blood purifier, reduces pain and inflammation in joints, preventts the growth of pathogenic bacteria that cause infection , strengthens the liver and lots more.

      I know this sounds like a miracle food but so far its working for me and as an added side effect my skin looks great!

    • rodger1 rodger1 felicity c

      All Omeprazole Takers....

      Hi all, well I have weened myself off Omeprazole completely now, and it took a liitle while. first I replaced it with gaviscon, but every now and then i would still have to take one Omep coz the burning got too strong. I had been taking it daily for over 10 years, so reducing it to tghe odd tablet every week or so seemed pretty good. I noticed my bone, tendon, muscle health improved drastically. I have now also stopped smoking - that made the biggest difference. I did smoke copious amounts of weed, but now use a vaporizer. It seems now that I do not even need the gaviscon very often at all, if ever. I will try the lemon juice in warm water - I did drink it often already with cold water but will try your suggestion. 

      Omeprazole certainly did help me with the hiatus hernia and IBS - but as someone (Madness?) mentioned, it seems to mask symptoms. I can testify to Omep blocking clacium and magnesium absorption - I have les cramps than ever now.

  • jme9928 jme9928

    I am a 66 yr old male having been on 20 mg OMPRE for appx 25 years - A WONDER DRUG. nothing else works. After the recent negative publicity on OMPRE my doc suggested a bone density scan and thus I have osteoporosis in a couple of areas incl hip. I am in great shape, active, 165 lbs and eat well; lots of fruits and veggies. Thus the osterop. is a SHOCK to me. I tried the other OTC drugs (Zantac) to no avail. Had the endo and my esoph is fine. No H hernia, no Barrets, etc.

    My doc says... stay on the OMPRE for quality of life and begin taking 1600mg calcium and a magnesium each day... then in one year we will do the bone scan again and measure the progression of the osteoporosis.

    MY QUESTIONS ARE: Can I reverse the osterop 2.7? with calcium and magnesium & B12? with some weight bearing exercises ? What can I expect in the future? What else can I do? Will the calcium and some exercise really help reverse this? thank all.

  • Madness Madness

    Jme9928, firstly, I can totally understand you wanting to continue with a drug that makes lifes quality better. But, its very ,much like a sticking plaster which has 'God knows what' going on underneath it!

    Youre obviously very aware of the issues and side effects and suffering them now... it does beg the question..why would you want to keep putting this into your body (Im not intending to be rude asking that)

    Hydrochloric acid is produced to do a job, proton pump inhibitors stop production and this does cause problems. I would advise you to do as much research on everything, the drug, how the body utilises the acid and why you actually need it, then if you wish to continue taking the drug, its your body and your life.. but, Oteoporosis at its worse is devastating and if you are unable to stop or reverse this, you will be very miserable. 66 is very young smile

    Hydrochloric acid has many other uses also and you need to be aware of all this when making decisions (if you research, you will find that there are Lawyers in US who deal with claims now purely down to this drug effects..that has to sound alarm bells!)

    Its great that you find that you have no obvious physical problems causing the increased acid, so I ask; have you tried diet? So many people have intollerences of different food stuffs, they can come from additives, food production methods and even pesticides sprayed onto is killing himself!

    When taking yourself off the Omeprazole, you will undoubtedly experience horrendous amounts of acid being produced, its not for the feint hearted I assure you. When the Proton pumps start working again, they go heywire and have a party, it takes a good two weeks in my personal experience to have them start settling down. It is worth it if you can stand it, but along with this you do need to find out what your issue is.

    If you had a huge crack down the front of your house, would you paper over it, have it look great, everyone think it wonderful but underneath its crumbling?

    Youre young, healthy and obviously intelligent enough.. raise the head end of your bed a good 9 inches higher than the foot, find out what your food problems might be, get a good plant based calcium (forget the rock could drain it of the kettle and eat that! It clogs the arteries and kidneys)

    Eat a healthy diet, nuts, fruit, green veg and a Calcium complex tablet (plant based) with magnesium, vit D, vit K, Boron.etc

    There are many such complexes available, as oppose to what is available on NHS.

    Look at the ingredients in what you eat and drink, the artificial sweeteners produced to 'make us healthy' are doing quite the reverse, they destroy the body from within and we develop many side effects and illnesses in response to them. The chemicals make us very acidic and when our blood is acidic, it leaches calcium from our bones ..

    Try cutting down on meat, esp red meat or even cutting it out altogether. Google a 98yr cardiac surgeon in USA, he is incredible, he still operates and speaks at length on health and making your one and only life on this planet a happier one!

    • guest007 guest007 Madness

      Get off this drug as fast as you can. It was never intended and is not endorsed for long term use (over 2 weeks). Your best cure is to change what you eat.  Get rid of the foods that make you sick and you will be well wtihout losing your bones. No sugar, wheat, dailry or bad fats to start, and take a probiotic like it was your lifeline. Go for lean protein and vegetable diet and you will be amazed.  The bottom line: we ARE what we eat, illness included. Doctors will prescribe this drug as if it was water, even when I reported feeling worse--they upped the dose!  Also, you might find that beef that is not grass fed makes you sick--that's the corn talking (and other junk they put in cattle food). I discovered this in Argentina where livestock is grass fed (and grain foods are not all wheat)--my decades long symptoms vanished. Good food is your cure.

    • Madness Madness guest007

      Thanks Guest007, I think you have misunderstood. I havent been taking this revolting drug for over two years and you have repeated some of what I have already written.

      The answer is always to 'up' the dose which is appalling.

      I dont eat meat, I dont drink dairy either now, what animals are fed is shocking, it stays in the meat right into the mouth of the eater! Dairy cows are filled with antibiotics... yukkk...

      Good food is the cure sadly not for a hiatus hernia, but managing it has to be the answer.

    • lovelyleena lovelyleena Madness

      Hi Madness,

      ​Hope you are doing great!

      ​Im a 30 year old women and have been on Omeprazole from past 2 years. Havent seen any worst symptom but can see pain in my bones and feel weak.

      ​I want to give up these tablets but if i leave them my heartburn comes back,

      ​Should i completely give up cofeee and tea? Also milk, yougurt?

      Please reply, please help me.

      God bless you!

    • samantha70486 samantha70486 lovelyleena


      I've been working with a nutritionist to get me off omeprazole and reduce my pain. I never had the typical heartburn, but had/have horrible nausea and a searing pain across my lower abdomen (hiatus hernia).  As you've read from above diet s crucial. If can, eliminate all caffein, eliminate any carbonated beverage, any non natural sugars and limit the natural ones. Keep any fatty foods to a minimum, no fried not even sauté. No chocolate, no alcohol.  

      It sounds restrictive and it is. I'm still coping with it and have "bad days" where I lapse. But it's better than the alternative.

      I hope you feel well and get better.


    • Madness Madness lovelyleena

      Sorry, just reading this now. I don't drink coffee but I do drink tea.. I find that's ok but I have given up dairy completely and do find this has a marked improvement and actually other health benefits too. 

      There is no miracle cure to this and sometimes something will spark off terrible heartburn pain. 

      I have a hiatus hernia from birth and hence I just deal with it, cider apple vinegar in warm water is great if taken in a small amount before eating... this to me denotes that like most people, I have low stomach acid.

      its worth doing your own research to see whether this is your issue too. Basically without the acid in your stomach, you will not be digesting properly, bacteria will thrive and give off gases pushing up the acid into your oesophagus and causing pain.

      do you belch after eating? If so, you'll find the cider apple vinegar will help.. but maybe just a sip before eating (especially eating carbs)

      Try eating organic and unprocessed foods, this will help smile

      i know they're more expensive but better less good stuff rather than lots of rubbish


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