On Stopping Nexium / Esomeprazole

Posted , 14 users are following.

This is long ... I thought I'd best be fulsome ... but you might just want to skip down to the section marked QUESTIONS if you prefer ... and refer above if you wish later. No matter which and in ALL, THANKS.

This is my first time posting on this board which I am delighted to find. Warning: You will probably laugh at my particular tale of cautionary woe, but that in and of itself may not be a bad thing. Often I’m told it can be a restorative.


I have a circuitous route towards to attaining a PPI. It will, I’m certain, seem strange to you. Certainly it was to me. In ANY event: On 14 February I awoke with a strange sensation of pressure in the back left quadrant in my head. The only thing I could think that might have immediately caused it was that for the first time in my life – and I am 58 years old – I’d experienced a sensation of so called ‘heartburn’ the day before while eating a luncheon of brown rice, pot barely and tomatoes. A few days later (with the head sensation continuing) I called my GP surgery and a doctor said it was a tension headache and prescribed Amitriptyline 10 mg. I took one tablet of that before going to bed as advised and awoke feeling like a zombie with the sensation of pressure remaining in place. ‘No’, I thought. Knowing from a cervical spine MRI a year and a half before that I had some severe foraminal stenosis I had a friend recommend me for a second MRI privately. Perhaps it had got distressed. I got the results of that returned and they were – with relief – very similar to the previous findings. Little if any change. Still the sensation of pressure continued. I was in Milan for business and my left ear suddenly took forever to come back down to earth from the flight. When I was at my dentist’s she said that I might have an inner ear infection and gave me a round of 500 mg Amoxcillin. Still the pressure continued. At a later appointment with my dentist (which had been previously scheduled) she noticed an incipient wisdom tooth growing through on the left side of my upper gum. ‘That’s IT’, I thought. A few days later I had it out – no swelling, no pain but, sadly, the head pressure remained in stubborn place. The oral surgeon gave me another round of Amoxcillin 500 mg as well as Metronidzole 200 mg. These all in the scope of less than a month. About a week later I awoke with the sensation of phlegm in my mouth. I went to the bathroom and spat it out. It was rife with yellowed gunk but there was also a streak of blood. Proverbially freaking I dashed to my local walk-in centre. The nurse was most kind and checked me over. ‘I was fine’ she said apart from what she believed to be a rather low heart rate (in the late 50’s). Some days later the morning congestion happily cleared – but the head sensation remained. It was now over two months of disturbance. Patience, I find, can sometimes be a rather trying virtue. What could I do? With my options seeming somewhat limited I called a friend from University (low those many decades ago) who now is head of an internal medicine training unit at Harvard University. Kindly he returned my call. He said that – as it might have started with a gastric turn – which, he said, could perhaps explain the sensation of non-moving head pressure – that I should get an appointment for a clinical examination with my GP he said. He said that if that was warranted then ’40 mg of Nexim for two week might well do the trick’. I called the surgery the next day and a doctor called back. I didn’t win an appointment out of his lottery but he was willing to prescribe the Nexium. (‘Ah,’ I hear you say, ‘Now we got there’.) I filled the prescription – but only ever took half the dosage. (I’d really never had a problem with my stomach.) I took it for four days. My stomach felt like it was doing a summersault. That after just four tablets!! The head pressure remains.


Suddenly on stopping the Nexium / Esomeprazole I found I did NOW have gas. While I don’t belch – it’s more a lady like affair as my mother would once have said – I do feel swallowed air coming back on me. I have read this is the resulting sudden acid reflux and that it is natural for my body to experience such after having been medically surpressed from its otherwise natural course. Strange thing is that I’d never had ANY previous stomach complaints. I thought I would tough it out. It’s a week now. I’ve started taking apple cider vinegar tables, stomach enzymes, DGL liquorice, Sea kelp, yogurt and probiotics to help support my stomach back to its natural good health.

This past Sunday – Easter Sunday as it was – I suddenly felt a tight and – fleetingly painful – pressure in my chest. Was I preparing for a heart attack? I let it go … but then my mind went into overdrive. I took myself to a local hospital. I have to say they were MOST kind; a truly wonderful service. They gave me blood tests, an ECG and a chest x-ray. My heart, it turned out, was pristine. The lovely lady doctor gave me yet another round of Amoxcillin because she said there was some ‘fullness’ in the chest x-ray and that one of the blood levels – (I’m assuming CRP) – was ‘slightly elevated’. I’m not surprised given the overdose of antibiotics my system’s ingested and, most specifically, the dreaded Nexium effect. She said she thought I would be fine and sent me away, telling me that I should have a follow-up x-ray in a month or so ‘just to be sure’ I was all clear.


I have two questions I would like to ask: I wonder if there is someone out there for anyone who has actually STOPPED Nexium/ Esomeprazole. (i) Did you experience anything similar to what I describe in the previous paragraph? MOST potently in this regard I wondered how long it took for you to return to a fairly normal state? I have searched the internet but haven’t found a time frame for recovery for my limited ingestion – or indeed any other scale – yet. (ii) I am fearing I may have incited my risk for oesophagus cancer. I find myself ‘test swallowing’ as I walk along the street. How do you KNOW if you are having trouble swallowing if you are not bringing food back up or experiencing actual pain. I can swallow big tablets with water but even still part of my mind thinks I may have forgotten what normal – an oh, so recent condition for me – may really felt like. Are there any definitive markers in that particular sensation of difficutly?


(I should perhaps add that the lovely doctor in the hospital did say that the head sensation was most likely to be as a result of the foraminal stenosis – as I originally thought – and I have now been elevated to see a physiotherapist. THAT … after ALL THIS. She said it was very common and that her own father had just such a complaint and physiotherapy worked for him. Well, still in ALL, I’m grateful to have finally got there.)


I am SO appreciative for your time and kind consideration. Bless you for ALL.

2 likes, 16 replies

16 Replies

  • Posted

    Having been on Nexium for over 10 years(!!).  I read an article saying it was linked to Alzheimer's.  so asked dr if i could quit.  he said, "I don't see any problem doing that".  so I quit.  since then my life has been hell on earth.  Never ever did I think I'd have such awful acid reflux, debilitating.  Feelings like I'm having a heart attack, headaches, itching, twitching.  I've put up with this for a month now, loosing 8 lbs in the process and I can't take it any longer.  I give up.  Took a Nexium this AM and you know what, I'm still having the acid reflux.  Anyone else?
  • Posted

    Hello!  I took esomep for many years. What it did was prevent my body from absorbing iron, making me anemic. It is getting better, now that I stopped it, but I want to tell you how you can find this out for any drug - go to "prescribing information for..." and when you reach that, find "Pharmacology" - there it will tell you how long until you excrete that drug. Some drugs are longer than others, but rest assured, the regulatory authorities pay close attention to that. I doubt seriously if esomep has had any bearing at all on your symptoms, and I am inclined to agree with the nurse who said it is from the problem in your neck. I have taken the liberty of looking up the pharmacology of esomep and found this "Excretion - The plasma elimination half-life of esomeprazole is approximately 1-1.5 hours. Less than 1% of parent drug is excreted in the urine. Approximately 80% of an oral dose of esomeprazole is excreted as inactive metabolites in the urine, and the remainder is found as inactivemetabolites in the feces."

    So rest assured, the esomep is out of your system. Hope this helps. 

    • Posted

      thank you for taking the time to write.  But my withdrawal, and that is what it was, was nothing short of hell.  and no, it was not caused by my neck being out.  I have now started back on Nexium and I guess will continue with it until I die.  After one month, I could not stand it any longer.  Reactions to any drug differ, but I do know what happened with me.  Thanks anyway.
    • Posted

      I have been trying to wean myself off of nexium for a few weeks now. I have taken PPIs for about 4 years for acid reflux, a hietal hernia, and gastritis.  It was causing me so many digestive issues that I DIDN'T previous have,and then the dementia/kidney damage information came out. This is what prompted me to stop. Doctors do not know much about stopping this medicine! I've done a ton of research, and there is no clear answer, and most people have not received help from their doctors. Mine told me to take my 40 mg every other day rather than reducing me to 20mg. I started with that, and I had such a burning stomach! My boyfriend has now split my pills with capsules he bought to be approximately 20 mg. I took them every day, and now I've started every other day. DGL pills help, and so do apples(for digestion).  I threw up and felt like I had a virus Friday, but I am now thinking it's the withdrawl. DOn't give up...it will be rough for a bit, but I think it's going to be worth it!
  • Posted

    Krissy:  Thanks for your comments.  Sounds like you know exactly what i was going thru.  Well I stood it for almost 5 weeks.  Just could not do it any more.  Went back on Nexium, took a week but I'm finally back to normal again.  Can eat, have an appetite, and am finally beginning to feel my old self.  Hate to think Alzheimer's, but you know, that's not a given.  I do not believe that it only takes 24 hours to leave your body.  From my experience, it did not.  boy if you can stand it, good luck to you.
    • Posted

      I'm now down to 20 mg every other day, and this week...I've gone three days inbetween.   I've bought some papaya enzyme, which I will start tomorrow.  Slippery Elm and probiotics seem to be helping a bit. I am suffering from acid still, but it seems better than the alternatives.
  • Posted

    I commend everyone for trying. It's a shame our Dr's don't really know either. Even nexium themselves doesn't know. I gave up nexium 40 a couple of years ago and reduced down to 20 Mg. I would still have issues before the 24 hours was up and with all the repercussions in taking it I stopped completely 2 months ago after about 5-6 years of taking it. I bought digestive enzymes, papaya and licorice. I definitively helped but the acid rebound occurred and horrible stomach pain. The pain would start in the middle of the night and last 3 hours. I tried alka seltzer to relieve it and it worked. I eat yogurt and try to stay away from acid causing foods. I currently take a Pepcid in the morning which is suppose to be better and use the papaya & tums. Am I better? Not yet but still trying day by day. I lost 15 lbs since I eliminated nexium

  • Posted

    Yes, I had this issue...I've been on nexium for about 18 months due to a stomach and bad reflux. I was taking 40mg daily and it helped keep my reflux under control but I felt uncomfortable with taking long term meds and tried to get off of it two or three times before and I got really bad rebound reflux that was worse than ever. Apparently because of the mechanism of action of PPIs, when you stop them abruptly, you get rebound because you've been suppressing your acid producing cells of your stomach lining for so long. Like they don't like being suppressed and basically try to ramp up production in order to overcome the blocking activity of the PPI so when you remove the PPI, all the acid just floods out. I had to taper myself off slowly but went through a lot of trial and error. I couldn't find a prescribed method to taper - like my doctor had no idea really how to instruct me on tapering so I basically started really slow. Like a few days a week, I would take 20 mg instead of 40mg and then when I felt ok, I would taper it back a little more. Eventually I got to 20mg daily and then eventually took like 20mg every other day, then every couple days. I've since been off completely for about 2-3 months. I still get reflux 1-2 times a week, but it's very mild to where I don't even feel like I need to take tums for it.

    • Posted

      Hi alex, thanks for sharing. I have been taking omaprezole & esomaprazole for around 5 years. After recent health warnings I've been trying to come off it. I set up a tapering schedule where I was doing 40mg of Nexium ED then after two weeks reducing to 20mg ED, then after two weeks 10mg ED, then after two week a 5mg for two weeks and then stopped. During this I was taking pro bitoics, DGCL, and persimmons tea. I'm a week now into being off esomparazole successfully and the acid reflux is very mild, however I'm getting cramps, bloating and gas around 3pm ED and 3am ED. Did you experience this? If yes when did it subside?

  • Posted

    Hi guys,

    Here is how to do it, I have a child which was put on this bloody medicine and been over 1 year on it. After loads of research I'm sure now how to do it. I'm not going to write about what's happened when idiot doctor told us twice to just stop taking it...

    The acid rebound happens because the medicine is stopping body to produce acid then body recognises it and produces hormon gastrin whose job is to signal more production of acid which never happens, so the gastric is raising and raising till the sky! When you stop taking medicine you still have gastrin elevated and then signals to produce acid- and produces a lot of it. That why everyone has this bad symptoms.

    Now to avoid it or at least reduce symptoms of withdrawal you have to reduce dose very carefully, and that's depends on how long you taking it. Weekly alterations are to be done and the slower the better. Even every 2mg or 5mg but reducing half is much to much! And continue till you taking very little bit every other day. It can take 3 months to get back to normal hormonal level..

    • Posted

      I meant not to take it every other day only weekly reductions till very little and then off
    • Posted

      I quit cold turkey and paid for it something fierce, at least initially. I've been off the crap for over a year, until recently when I started having issues again. I will explained what helped but am again trying to figure out why it's returned. Changed my diet, stopped drinking milk, stopped eating most gmo foods, no pop and low sugar foods, stick with whole foods. Took ginger capsules 2 to 3 times daily along with tumeric which I would let dissolve in mouth to coat throat. Not sure what changed but a year later things took a turn for the worst. I'm now looking into food allergie. Hope this helps others.

  • Posted

    Found all your comments very interesting. Im curious to know if anyone had any other side effects while coming off nexium...other that reflux/heartburn? Did anyone get headaches or foggy head? My husband is coming off it currently, weve got some stuff from a naturapath, probiotucs ect but there is limited info on net re. withdrawel symptoms from nexium. Hes had MRI & been to optometrist, blood tests, heart chkd & all clear. So just curious. Thank you.

    • Posted

      As I said above, I was fine for about a year then everything came back. So I started taking apple cider vinegar tablets, melatonin, glutamine powder and digestive enzymes. This worked pretty well, I get a little reflux now, once in a while but mostly attributed to eating something I shouldn't have. Also, eat lots of Apple's when stopping nexium. Hope this helps!

  • Posted

    I had been taking Nexium/Esomeprazole for 6 months to help relieve what I thought were stomach ulcers. I had an endoscopy last week for which I was told to stop my PPIs for 3 weeks. I couldn’t believe how much better my symptoms were when I stopped (burning abdomen), but the sudden onset of reflux was an unexpected surprise.

    Thankfully it’s started to settle down now. I’ve been diagnosed with a hiatus hernia by the way.

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