Prilosec caused severe anxiety which led to major depression.

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I was prescribed prilosec approximately 3 years ago for the symptoms of mild gastritis. Since then, I've noticed a gradual deterioration in my health. The symptoms I've been having include, but are not limited to severe anxietyand irritability, major depression, feeling of fear and dread, visual/eye focus issues, extreme sensitivity to light, and a complete inability to relax, similar to ptsd symptoms. I've searched the Internet and have gone through rigorous testing to figure out what could have brought all of this on as I have always had slight anxiety, but nothing compared to what I've gone through over the past 3 years. I could go on and on, but to make a long story short, I did a thorough check of all medications that I was taking and narrowed it down to prilosec, and began researching for myself.

After after noticing that there are so many others that have the exact same side effects did I realize that prilosec had to be the culprit, especially since that seems to be the amount of time that I have been going through what has been a complete nightmare. I immediately stopped taking prilosec cold turkey and went to my gp for a full blood count and had all vitamin levels checked. The results showed that I am now deficient in vitamins d and b12. I I have been off of prilosec for three weeks and taking supplements and seem to be feeling slightly better, although not nearly 100% at this point.

Has anybody had similar adverse reactions to prilosec or ppi's and if so, how long did you take it and how long did it take for you to feel "back to normal"?

Any information on this would be greatly appreciated as I am astounded that this drug could be the cause of of my 3+ year long nightmare!

0 likes, 33 replies

33 Replies

  • Edited

    Yes, I had the same exact side effects you describe with prilosec and ppi's. I also unilaterally got off that medication and felt better pretty quickly. I didn't do the blood work you did but I do find your results pretty interesting. Complex B vitamin deficiencies (red meat, vegetables) are caught up in depression to be sure.

    What I observed is if I dropped the medication, I would feel pretty great for 24hrs. Then the next day the anxiety would come back. Then the next day it would be gone. It was weird...but it was like my body was on some kind of cycle to get it all out of my system. But it went like that for about 2wks but over time I finally started to feel like myself. Also, I've talked with others who had experiences like you describe. I think the medical profession is prescribing this stuff without discussing these very serious side effects--my doctors certainly never discussed it.

    More about my case. I had some trouble swallowing and the doctors assumed I was damaging my throat with acid reflux. Well, I ended up buying an inclined pillow and it made an immediate and dramatic difference. Whereas I used to wake up every morning congested and stopped up, after using the inclined pillow I woke up clear and well rested. I also snored far far less according to my wife. So I haven't had any issues with swallowing and feel like I've got that under control.As for diet, etc. I cut back on starches--pasta, bread and stuff like that. I still eat it but in smaller quantities.I never have stomach issues (knock on wood). I also cut out caffeine.

    Back to the side effects. Listen, the mental state that was induced by that medicine was the worst of my life. I felt completely out of control of my emotions and completely stressed out. I did gather some empathy for people struggling with mental issues though. I'm confident that getting off this medication will get you back to a healthy state. Again, my experience coming off that medication was that one day I'd feel great, the next not so great, the next great....took about 2 wks to stabilize til I felt great all the time. You will get there.

    Now it would be very interesting if it turned out that prilosec or ppi side effects can be mitigaged with supplements. But that would require doctors and researchers to do their jobs rather than you and me... anyway, good luck to you! Trust me, you will get there!

    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. So glad to feel that you made a full recovery. That certainly makes me feel much better about things! I'm interested to know though how long you were on ppi's, as most reviews I've seen where people had these types of horrific side effects stopped the medication early on. Unfortunately, I did not. I kind of snuck up on me and took me way longer than expected to narrow it down to using prilosec. Three years worth of damage has me on edge, to say the least. I literraly thought I was losing my mind. This is my fourth week being off of it and I still have most of the symptoms, but to a slightly lesser degree.

      I'm eating well, supplementing, weightlifting, and staying busy, but it seems like an extremely slow healing process. But I pray I recover like you did, and hearing what you had to say is a major mental boost!

      You're also correct about the doctors. Doctor after doctor has brushed this off as anxiety/depreession issues, totally oblivious to the fact that many people are having horrific side effects as a result of ppi's. Had I not done my own research, this would have never been caught. The gastro doctor just prescribed this to me and then forgot about me. I had to call the office to ask if I should still be on it and the nurse said: "if you feel like it's causing you these problems, then go ahead and ween off of them, as you should not need them any longer". Well, with these symptoms I didn't do any weening, just went off cold turkey and have made it to this point without any major problems.

      My muscle tension seems to be calming down very slowly each day, but like I said, this could take some time. I've also read where LOW stomach acid can be caused by stress, which I indeed had at the time when I initially had the stomach pain. So I believe it's possible that I already had low stomach acid, and prilosec compounded the problem even further. I could go on and on but I'll let it go at that for right now. One thing I know is that I will research any prescription drugs that I'm prescribed BEFORE ever taking them again, so I guess I learned one valuable lesson from this nightmare.

    • Edited

      Just noticed your message. Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, I was only on them for about 3-4 months.

      You will heal. I'm not a doctor but I want to give you some tips. Whenever we want to change something in our lives, we need to aid the process by adopting new processes, routines, activities. This literally rewires the get some insight, I recommend Tony Robbins' old book Awaken the Giant Within and in particular chapter 6 on Neuro-Associative Conditioning. The basic gist is when you want to move on from past behaviors, create new life patterns. You may be saying to yourself, what new patterns? Personally, incorporate as many as you can tolerate. If you drive to work, ride a bike. If you eat beef, try chicken. Sample new music. Read books on new topics--things you wouldn't have tried before. Change lots of these little things and you will walk out of your old life and into a new one. You dont have to achieve 100% change--you just want to get to a more comfortable place and you can do it.

    • Posted

      how long did this take to go back to feeling normal? anxiety and depression are pretty strong for me at this point and about a week off the prilosec.

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your troubles Groc69. I was only on omeprazole for 10 days and then lansoprazle for 14 days and had terrible problems and even after 1 month off them I'm still not right. I had terrible anxiety, insomnia, stomach upset and felt depressed on them. I've been off work for 7 weeks and although I am improved I still cannot eat properly and feel very down. I've started to take ranitidine and can now sleep but I feel queasy and dizzy during the day. I seem to be very sensitive to any drug.

    • Posted

      I feel your pain laura1234567. Today mark's day 30 of being off of the drug and although I am feeling somewhat better, the anxiety and depressed mood are still there. The progress is going very slowly for me but I'll take any improvements I can get for now. My eyes are still blurry and extremely sensitive to bright light as well. I continue to exercise, take supplements, try to eat properly (my appetite is coming back), and have been drinking protein shakes after meals. I even scheduled a deep tissue massage for this weekend to try to get all the built up tension out of my upper body (shoulders, back, neck). Please keep me posted on your progress as I believe we've been off the drug for roughly the same amount of time.

      Are you taking anything for the anxiety/low mood?

    • Posted

      Groc, another message from me. 😃 When I was experiencing those weird side effects, I compulsively bought a massage chair and would use it alot. Its pretty expensive but sometimes it is so so worth it. YOu can get them for well under $1K on ebay. ...which a few years ago cost $3K.

    • Posted

      Those are some great tips BBBBBman. I have made so many changes in my life from what I've gone through. I quit drinking alcohol, and strive to do everything healthy...from daily exercise to nutrition. During this extremely difficult time in my life, I made a promise to myself to put my mental, and physical health first from now on. Thank you for your tips. I have read many self help books, and will look into Tony Robbins. Another promise I made myself is not to just try different things, but more importantly to stick with the changes.

      I also have a massage chair with an option for heat that I haven't used in awhile. I used to use it all the time for muscle tension from weightlifting. Need to pull that back out as it also boosts the blood flow.

    • Posted

      I tried to take setraline and then beta blockers but found they gave me side effects also. I take diazepam if I am really struggling to sleep. Do you think the pain you experience is due to digestive issues rather than muscular ones? I get pain in my left shoulder and between shoulder blades which is at its worst after dinner. It's been just over a month since I came off ppis and I still struggle with appetite and sleep problems, nausea and low mood. I cry everyday, I can't believe what has happened to me 😦.

    • Posted

      I am so sorry hear that Laura. I think that most, if not all of my side effects are tied in somehow with my stomach. It feels like everything is sped up in there, including digestion, which sonetimes causes more anxiety after I eat. My stomach feels knotted up and tense, which can make it very hard to relax or concentrate. I take xanax daily which does seem to help some, but still cannot seem to fully relax. It feels like built up tension, and like I'm in a rush to do everything instead of getting things done in a calm manner which causes more tension. it all seems to start in my stomach.

      The past two days have been kind of rough for me with anxiety. I plan to lay off the vitamin b12 for awhile because I notice if I take them too many days in a row, they tend to make me irritable and jittery as well. I was feeling a little better each day, but it seems like the anxiety and low mood have gotten a bit worse for the last couple of days. This is very frustrating because I'm doing everything right. Quit drinking months ago., exercising every day, taking my supplements, eating properly, keeping my mind active and busy, but still have a nervous stomach, tension, low mood, and sped up (unable to relax) feeling. I'm having a hard time concentrating even on TV shows, especially after eating. So yes, digestion could be involved as well. I'll update again once I've been off the b12 for awhile as I'm hoping that could be exacerbating my anxiety lately. I felt better than this last week.

      Believe me when I say that I know what you're going through, and I will try to help in any way I can. Are you still taking the ranitidine?

    • Posted

      Thanks for your sympathy Groc, it's much appreciated. It's good to have someone to talk to who understands exactly how I feel. I can relate to not being able to concentrate. Do you meditate? There are some great apps with guided meditations which do wonders when I'm really struggling. I see a psychologist once a week also. Could you access a mental health professional? I'm on 150mg of ranitidine, it helps the back pain bizarrely so this must be where I feel heart burn. The side effects are not as bad as ppis but not something I want to be on long term. It sounds like you are doing all you can to get better. Just need to keep going, nothing else for it.

    • Posted

      Yes Laura, I have a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist that I've been going to for years now. I have been on every antidepressant there is. I've done, and still do meditation. I have the Headspace app and another app called insight timer. I even have some favorites that are available free of charge on youtube. The problem has been that nothing was working for me and it's been driving me crazy. How can you be doing every everything right and still feel like your losing your mind???

      The only thing left for me to do was to go through the medications I was taking and research them. Lo and behold, I found OMEPRAZOLE, and checked it out on the "Ask a patient Prilosec" site where I saw every single symptom that I've had from hundreds of patient comments and reviews. So I stopped it cold turkey, and went to my gp to have my vitamin levels checked. Go figure, 2 deficiencies. Started supplementing immediately...the anxiety slowly began to ease, along with alot of my other symptoms. I'm not saying that ppi's don't help alot of people, but I'm very medication sensitive, so if there are adverse reactions. I'll most likely get them. That's where I'm at right now.

      As for your situation, you haven't taken PPI'S for very long, and you say you had the same type of reaction. Now you're off of them. I'm no doctor, but I think it's reasonable to believe that things will only get better for you.

    • Posted

      Hey guys, not sure if you're still posting but I was wondering how your recoveries are going? I was on omeprazole for about 2 months, and had a panic attack on day 1. I've been off for about 85 or so days now. I went through the rebound with h2 blockers and that seems fine now. but I'm still having pretty severe anxiety issues, and a couple other side effects like light sensitivity, head tension on my right temple, and I'm unusually cold especially in the hands and feet. I'm just worried that itll never go away, and I cant find out why it's there since I have never had anxiety whatsoever beforehand.

      anywho, my thoughts on what might be happening to us. I think that the medication is very toxic to us, and as a result our bodies go ahead and enter the fight or flight mode. and then they kinda just get stuck like that. whenever I feel my symptoms pass, it's almost always right after I can feel my body "release". I've been going to acupuncture and it's actually been working really well.

      any insights would be great! especially if you've returned to normal again, as living with severe anxiety seems absolutely awful. I'm also a 29 year old male

    • Posted

      why cant you eat? i started having issues to where my heart races and hard to breath when i eat!

  • Edited

    I've been off of Omeprazole for 58 days now. I'll have a couple really good days and then all of a sudden I'll have a couple really bad days. I can't complain too much though because it's been a very long time since I've had good days like I've been having lately, which of course, makes the bad days seem even worse! My energy is coming back which is a big help with my mood, and my anxiety has lessened some, but still frequently hits hard. Another thing that's going on is that on good days, my energy and mood are up and I can exercise and keep myself busy, but when it comes to trying to sit down to watch tv or cook a meal, it's really tough because I still cannot fully relax. My thoughts are that once I can truly relax again, things should get much, much better. It feels like I'm always in a rush, even when there is nothing pressing that I need to do. Can you explain your light sensitivity in more detail? I have been extremely sensitive to light since taking this med. I've been walking alot and taking my sunglasses off to allow light to pass into my eyes, but they still bother me...although some days they do seem to be getting a little better. I tend to think that could be from tension in the eye muscles as it feels more like eye strain, even sometimes when the lights are dim. I had awful muscle tension and stiffness for over 3 years so I imagine all muscles were tense. Some of this is calming down as well.

    I'm still taking vitamins b12 and d3, going to the gym three to four days a week, taking long walks in the sunlight, eating healthy meals and alot of yogurt, drinking protein shakes like "boost" or "ensure" after meals, although I had to cut back on them due to some digestion issues and the amount of sugar in them, doing yard work and listening to music, gardening (anything I can to get out in the sunlight and nature and boost my natural happy chemicals).

    I completely relate to you when you say it feels like being stuck in fight/flight mode, but haven't been able to break out of that as of yet. Although there are some times when I can sit and relax to a point, usually in the evenings after a busy day, but the anxiety will try to sneak in.

    So, to sum it up, I'm doing everything I can to get through this horrible time in my life and some days it feels like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but still haven't found the switch to turn off the fight/flight rushed feeling. I have narrowed that down to my stomach though. If my stomach feels tight, anxiety and fight/flight are strong, but times that my stomach loosens up or as you say "releases", I can start to feel pretty calm again.

    I think it's just a matter of time now, and thinking that way helps to keep me motivated.

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