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Over 6 months ago I was very briefly on Omeprazole (20 mg/day). I didn't even have a problem with acid reflux prior to this medication, I was put on it because the doctor thought it might help for undiagnosed stomach pains! I stopped the drug after just 2 weeks because it didn't help the pains. Ironically after I stopped the drug is when I started having acid reflux (approx. 4-5 days after I stopped it). I didn't taper off because the doctor said there is no risk for acid rebound as I wasn't on it long enough.
Well now it's over 6 months since I initially stopped it and I still have reflux (chronic). It's always best when I wake up in the morning, then the more I eat / drink, the worse it gets. By bedtime it's unbearable.
In desperation I have went back on it briefly for 1-2 weeks at a time, a couple of times during this 6-7 months time frame in hope for some relief but it never fully removes the reflux.
I was told rebound lasts usually 2-3 weeks, but no more than 3 months and I was completely off it for 3-4 months, and only took Pepcid, and I still had the reflux. I just cannot get rid of it and I believe Omeprazole caused it to start. I should never have been put on this medication but I trusted the doctor (big mistake!).
Now someone has told me there have been extreme cases where the rebound stuck around for 6 months, even after short term use. Is that really true? I cannot find any info on it.
So the doctor forced me to go try the medication again, or he would not let me undergo any further diagnostic tests (my country uses public healthcare so I cannot just pay for the tests, I have to just take what I'm offered). He told me try to up the dose to 40 mg. At this time I had been off it for about 4 months and only managed by taking Pepcid. So I went on it for 2 weeks and then he said since it's not helping, you can either stop it or up it to 80 mg a day. I refused to increase it further as I think it was already a mistake to go back on it at all, so I started to taper off the medication slowly.
So after eating 40 mg a day for 2 weeks, I've been eating 20 mg for one week. As of today I am trying one week where I open the capsule and remove approx. half of the contents (if I can stand it, the reflux was terrible last night).
I also don't fit the criteria for people suffering from reflux due to poor lifestyle. I'm not overweight (actually the opposite), I never drank alcohol, never smoked, I don't eat spicy foods or greasy fried foods. Since the reflux started I have also removed all acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, etc. Nothing helps.
I have had nearly every test under the sun. Been probed from top to bottom, three upper endoscopies, two colonoscopies, capsule endoscopy, CT scan, 24 hour impedance pH reading, Heidelberg acid test, EKGs, countless blood tests, several fecal tests, biopsied for h. pylori and celiac's disease on three separate EGDs (all came back negative), Crohn's disease, IBD, etc etc. Nothing that could be tied to acid reflux has been found. The only test remaining is a SmartPill motility test which is supposed to record the pH levels of the stomach and I am having that at the end of March, so I have to be completely off Omeprazole by then anyways.
Do you think this is acid rebound, just a very extreme case of it? Why else would it start right after I initially stopped the drug? Like I said I never had acid reflux before this! What should I do?? This has to stop, I cannot go on like this! Should I try to stop the PPI completely and be off it for 6 months, and maybe it will finally go away? What else can I do?
Is going around with this for 6 more months a bad idea? How do I manage? I've tried antacids like Pepto Bismol, Gaviscon (doesn't work at all plus gives me terrible stomach pains and diahrrea), Ranitidine, etc. Also natural remidies like apple cider vinegar doesn't work. The only thing that has worked somewhat is Pepcid but now I have to take the stronger one (Pepcid AC, 20 mg) for any kind of relief. Will reduce the chances of the rebound to ever go away? In other words, is taking Pepcid every day counterproductive for the rebound to finally go away? Even when I take Pepcid AC, I still have reflux but not quite as strong. I am worried about what harm this does to my esophagus if I don't do anything to protect my throat from the acid. This has to stop and to me it seems it must be an extreme case of rebound, why else would it start right after stopping the medication, when I never had reflux in my entire life before starting this med? Please any suggestions are welcome, this is living hell for me. I am really, really desperate and the doctors are now telling me I just have to live with this, they refuse to help me.
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