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Cutting out Omeprazole

(61 Posts)
Aglassofroseplease Wed 17-Apr-19 19:32:45

Hi remember me? I was about to have an endoscopy as I was struggling with swallowing and reflux etc. It was an inflamed oesophagus and an ulcer plus a hiatus hernia. I was put on 40mg Omeprazole daily and I changed my diet cutting out carbs and processed foods. I went for a endoscopy last week and it’s cleared up!! My oesophagus was a healthy pink. Ive just got a HH and I was discharged from the hospital. The consultant thought whatever I’d been doing (diet, etc) had helped clear it all up.
I went to my GP today to get advice on my HH and keeping GORD etc at bay. He told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing and cut out Omeprazole- I’ve 4 20mg pills left, I’ll take 1 for 4 days - I asked about a return of symptoms if I stop the pills and he replied we’ll put you on them again.
I’m a bit scared of dropping the Omeprazole just like that having been feeling so well. Has anyone else done it like this? Should I ask for a prescription for use as a stand-by. A friend who’s been prescribed Omeprazole only takes them as and when - l want to be off them and I thought it might have been a phased reduction
Has anyone got any advice? Or reassurance?

Day6 Wed 17-Apr-19 19:43:11

Why do you want to be off them? Do they affect you badly in some way? (I know they have been a bit of a lifesaver to OH who used to get indigestion from almost everything, even when he swallowed water!)

I am pleased you feel better, and well done for making lifestyles changes to make it happen. If Omeprazole provides safeguards why not continue with them? Surely your GP won't let you decide if you need them any longer or not. S/he'll know and you'll be advised - or am I missing something?

Day6 Wed 17-Apr-19 19:45:50

Ah - sorry. Your Doc says you don't need them any longer.

See how it goes? You can always go back if you feel there is a problem. I hope life minus the tablets remains good!

I think you can now buy something like Omeprazole at the chemist and in supermarkets. It's there on the open shelves with other indigestion remedies.

Gonegirl Wed 17-Apr-19 19:56:17

Advice? Stay on the omeprazole. If you have a hernia your symptoms will most likely return. I think the 40 mgs have cleared up the inflammation rather than anything you did diet wise.

Gonegirl Wed 17-Apr-19 20:00:40

NICE guidelines say use ppi's for as short a time as possible. But they are probably possibly trying to save the NHS money. Most doctors realise that long term use is necessary.

Sparklefizz Wed 17-Apr-19 20:01:38

Aglass There is a homeopathic remedy that works equally as well as Omeprazole but without the side effects (Omeprazole is not a good drug to take for long periods.)

I had an inflamed oesophagus, heartburn, reflux and a hiatus hernia, and did not want to take Omeprazole because I already have SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) and a drug to get rid of stomach acid (which our bodies are meant to have in normal amounts to keep down the bad bugs) would have made the SIBO much worse.

I took Natrum Phos 6x (available on Am and from homeopathic suppliers), it worked brilliantly, you can take it as often as you need (which turned out not to be very often because it did its job quickly.) I am a great fan of homeopathy. It's excellent.

Bathsheba Wed 17-Apr-19 20:14:18

I have a hiatus hernia and have been on 20mg for some time. About 18 months ago I reduced this by taking one 20mg tablet on alternate days only, with no ill effects. Why not try that for a while? Personally I would be a bit scared of stopping it altogether, because without it I choke on food and drink.

Septimia Wed 17-Apr-19 20:49:00

I haven't seen a doctor about it, but I'm pretty sure I had/have a hiatus hernia and was certainly getting pain and a lot of acid reflux.
Having searched symptoms and possible remedies, I gave up all citrus fruit and juices, and tomatoes or things in tomato sauce (like baked beans), also alcohol. My symptoms settled down and I now find that I can cope with a small helping of beans or a small glass of orange juice or wine, but not too much at one time.
Feeling so much better, I didn't feel the need to go to the doctor, although I would if the situtation deteriorated.

Farmor15 Wed 17-Apr-19 21:34:20

I have hiatus hernia but the ppi (lanzoprazole - similar to omeprazole) gave me bad diarrhea so I had to stop. I took ranitidine (Zantac) instead - not as long lasting but works. Now I take omeprazole now and then, but never 2 days in a row. One tablet seems to have an effect lasting for a few days. I also watch my diet - for me bread and pastry is worst culprit.

Aglassofroseplease Wed 17-Apr-19 22:05:41

Thanks all of you I think I might ask my doctor to give me a prescription for some pills that I can have as a safety net.

lemongrove Wed 17-Apr-19 22:17:10

I take one every day ( since I had an endoscopy two years ago) and they have transformed my life.I wouldn’t stop them, why do you want to?
I can eat and drink just about anything, I would hate to give up carbs ( unlikely that carbs would cause reflux.)

tanith Wed 17-Apr-19 22:21:54

I take it daily as I also take an anti-inflammatory and need the Omeprazole as a stomach protecter.

Bridgeit Wed 17-Apr-19 22:26:07

Couldn’t do without them, I will take them forever.

NanTheWiser Wed 17-Apr-19 22:27:10

First, congratulations on changing your diet, and resolving your inflammation, good result! You are wise to be wary of staying on Omeprazole for longer than necessary, as it reduces stomach acid to very low levels. In turn, you stop absorbing nutrients and vitamins from your food, which can result in unpleasant side effects. This is why GPs usually prefer to prescribe short courses of the drug.
Coming off it can also be a problem for some people as they get rebound acid, worse than the original reflux problems, and it becomes a vicious circle, where they have to continue taking it. So, tapering the dose gradually is advised, and you could also take ranitidine (which works in a different way), and can be bought OTC as Zantac, or supermarkets' generic product.

NanTheWiser Wed 17-Apr-19 22:29:00

lemongrove carbs most certainly DO give you reflux, I write from experience.

Anja Wed 17-Apr-19 22:44:10

Aglassofroseplease well done on your dietary changes and feeling better as a result.

I’ve posted this before but hey ho! I’ll say it again.....following a pulled muscle in my back and too many painkillers I started suffering from heartburn/reflux call it what you will. So I started taking a probiotic (Bio-Kult) and it went away. Gone! Vanished!

just saying

mumofmadboys Wed 17-Apr-19 22:48:38

The reason you are asked to stop them is that taking omeprazole indefinitely can mask something new developing such as stomach cancer.

Aglassofroseplease Thu 18-Apr-19 11:51:04

Thanks for all your advice it’s really helpful.
Ive just called into the chemist and spoke to the pharmacist who thought I’d be ok just cutting them out over a few days and like my Dr, she said I can always get some more from my Dr if my symptoms return.

My reasons for not wanting to be on Omeprazole or similar for longer than necessary-although it’s been a godsend when I was feeling so bad - is that my mum is 10 years into Alzheimer’s and her two sisters both had it and it’s been linked to an increased risk of getting it - ok i know it’s just one piece of research in a sea of research, but I’m choosing to heed it because of my mum and my two aunts so I don’t want to increase my risk factors - even though I know dementia isn’t heredity, only certain types .

I do think lifestyle and diet contribute to it 😀 I feel better having changed my diet - a bad diet and stress etc probably caused it so, I’ve cut out triggers and try to stick to a healthy Mediterranean type diet. Even the consultants commented on the improved state of my oesophagus.

Thanks Nanthewiser for pointing me in the direction of low carb etc

Sparklefizz Thu 18-Apr-19 14:12:57

It's funny .... whenever I mention a homeopathic remedy which I have found from experience works really well .... I become invisible and people ignore me! confused

I was brought up to have an open mind and when I collapsed with an incurable illness, I discovered various alternative therapies that worked well to control many of the symptoms. Homeopathy is one of those, but many people seem completely closed to it.

Such a shame that they are missing out on something very helpful.

NanTheWiser Thu 18-Apr-19 15:49:57

Well, Sparklefizz you aren't invisible as far as I'm concerned, I shall have a look-out for the Natrum Phos, and will give it a whirl (if I find it), I'm always happy to try complementary treatments, as I'm somewhat dubious about many of the main-stream medications and their side effects.

Sparklefizz Thu 18-Apr-19 16:17:15

NanTheWiser I'm glad. I've sent you a PM with a link.

Nonnie Thu 18-Apr-19 16:51:51

I tried to stop it and got indigestion, asked the doc if this would stop after a while and he said that the acid from indigestion causes cancer and to stay on them. Now I miss the odd day with no ill effects but if I miss two days I start to get heartburn.

Gonegirl Thu 18-Apr-19 17:30:52

I don't understand how alternative remedies can help. Surely, if you have a hiatus hernia it means your oesophagus isn't closing off properly at the bottom, and it is allowing stomach acid to rise up to your throat. So, it's a physical failure. . I realise omeprazole reduces the amount of stomach acid so it doesn't rise so much, but do these other remedies also reduce acid? Or how do they work?

I'm asking because I would like to try the Natrum Phos, but I don't want to waste money.

Gonegirl Thu 18-Apr-19 17:33:19

I find my reflux is worse if I don't eat enough because I then seem to have 'spare' stomach acid sloshing about. It improves if I eat plenty of bread. Which is a sod from a losing weight point of view.

NanTheWiser Thu 18-Apr-19 17:45:29

Nonnie, as I mentioned in my post above, when you stop PPIs (any of the 'prazoles) you get rebound acid, as your stomach recovers, and it can be worse than the original reflux. That's why you should taper the dose gradually, and maybe take ranitidine.
This is an admittedly old report, and based on a study in the US, but does raise the question of the use of PPIs, and the risk of osteoporosis, among other quite serious side effects.
It can block the uptake of Vit B12, which has led to a few people suffering from Pernicious anaemia, and there is also a risk of stomach polyps with long term use, which may be associated with stomach cancer:
www.nhs.uk/news/medication/use-of-stomach-drugs-debated/