Quitting Nexium... some help and some hope

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MaxwellD
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/3/2006 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, folks.

I am in the process of cutting out Nexium and I wanted to know a few things. First, some backstory:

In mid-December, I started experiencing some pain in my stomach as well as some nausea which would extend up into my throat. My primary care doctor was on holiday at the time and so I saw another doctor the practice. She put me on protonix and prescribed an ultra-sound of my liver. Nothing showed up. I decided that I didn't really like the protonix since it didn't seem to be helping much so my PC doc (when he returned) switched me to ranitidine. He then ordered and upper GI which came back normal (no reflux or anything). I then had a HIDA scan on my gall bladder (since most of the pains I was describing sounded consistent, I was told, with gall bladder). Unfortunately, my bowel obstructed part of the gall bladder but the tech reported that what I was exhibiting was consistent with billiary dyskenesia. So my PC sent me to see a surgeon for consultation. When I described to him the problems I'd been having, he said it wasn't GB but possibly reflux and wrote me a prescription for Nexium. Not completely satisfied, I went back to my PC, explained what happened and requested a second opinion. He sent me to a GI doctor who scheduled me for an endsocopy. I began taken the Nexium at his suggestion (middle February) I had a few biopsies taken that all came back negative. When I saw him a week or so after the endoscopy, he said that my esophagus looked perfectly normal, no damage, and that my problems were possibly due to stress and worry. I am a bit of a worrywart and have been through a pretty trying period in the last two year... my sister-in-law passed away suddenly in Mar2004, my dad died the following September after a long illness, my favorite cat was put to sleep in Mar2005 and my cousin died in June. Add to that personal finance worries and that when my symptoms showed up in December, my place of employment announced plans to switch to a more expensive but less effective health insurance plan, his suggestion is very, very plausible. The GI suggested I stop taking Nexium at the end of my prescription and so that is what I am doing.

Beginning last week, I slowed down to about a pill every other day and haven't had a pill since Friday. I'm experiencing some burning in my throat and chest (mild in the throat, less so in my chest), some scratchiness (I am on Advair twice a day and I'm thinking that helps in the scratchiness) and some mild upper back pain. I'm also burping quite a bit. For the pain, I've been taking Gaviscon Extra Strength. I've also been reading up on and using some natural heartburn techniques (celery, baking soda & water, bananas, pineapple juice, almonds, etc.) and they help temporarily. I've also been drinking a lot of water as that seems to alleviate the burning some. I am also exercising regularly and have lost ten pounds since my endoscopy in February. I am also looking into many relaxation techniques and working to keep my diet a little more sane (staying away from the trigger foods and so such).

My questions are, then, the following:
How long will I be "detoxxing" from the Nexium? I've only been on it since February 13th.

Besides the typical heartburn triggers (caffeine, tomatoes, spicy food), is there a certain type of diet to follow? Low-carbs/high-fiber?

Stress issues aside, is it possible to live heartburn free (relatively)?

Since I am experiencing some burning, would I be in the right to suggest a followup endoscopy? This is probably the worrying happening but an acquaintance recently died from esophageal cancer. I know something gets us eventually but I'd like to have my mind at ease. And are there any other tests I could request be done?

I'd like to hear from anyone who has gone off Nexium or anyone with any valuable information or even just support. I thank you all for your time.

Post Edited (MaxwellD) : 4/3/2006 4:40:52 PM (GMT-6)


Jason K
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 4/3/2006 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I was never on nexium, but I was on several other PPI's.

Read the post I just started. I stapped the PPI's and I'm feeling better. I have had a GI doctor tell me that there will be acid rebounding for a few weeks, but it will eventually stop. If I were you I would stick it out. I'm starting to think this whole PPI thing is a conspiracy or something.

I don't think you need another endoscopy. May be in a year or two if you have a lot of heartburn from now until then. They have already looked down there and plus it's expensive!!! It's hard not to worry when you feel like hell. Ready some of my other posts. I sound terrified, but when I don't worry I always feel a little better.

I hope you feel better soon!

meowpuss
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 4/4/2006 3:16 AM (GMT -6)   

I've cut down on my PPi by taking half of a tablet daily instead of a whole one. This may be better than missing days so it is a gradual reduction and constant.

Also watch your diet. A healthy balanced diet which is low in fat is best.I have high-fibre foods because it moves through the system quickly and helps soak up acid i think! You may want to avoid hard grains such as muesli/brown rice because your stomach has to work harder to digest these. I know from my experience. Also avoid refined sugary foods and buy sugar-free products and sweeteners.


seagal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 4/4/2006 6:58 AM (GMT -6)   

Maxwell, I do wish you well.  I stopped taking another PPI, Prevacid, three weeks ago.  The first week was tough, even though I was on a stringent (low-carb) diet.  What helped a lot was taking OTC meds such as Zantac and Maalox, plus digestive enzymes, ginger and other herbal remedies.  I'm now off the OTC drugs, although I do keep them around, just in case.  I feel much, much better than when I was taking Prevacid.  My stomach is no longer burning, and I no longer feel as though undigested food is just sitting there.  BMs have returned to normal.  I was on Prevacid for over a year, so you shouldn't have as big a problem quitting (although I remember experiencing rebound when I tried to quit after three months).  Low-carb diets (25 grams to start) have helped some people. I would definitely stay away from simple carbs -- sugar, white bread, pasta, etc. And keep your meals small, so that your digestive system doesn't have so much to do.  Relaxation techniques are really important.  I've found acupuncture helpful in going through the withdrawal stage.

I hope this is of some use to you.  If nothing else, know that people have succeeded in quitting.  Jason is right -- he did sound pretty desperate at times!  Good luck.

Seagal 


MaxwellD
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/4/2006 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all. I am experiencing some rebound but it comes and goes. It's more annoying than debilitating. I'm just trying to remain calm and not build up a little burning into a big fire. I'm bad that way. nono

Jason: Good luck on your end. I'm sticking it out.

Meow: I'm trying to increase fiber, mostly by the fruit & vegetable route. I tend to stay away from sugar substitutes but I will take your advice about the refined sugars. I drink unsweetened green tea (usually decaf) and lots of water.

Seagal: You mentioned BMs. Constipation was a problem for me on Nexium. Any relaxation techniques you could suggest (not acupuncture, though).

Four days since I took my last Nexium. I've been leaning on the celery stalk a bit. But I'm only feeling mild burning in the back of my throat and some chest & back discomfort (from the heartburn). I've taken some Gaviscon but maybe only four tablets all of yesterday.

Thanks for the advice, folks. It does make me feel better that there are people out there who have been through this and come out on top. :-)

MaxwellD
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/5/2006 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Day five-ish. I had some heartburn going to bed last night but a little ranitidine helped out.

How long will the acid rebound last? Does it matter how long one has been on Nexium?

seagal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 4/6/2006 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   

Maxwell, I read somewhere recently that the rebound can last for several weeks.  I think it would depend on how long you've been on the drug, plus your own particular condition, and how careful you are about diet, anti-anxiety techniques, etc.  I'm just starting to feel normal after too weeks off PPIs, but I take nothing for granted.  You  asked about relaxation techniques.  The best one, in my opinion, is a good long walk. Or whatever exercise you prefer.  Magnesium supplements have helped me, as well. Good luck.

Seagal


MaxwellD
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/6/2006 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Today wasn't bad. I've noticed my stomach hurts some. It might just be hunger, although, I do notice it's a sort of "punched-in-the-stomach" feeling. Plus, I had some intenstinal cramping this morning. darn! What's up with that? Why in the hell do docs prescribe meds that end up leaving you feeling worse than how you originally felt? Sorry. Slight rant.

I'm very careful about my diet and I try not to overeat. I've also been exercising and trying to lose weight so my stress levels have gone down. I've got some anti-worry and anti-anxiety books to read, too.

Once I'm off the rebound train, though, I'm going to test the waters and see what foods I can eat. I hate feeling like an invalid, which is stupid of me to say because there are people more worse off than me. Some folks are living with cancer, I just can't have pizza.

MaxwellD
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/13/2006 8:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, tomorrow will be the two weeks since I last took Nexium. I've had some good days but today I've been dealing with a little heart burn/indigestion. I had a small bowl of fettucini last night plus spaghetti Monday night so I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it. So I've been burping a bit and feeling a little burn.

I have noticed that the nausea feeling in my throat has returned but I'm wondering now if that's due to excess mucus. I feel like there's a (pardon the verbiage here) lump of snot in my throat. I have allergies and a sore throat (I think from drainage mostly and the Advair I take daily exacerbates it).

I'm going to see if taking some papaya tabs before dinner help any. Let's hope so.

One thing I realized today: I didn't really have any heart burn until I started taking Protonix/Ranitidine/Nexium. Odd that, isn't it?

LFA
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/14/2006 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
MaxwellD
I agree with your statement about not having problems until after you started taking the PPIs. I went to the doctor with shortness of breath and a sore throat and I was really surprised when they said it was from acid reflux. I didn't really notice heartburn. When I started taking Prevacid, my breathing improved and my throat felt better initally and then I started getting heartburn more often.

I also haven't taken my PPIs for a few weeks and feel better. I'm eating very carefully, watching my sugar and carb intake. The only thing really bothering me is my throat still being scratchy. I don't know how long that takes to clear up. I know that Mucinex works well, by the way, with congestion in your throat.

LFA

MaxwellD
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/17/2006 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
This past Friday (Good Friday) was two weeks since I've stopped taking Nexium. Since then, I've been having mild heartburn which I'm treating with generic Zantac. However, now I have a burning sensation in the throat and a bit of burping. Is this still my body regulating or is this reflux? I experience this even hours after taking the generic Zantac.


As I said above, I take Advair which may irritate my throat. I have allergies which may account for drainage irritating my throat. But my GI said I had no reflux symptoms and that I didn't need to be on them.

I'm so frustrated I don't know what to do. I avoid all the trigger foods and I still seem to have problems. Did those meds screw me up even though I've not been on them longer than a few months? I'm so frustrated I just want to scream.

Help someone. sad

Nan O
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/18/2006 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello out there,

I've been on prevacid, nexium, prilosec, zantac for a very long time and I want off! I've tried a few times, but the pain was so bad. I want my life back without these drugs. I can't believe that so many people really need them. I do think the drug companies have a lot to do with it.

I just stopped taking the prevacid today. I started eating veggies and fruit and drinking lots of water. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

MaxwellD
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/20/2006 6:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Veggies and fruit are a good start. I've found celery works wonders at reducing some acid (I don't eat enough of it). Also, red and golden delicious apples are good, too. Also, try a teaspoon of baking soda fully dissolved in half a glass of water. And don't be afraid to pop Tums or Rolaids either.

As for me, I'm still struggling: My throat is still sore and irritated, the snot feeling is there again, I feel like I've been having more acid rebound. I'm also burping a lot and I have a punched-in-the-stomach feeling sometimes. But most of all, I'm trying to relax and stay calm. It seems like no matter what I eat, I'm starting to have issues.

I've fired my GI. I called a few days ago to see how long acid rebound lasts. The nurse told me that I should expect reflux if I'm not going to take Nexium. I told her that my GI said I didn't need it, that most of my feelings were stress related. She read me the notes and it was as if the GI told me one thing and wrote down another. I felt so angry and confused and betrayed. He called back later that day to say that even though I was on Nexium, I was still having non-cardio chest pains, irritated throat (which really kicked in after he did the endoscopy), and the feeling of snot in the back of my throat, so that my symptoms were suggesting that my problems weren't related to reflux and might be more stress-related. This was not what he told me on my last visit. He said that it was stress related, that I didn't need to be on Nexium and that I should finish my prescription. If I needed relief, I could take some Prilosec OTC.

He told me that acid rebound lasts "just a few days" and that if I'm still having issues with that (3 weeks this Friday since my last pill), perhaps I should consider going back on Nexium. I thanked him for his time and made an appointment with another GI for a second opinion.

mrsmel
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/27/2006 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
 i have been on nexium and prilosec and prevacid it changes every few years because of insurance . but ive been on over 8 yrs. im now trying to get myself off with reading all more of other peoples complaints here. i too gained unexplained 40 lbs. i didnt eat more i run daily do tae bo daily lift weights do the firm etc 2.5 hrs of work out a day . always eat low fat no fried  no dairy no red meats and since i started these pills over 8 yrs ago the scale goes up and up and up but the docs blame me so i thought ok maybe its just my body and i dont need 1200 calories a day so i cut back more but never lose any weight. i finally saw so many others listed on here with the wieight gain also so have not had a pill since last friday . my stomach and chest are killing me but its worth the pain to get off the pill. and the 30 dollars a month it costs me to get them . 8 yrs plus and your only suppose to be 4-8 weeks??? not years. well i wish anyone else going thru the detox of it good luck and if you can find a secret remedy for me to help my detox please tell..

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 1/7/2007 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi...thank you all for posting your progress.  I am also trying to get off Prevacid.  I've only been on it since last October but I have kept a journal of my progress and  I can see that I've steadily gotten worse since being on the meds.  I've tried Aciphes, Prilosec and now Prevacid and my GI doc just recently prescribed Zelnorm because I am so constipated.  And, of course, I read where this med takes 4 weeks before it starts working good. 

So, I stopped the meds about 5 days ago and I feel so much better mentally and physically.  I have experienced some heartburn and chest pains but I'm taking a natural remedy called "Heartburn Free" from health store.  It's orange peel extract and it works pretty good.  I have much less heartburn taking this than I did taking Prevacid.  It's expensive but I found it online for about $19 for a 20 day supply so it's worth it to me to be off the prevacid.  I don't know if I can do it long term but I'm going to try. 

Better health to all of you. 


friendlygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 1/9/2007 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
sillylilly said...

Hi...thank you all for posting your progress.  I am also trying to get off Prevacid.  I've only been on it since last October but I have kept a journal of my progress and  I can see that I've steadily gotten worse since being on the meds.  I've tried Aciphes, Prilosec and now Prevacid and my GI doc just recently prescribed Zelnorm because I am so constipated.  And, of course, I read where this med takes 4 weeks before it starts working good. 

So, I stopped the meds about 5 days ago and I feel so much better mentally and physically.  I have experienced some heartburn and chest pains but I'm taking a natural remedy called "Heartburn Free" from health store.  It's orange peel extract and it works pretty good.  I have much less heartburn taking this than I did taking Prevacid.  It's expensive but I found it online for about $19 for a 20 day supply so it's worth it to me to be off the prevacid.  I don't know if I can do it long term but I'm going to try. 

Better health to all of you. 

sillylilly, hi there. :) I thought we were supposed to stay away from oranges...are orange peels not as citrusy?  so glad you're doing better.  Do you also have LPR? i forget..

Dee75
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 247
   Posted 6/21/2007 4:58 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi All!

I'm Dee and I just started going off Nexium 3 days ago. I'm so glad I found you, as I am having heartburn so bad. Now I know it's normal when you withdrawal. The allergy clinic that I was sent too,thinks I have what is called, "Silent acid reflux." I did'nt have heart burn, but at night I would have reflux and in the morning I was having sinus problems. It took 8 weeks to kick-in, but when it did I had a terrible dry throat. I also started having heartburn. It's crazy. I have only been on Nexium for about 3 months. I've been taking Pepcid-Complete and that helps.

Hope you all start feeling better. I know I do just knowing there are others that know what I'm going through. : ) Dee


glibmodo
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/21/2007 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
For those of you trying to quit PPIs, I recommend you try ingesting Aloe Vera Juice\Concentrate 3X a day. It taste nasty... but it has helped both my heartburn and GI motility. Plus it has none of the side effects of the PPIs.

It helped me kick the PPI habit, hopefully it can help you too.

emma24
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/21/2007 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, what a relief to find this forum! I'm thinking of quitting this darn Nexium tomorrow. I've been on it for almost 3 years. I'm going to try the aloe vera juice and try to eat more veggies and fruit, and plenty of water. I know it's probably going to hurt but from what I hear, it's worth it? I mean, they said Nexium would be temporary until I "heal" but when will that ever happen? Does anyone know anything about coral calcium or papaya tablets helping reflux? Has anyone had any true success quitting this drug?
Thanks!

Dee75
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 247
   Posted 7/3/2007 11:53 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi All!

They put me on Nexium, because they thought I had what is called, Silent reflux. I have it at night when I'm sleeping & I don't realize it. It caused me to have a lot of mucus in the morning. After my Nexium kicked in I had a terrible dry mouth & I started getting heartburn. Now that I've stopped the Nexium I really have heartburn. I'm doing better. It's been a week since I stopped. I"am going to really watch my diet. I'm sure it will help, as I love chocolate & coffee & sweets nono  Hope your all doing better. Dee


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/7/2010 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome back, DK.
This is a very old thread that many of the people who posted have been gone for a long time.
Please start your own thread to ask questions and introduce yourself. Just don't tag on to the end of old threads.
The weaning off process is hard. I took tums during the off days.
I did my weaning off this way: six days on, one day off, five days on, two days off, four days on, three days off, three days on, four off, two days on, five off, one day on, six off, none.

Joy

dk
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/7/2010 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the suggestion, couchtater.

I've set up a new thread with same info that I posted here.

tzakaria
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/14/2012 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been diagnozed for GERD last november and my doctor put me on controloc 40mg a day and then on nexuim 20mg  day but since then i have been suffering form bloating, heavy feeling on stomach and in throat and a white and yellow coating on my tongue although my blood tests was normal including liver enzymes. I am also suffering from loose stool containing undigested food.  i decided 2 days ago to stop medication and continue natural diet like manuka honey and eating small portions but roght after stopping nexuim the heartburn increased and dont know what to do. it this normal or should i return back to PPI
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