First of all, the correct word is withdrawal
. Yahoo ran a story on how people who want to cannot get off Paxil (Paxil and Protonix are made by the same company, Wyeth). I read it to find out how the pharma companies trick doctors into prescribing something clearly addictive to their desperate patients:
I highly recommend this article for those who still believe these companies care about us. If you have already lost your innocence, read the testimonials of people who have managed to get of this antidepresant and you'll see the parallels to our situation:
Afyter tapering off the dosage for about four months, I quit the ten mg I was taking for a month. I had no stomach symptoms but I started having these successive migraine-like headaches that resembled MSG, morphine or champagne headaches. They would come out of the blue, and dissapear out of the blue. I'd get a break for as day, then they would return. Only OTC migraine medication would diminish the pain in any significant way. I was going crazy, but not thinking withdrawal because my research had not yielded anything remotely similar to headaches. There is very little on the subject of (God forbid!) quitting your PPI out there.
But then I ran into this study detailing the withdrawal symptoms of subject who underwent a treatment of 10, 20, and 40 mg of Protonix for several months, and, you guessed it, the most common complaint upom withdrawal was headaches. Notice how they don't even refer to them as migraines:
In general, all doses of pantoprazole were well tolerated. The proportion of patients with treatment-emergent adverse events in the pantoprazole 40 mg group was higher than in the other treatment groups (P < 0.05), but patients in this group also had the longest duration of exposure because of a difference in withdrawal rates. Headache was the most commonly reported treatment-related adverse event among patients receiving pantoprazole (14%), but the occurrence of headache was not statistically significantly different from that seen in the ranitidine group (8%; P = 0.127). Fourteen per cent of patients treated with pantoprazole reported headaches versus 8% of patients in the ranitidine group. Although the percentage of pantoprazole treated patients reporting headaches is higher in this study than in previous studies, there is no dose trend (pantoprazole 10 mg 11/88 [13%]; 20 mg 9/93 [10%]; 40 mg 18/94 [19%]; P = 0.18). There was a significant difference between treatment groups in withdrawals due to adverse events (P = 0.006), but this effect was not dose-related among patients receiving pantoprazole. The percentage of patients who discontinued because of adverse events was 1% for the pantoprazole 10 mg, 13% for the pantoprazole 20 mg and 3% for the pantoprazole 40 mg groups, and 6% for the ranitidine group. No deaths occurred during the study and the incidence of serious adverse events was not significantly different between treatment groups. No clinically important changes in laboratory test results and vital signs were noted (data not shown).
Read the whole study: http://www.ppi-studies.com/05.html
So 13% of people atking 10 mg of this PPI reported headaches! I am writing this during a rare break from suffering. I don't know how long this lasts... All comments welcome.