Monday, July 4, 2016

Weaning Myself off Omeprazole

After reading about the side effects of taking omeprazole for a long period of time, I decided to wean myself off of it. I am not a doctor, but I feel strongly that if I can take less drugs and still be healthy, I am better off.
I talked to my doctor about it She felt I was doing ok on this drug and could remain on it without difficulty and warned me about the dangers of sustained GERD and esophageal cancer.

I remained determined to get off this drug. I mean how hard could it be? It is only an anti-acid.

I purchased ranitidine 150 mg to take twice a day in place of the omeprazole.

Day 1
I quit over the counter omeprazole magnesium delayed release tables 20.6 mg acid reducer tablets and switched to ranitidine 150 mg twice a day. Felt ok.

Day 2
Heart burn and indigestion.

Day 3
Heart burn and indigestion worse. Bloating and gas started. Stomach pain started. Went to pharmacy and to buy chewable tablets for relief. Spoke with pharmacist. She advised taking the omeprazole and rantidine every other day to wean myself off and to take the chewable tablets as needed. She encouraged me to keep trying to wean myself off.

Day 4
Took omeprazole in the morning. Indigestion persisted. Nausea started.

Day 5
Woke up at 3:00 am with terrible bloating – like a rock in my stomach. Took a ranitidine in the morning and night.

Day 6
Took omeprazole in the morning. Felt sick all day. Stayed in bed. Nausea. Diarrhea. Looked online for information about getting off omeprazole.
Read several articles about never quitting cold turkey. This may be the most important lesson I learned in this whole process.
One blog suggested taking a whole omeprazole and ¾ of one every other day for at least two weeks and see how I feel.

I cut the pills with a pill cutter that night. It was difficult. I could easily cut one in half but it was difficult to cut a half of a tablet in half again.

Day 7
Took ¾ of a pill in the morning. Felt somewhat better. Still had slight stomach ache after eating.

Day 8
Took a whole pill. Felt ok most of the day. Still a slight stomach ache after eating.

I am now on week 4. I take 3/4 and 1/2 of a pill every other day. I feel ok most of the time and rarely take the chewable tablets. I am able to eat my regular diet, including spicy food.

I don't know how much longer it will take me to completely get off omeprazole, but I will stay on this slow reduction until I am off completely.

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