Acid-Blockers – Getting Off

A study showed that acid-blocking drugs can actually create dependency even among subjects who did not previously have heartburn. That makes it difficult to stop taking the medications. So often when people try to eliminate them, the pain returns, giving the impression that maybe the drug is needed. This phenomenon even fools doctors.

The secret is to first figure out what initiated the problem and at least begin fixing that underlying problem. I only plug my book here because there is so much misinformation in circulation and I don’t know how else to help you methodically sort it out. Many readers of my book tell me that they were immediately able to get off of acid blockers when they began taking natural remedies. However, others may need to go one of these two routes, preferably with the approval of your doctor:

  1. If on a proton pump inhibitor (such as Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Protonix®), ask your doctor for a lower dose or select one if over the counter. Or start skipping a day. After a week start skipping 2 days, then 3 days. If a tablet, perhaps break in half. By that time it may be possible to discontinue the medication. Otherwise, switch to plan B.

  2. Some folks find a way out by downgrading to a less potent drug for example from a proton pump inhibitor which blocks acid 24 hours a day to the older shorter acting variety, an H2 blocker (Axid®, Pepcid®, Tagamet®, Zantac®). It can then be phased out as suggested in A. After a couple of weeks, downgrade again to an acid neutralizer like Tums that you only use when you experience distress.

  3. At that point you should be able to use natural remedies for what by then should be only an occasional problem. These time frames are imprecise because everyone is different and must find their own way along the process. I cover a number of natural choices in my book Natural Alternatives to Nexium. Depending on the cause of the acid reflux, those can include apple cider vinegar, probiotics (Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics chewed gives fast relief), papaya enzymes and even chewing almonds. A remedy that was not on the market when the book was written is Garligest.

Copyright 2014 by Martie Whittekin, CCN

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