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Avatar universal

Dangers of using Prilosec

Hi all,

Back in 2007 I was used Prilosec for 5 months for what was diagnosed as 'silent reflux'. Towards the end of that time I started getting weak finger nails (they would just peel off) and started to worry about the effects of stomach acid suppression. I had a molar break during this time too.

Is there any chance taking Prilosec for 5 months would've caused me any permanent damage, or would my stomach have resumed normal acid production after stopping the medication.

Thanks!
23 Responses
Avatar universal
Welcome to the gastroenterology community!  I would say that it is unlikely that only 5 months on it would have caused permanent damage.  The weak finger nails could be related to the PPI, but I think it is unlikely the molar break was related.
Avatar universal
Thanks for getting back to me.

Would you say the most likely outcome is that my stomach acid levels returned to their pre-Prilosec level upon stopping?

I'm just trying to get an idea of the effect it had on me over this time, and long-term. I'm guessing it was 5-months of being malnourished because of poor assimilation, but my fear is that it stopped me from being able to get all of the nutrients from food.

Thanks!
2827584 tn?1340583296
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The molar breaking is actually symptomatic of untreated reflux. the action of the acid on the enamel dissolves it and weakens the tooth. Long term treatment of patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome where doses of roughly eight times the normal levels of Prilosec have shown very few side effects. Finger nail breakage is a general sign of stress - much like hair breaking off in chemo patients.
Avatar universal
Does anyone have an idea of how long it takes for stomach acid levels to return to normal after stopping Prilosec, and the likelihood that stomach acid production is permanently affected?
2827584 tn?1340583296
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
We have patients stop proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec a week before doing pH studies to make sure that their acid levels are normal. The effect of Prilosec is fully reversible once it is out of the system.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply.

What length of time have these people generally have been using PPIs?
Avatar universal
Thanks again for your reply.

Were any of these patients who stopped PPIs a week before their pH studies on the PPI for a significant amount of time?

Thanks!
Avatar universal
I was on lrilosec for five weeks, and have been off it for two months....my stomach acid is still not normal. I have to take supplemental Betaine HCL and papaya enzymes in order to digest. The food just sits in my stomach, and comces out the other end somewhat indegested. This really made my autoimmune thyrpidites worse, since I was not absorbing the thyroid meds. I am seriuosly miserable. I. cannot get enoigh thyroid hirmone even thoigh my dosage has been increased.
Avatar universal
I was on Prilosec for five weeks, and have been off it for two months....my stomach acid is still not normal. I have to take supplemental Betaine HCL and papaya enzymes in order to digest. The food just sits in my stomach, and comes out the other end somewhat indegested. This really made my autoimmune thyroiditis worse as I was not absorbing the thyroid meds. I am seriuosly miserable. I. cannot get enoigh thyroid hormone even though my dosage has been increased. I plan to sue the drug company that made the generic drug I was on.
2827584 tn?1340583296
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
This doesn't sound anything like an acid issue. If you actually require enzyme supplementation this would imply a pancreatic issue, something that PPI's would not have any effect on. One must separate the underlying pathology from the drug. If there was a reason for long term treatment why would anyone be surprised when there are symptoms when the Prilosec is stopped. It doesn't cure anything, it merely reduces acid production. Suing a drug manufacturer because your underlying problem was merely covered up for some time and never actually diagnosed is pointless. The fact remains that once the drug is out of your system acid production returns to normal. There is no evidence of any long term effects. It would actually be a good thing if there were because we could treat patients for a limited time but get long term benefit. This doesn't happen.

As for njnd, you are describing symptoms of gastroparesis. Because mild cases result in stasis of food in the stomach with irritation the symptoms are frequently treated with a trial of acid suppression. This might help for a while but if they gastroparesis worsens you end up with the symptoms that you are now describing. You can blame the medication that covered up the issue for a while or you can diagnose the real problem. This is why Prilosec, although a safe drug, should not have been made OTC. People with much more serious conditions self treat on presumptive diagnoses. We are seeing a resurgence of big stomach cancers because people are self treating the symptoms with over the counter meds rather than being properly evaluated.
Avatar universal
The omeprazole was prescribed by my doc for esophagitis.
What tests need to be done to evaluate the issue that you described above. I mentioned this to my GI doc and she said it was nothing. No tests were done no follow up whatsoever.
2827584 tn?1340583296
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
There are several tests to assess your ability to digest food normally. How is your GI doc explaining your symptoms?
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