Inside Health: Overuse of Omeprazole

Inside Health: Overuse of Omeprazole

BBC Radio 4 at 21:00 this evening (and repeated Wednesday 22 Jan 2014 15:30 - and podcasts):

Proton pump inhibitors are a family of drugs which reduce stomach acids to stop the symptoms of heartburn and ulcers. But they are being widely overused according to many gastroenterologists and doctors. Mark talks to gastroenterologist, Anton Emmanuel about the scale of the overuse, the potential side effects of being on them for too long as well as what people can do if they think they should come off the drug.

It could be interesting...


13 Replies

  • "4 out of 10 will develop further acid problems"

    "Supresses digestion"

    "difficult to come off as symptoms become worse"

    "Absorption issues - vitamin B12 & calcium"

    "low acid =infections, acid meant to be there for digestion, first line of defence & repels pathogens (hospital infections)"

    "Magnesium deficiency but no guidelines to deal with"

    maybe we weren't making it all up then! J :D

  • Thank you spare!

    I imagine the transcript will be put up sometime after the Wednesday repeat.

    I for one am quite certain "we" are not making it all up. But doesn't it take along time from the first suggestions (for example, ideas in PubMed) to real clinicians taking them on board and considering whether treatment ideas need to be changed.

  • I have a special interest - trying to keeping hubby off them....and hopefully being slightly less grumpy! (now he just avoids stuff which triggers indigestion - mostly bread - but also biscuits, cakes, pasta, pizza & chocolate - it's going to be tricky next week he's on a school ski-ing trip in Italy, and mentioned Omeprazole again, all the other staff are taking it anyway..... another epidemic I reckon..... overprescribed - you bet!

    Seems a lot of folk think it's a 'wonderdrug' - letting you eat anything you like! (undigested 'tho)

    luckily I don't suffer with it, only had heartburn when preggers....:D

  • Tell hubby to have a digestif glass of Fernet Branca after meals. Filthy taste but works.

  • will do thanks :) - but if it tastes like Gammel Dansk I expect he won't touch it!

    a tablespoon in water of Apple cider vinegar or bicarb seem the way to go. (you just don't see 'Andrews Liver salts' anymore). I expect he will lose a bit of weight avoiding pasta/pizza. :D

  • Is it still pantomime season?

    Oh yes you do!!!


  • By chance, I managed to listen to the whole program whilst driving back from a job this afternoon. :-)

    Your potted summary was very good. The transcript (typos inclusive) is now available here:


  • I was omeprazole fro few years fro acid reflux A&E one day and the dr there said to stop taking them.,my own gp nor the pharmacy said anything .I stopped takign them and my dr gave me another med .I went to dr one day -not my own-complaining of my ribs and she said its indigestion and prescribed omeprazole just after I was told not to take it.told her i wouldnot waste my time and drs time for indigestion!! so walked out and tore up the prescription.dont they read your notes .it would ahve said I had been told to stop taking omeprazole?

  • Whatever happened to a bit of Bi-Carb in warm water ? Can see my Mum now - sipping slowly. Just another money spinning exercise for Big Pharma....and of course worsening ones health so it requires even more medication !

    I once read the MASSIVE book of words on where the monies were spent in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on Medical issues - from the cost of closing down units to medicines. 5 million was the figure quoted - spent in one year - on antacids. From GP prescribing. I was taken on as a person on the street on some committee that talked about health matters - amongst Docs and others. Being a Crohns person I went straight to Gastroenterology. I was shouted down at the first meeting when I mentioned going to the Chemists. Needless to say I was ignored and it was just a position created to placate the public. Sorry cannot remember the Terms/Titles - so long ago....which makes the figure worse....

  • Hi, this might help. My experience- I was put on lansoprozole because of acid reflux, I assume it is of the same family of drugs from the name. I started taking "apple cider vinegar with the mother" I buy it from Braggs on the internet. Have stopped the drugs and no longer have a problem.

  • Not relevant to us but, I knew an old lady who was prescribed omeprazole,she died six weeks later from undetected cancer.

  • I was on Omeprazole for about a year - put on it because of upper abdominal discomfort (got a hiatus hernia) and it did help. When I tried to come off it was awful so kept going back on, but becoming increasing concerned as I read up on how bad it was to suppress the acid. Had a weekend away and forgot my when I got back I persevered and took Bicarbonate of soda, small meals, nothing after 6pm, and am very happy to say never went back on. Now I go to bicarb if necessary and have learned what my triggers are ie coffee, cheese, wine,

  • You just might be interested in the Russian paper quoted in this older post:

    Suggests that hiatus hernia can be a predictor of thyroid disease...


You may also like...