My adverse reactions to Prilosec

30 Mar

In the early fall of 2012, I realized that the OTC version of Prilosec I’d been taking was not helping me as much as it had when I was taking the prescription version 12 years prior. I went to a recommended gastroenterologist and spoke to him. He told me that taking OTC Prilosec was a joke because it was only 10mg. For someone like me, with the symptoms I was having, I needed to be on the full dosage, 40mg twice a day. Since I’d taken RX Prilosec before, and knew I didn’t have any side effects with it, I filled the prescription and began taking the pills.

See, I’m really sensitive to medications. If there is a side effect, I will get it. I can’t take anything anymore, including advil or motrin or alleve or anything…OTC or Rx. I even have weird side effects from taking anti-biotics. I only take them when I absolutely have to, and in that case I only take a z-pack, because I know the side effects I will get (which include burning hands and feet…something my doctors had never heard of, but it comes on shortly after I start the first pill and doesn’t go away for several weeks after I’ve finished the pills). But since I’d taken RX Prilosec for almost 8 months the first time, I figured it was safe.

I began taking the Prilosec as prescribed. The first week, it relieved my symptoms and I felt okay. Shortly thereafter, maybe 5 days in, the chronic gastritis symptoms returned, and some new ones came on. I thought it was the gastritis getting worse, but found out afterwards that it was the Prilosec side effects (like that horrible lump in the throat feeling? yeah, that one that makes you feel like you have to clear your throat all the time or swallow harder, or for some people–gag!) that were bothering me.

At the time I was taking Prilosec, I’d already been seeing a therapist about some grief issues, which were wrapped up with some mild depression over the loss I had sustained. The anniversary of the loss was coming up, and I knew I’d need to talk to someone, so I started going to see a nice (and highly recommended) therapist to talk. It seemed like she was able to help me with the grief and the trauma from the grief, but the depression seemed to be getting worse…going from mild to somewhat moderate. In addition, I began to feel tired all the time, lethargic and uninterested in getting out of bed. My energy was gone, my interest in even moving to go to the bathroom was zilch. I’d been dealing with food issues because of my gastritis, including cutting back on carbs and sugar, as well as the regular GERD diet, and I was eating smaller meals to relieve my stomach pain and heartburn. When I began to drift into this lethargy, I stopped eating almost everything and began watching every morsel that went into my mouth. I also started to become paranoid about what was IN the food I was eating. I was sure everything I ate would give me an allergic reaction (like anaphylaxis). Food that I’d never had issues with before were starting to scare me. If it wasn’t something plain, like grilled chicken or lettuce or cottage cheese, I wouldn’t eat it. My mother made tuna salad with mayonnaise and celery, but I wouldn’t eat it because I was afraid there was something in it that would make me sick. I eat tuna salad all the time…but my brain was telling me no way was I putting that in my body.

I also began to be afraid to be alone. And in some cases, not just alone in the house, but alone in my bedroom–which was where I was living…in bed. I wasn’t drinking, I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t moving. I was existing, in a weird reality of depression and anxiety and paranoia. In addition, my body was in pain. My neck and shoulders were stiff, my limbs all felt heavy and immovable. I couldn’t hold my head up. But yet, I couldn’t lay still in bed…I was constantly shifting and moving my legs and my body. There were times when I could carry on what felt like a normal conversation with the person who was staying with me, and other times when I couldn’t bear to concentrate. I was too tired, or too depressed, or too upset. This all was occurring when my husband and I were hosting his parents in our home for a week. What luck, yeah? They were in from California, and we hardly ever see them. So while my husband entertained his family, my mother would sit with me in the bedroom.

One evening while the in-laws were here, I just couldn’t deal anymore. With encouragement from my parents and my husband, I decided to go to the ER of a local but well-known hospital. The night before, I packed things I might need if they wanted me to stay. I prepared myself with personal products and clothing, wrote a note to my husband about how I felt about him, how sorry I was for doing this to him, and what I wanted from him if I didn’t come home again. I was entirely convinced that the hospital would want to commit me, or that I would die. The morning we went to the ER, I begged my husband, in tears, not to leave me alone. Not to let them take me away. That it was my utmost fear that they were going to commit me and take me away from everyone I knew. I was desperate enough to go for help, but terrified at what the “help” might actually mean.

My ER experience…

(Luckily, after researching Prilosec after my ER visit, I quit cold turkey and the “adverse reactions” tapered off. It took several weeks for me to start feeling normal again! It is appalling that this isn’t being talked about and that doctors aren’t warning their patients of the possible adverse reactions…)


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59 responses to “My adverse reactions to Prilosec

  1. PD

    April 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm


    How many weeks it took before you feel normal.I stoped taking Prilosec 5 weeks back.I still do not feel normal.Feel depressed etc etc.


    • meANXIETYme

      April 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      I think it took me about 4-6 weeks before I REALLY started to feel normal again. But there were changing feelings along the way for me, like it was a slowly lifting curtain. I will tell you, though, that I’d been taking prilosec for about four or five months, if I recall correctly. I would suspect the length of time you’d been taking it might make a difference. If you want more reactions from people, go check this out:

      I hope you start feeling better soon. As you should have read in my blogs, I also was in therapy at the time, so I am sure circumstances in your life (like were you having depression symptoms before starting prilosec…etc) will also make a difference to recovery. Good luck, PD.

  2. Anonymous Joe

    August 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Wow. Thank you for posting your experience. I was recently given Prilosec to treat GERD. GERD had caused me some health anxiety over the past few months, but it wasn’t until 2 days after I started taking Prilosec that I had a very scary incident.

    I was walking with a loved one, when all of a sudden I got very dizzy and my heart started to RACE. I went to the ER, had multiple ekgs, echo cardiogram, blood work, xray,, you name it, and the heart was fine.

    In researching Prilosec, I found that they can cause all of the symptoms I’m experiencing. I’m also very, very anxious now. I stopped taking the Prilosec and will followup with my Dr.

    Again thanks for writing about your experiences, it makes me feel better to know I’m not alone.

    • meANXIETYme

      August 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      I’m really sorry you had to go through that, Anonymous Joe. I know that when I first had symptoms of GERD (which I had no idea it was GERD at the time), I thought it was all symptoms of heart problems. It gave me tremendous anxiety, so when they FINALLY figured out it was GERD and the Prilosec started working, I was so relieved. At that time, I was able to take the Prilosec for quite a long period of time, but now I look back and wonder if my anxiety during that time was an adverse reaction to the Prilosec but I didn’t know it. I assumed it was all because of my chronic illnesses (who wouldn’t have anxiety with undiagnosed chronic illnesses?), but I really do wonder if it was the Prilosec. The second time around when I started taking it, it advanced more quickly and was more intense than the first time.
      I went to the ER multiple times before I was diagnosed with GERD (and went to SEVERAL cardiologists) because not only did it give me chest pains, but it gave me referred pain to my left arm, my back, AND other parts of my body. It was a terrible time.
      I hope you feel better soon. And don’t let your Dr poo-poo your adverse reaction to Prilosec. What you are dealing with is VERY VERY real.
      You might consider talking to someone who deals with Digestive Enzymes (I talked with a nutritionist), because taking them gives me a lot of relief from GERD. Feel free to email me if I can help you in anyway with information. Good luck.

      • John

        December 7, 2014 at 10:45 am

        Hi I am a 66 year old male who has been taking Prilosec for about 7 months . I suffer from restless leg syndrome and had moderate depression for a time , so my doctor put me on wellbutrin which I have been taking for 5 years. This drug ((along with nortryptoline ) , which are restless leg friendly , brought me out of the depression,and actually seemed to help my RLS. Anyway I had a minor abscess in my stomach as determined by an endoscopy, so he put me on 20 mgs. Of Prilosec which I take once in the morning, and for the most part it didn’t seem to bother me, but the last 3 weeks I started to feel odd. I noticed I was yawning a lot in an attempt to get a fulfilling breath which continued to happen more frequently , until I had an anxiety attack that happened 4 days ago. Along with this I drift in and out of minor/moderate depression then normal in a continuous cycle.
        Add an ongoing caugh that has developed also, and you end up with one confused guy.
        My wonder is since this is a time release drug could this drug have built up to a point where it causes this?

      • meANXIETYme

        December 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm

        John, in my not scientific opinion–and I am not a doctor–the answer is yes. I did not start off with issues with the Prilosec right away…it tooks weeks before I started to “go downhill”. I will also say that people reported the cough and the lump in their throat as adverse reactions (or side effects) to Prilosec. I would definitely consider Prilosec as being an issue in what you are dealing with. As I said to Joe, you might consider finding a dietitian or nutritionist to see if they can help you with your stomach issues. I’ve never dealt with an abscess, so I’m not sure how that could be treated, but there must be other avenues to pursue.
        I wish you luck. And if you are so inclined, I’d like to hear back from you as to how you are doing in the future. Or if you have more questions, please ask!

  3. Anonymous Joe

    July 9, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    My how time flies. It’s almost been a year since that day at the track that I commnented on above on Aug 18 2014. Since then, no Prilosec and no panic attacks, with the exception of a 3 day period after I stopped taking Prilosec where the attacks were numerous.

    Been on daily magnesium+calcium and Vitamin-D supplements, and things have been relatively great. Just thought I’d close the loop on this one.

    Thanks, I enjoy your blog!

    • meANXIETYme

      July 10, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Thanks for updating me, Joe. I’m glad to hear you’ve recovered and moved on. Stay healthy! And thanks for reading.

  4. Amber

    August 27, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I’m so happy to know I wasn’t alone in this battle. I was on prilosec for six months before the anxiety hit. I didn’t know what was wrong with me I felt like I couldn’t be alone or that i was going to die at any moment. I finally did some research to see if the only medicine I was taking (prilosec) could possibly cause anxiety…… I was shocked at how many people had the same thing happen to them. I instantly quit taking the drug…. Talked to my doctor and she basically laughed in my face and said anxiety caused from prilosec was unheard of….. I ofcorse listened to my gut and decided I knew what was best for my overall health. I quit the prilosec decided to change my whole diet, and know I’m gladly at a place where I feel comfortable…. I wish there was more awareness of what this drug can do to you but unfortunately there’s not…..

    • meANXIETYme

      August 27, 2015 at 10:07 am

      I totally get you. My doctor basically did the same thing… “No way! Never heard of it, it’s YOU.” But it isn’t us, it’s the pills.
      I’ve actually attempted to contact several of our local news “investigative” reporters about this, but have never gotten a response. 😦

      • Holly

        November 1, 2015 at 8:06 am

        I stopped the Prilosec 3 months ago and still get woken up out of my sleep with panic attacks a bunch of times a night. The head pressure is lessening thankfully since I took certain Chinese herbs for them. I have chest pain and shortness of breath still at times which is an awful feeling . Are these things anyone else experienced? I aso have some belching. What did you do to recover ? I do acupuncture, Neurofeedback, therapy, somatic retraining and I went to a naturopath who gave me a tablet called cortisol manager. Any other suggestions ? I need to sleep !! -Holly

      • meANXIETYme

        November 1, 2015 at 10:06 am

        I kind of think it depends on how long you were on the prilosec, Holly. And honestly, by the time I realized what was happening, I was seeing a therapist so I don’t know if my “prilosec fever” recovery was helped along by being in therapy.
        Were you having any kind of anxiety and/or panic attacks prior to taking the prilosec? You might also be in the grip of anxiety from all the issues that the prilosec gave you. Muscle memory and all…
        Have you been able to get a handle on the heartburn with the other things you’ve been taking/trying?

      • Holly

        November 1, 2015 at 11:56 am

        I think the rebound gas etc travels up and pushes the hiatus of the stomach into the diaphragm and cause shortness of breath and palpitations and belching . I hope the Chinese herbs I’m taking now will reverse that which is what they are supposed to do. The symptoms are lessening but I definitely have muscle memory from the scary feelings I’ve been having for 3 months. I was on the Prilosec for 42 days and now I’ve been off of it for 3 months. You’re giving me hope that it does get better at least.

      • meANXIETYme

        November 1, 2015 at 1:52 pm

        I agree with you about the gas causing the shortness of breath and palpitations and such. Make sure you get these things checked out by a doctor, though, because palps and shortness of breath could be from any number of issues. I went to my cardiologist to rule out heart troubles before I associated those things with the heartburn and gas.
        I’ve used digestive enzymes and probiotics for my heartburn and it totally helps. I hope the herbs are helping you.
        As for the symptoms from the prilosec, yes, it definitely gets better. What remains in the middle is patience, unfortunately. But stay the course, you’re doing great.

  5. Erin

    December 5, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Thank you for your story. Here is mine. I had been having tummy issues so my doctor told me to take Prilosec so on thanksgiving morning, I did. That night I had major anxiety which is not me! It scared me so much. I went to the Er the next morning for stomach pain and they did a CT scan gave me morphine and diagnosed me with diverticulitis. Sent me home with two antibiotics, cipro and flagyl. Back to the Er later that day because of reaction to cipro (confused and pain shooting up my arm) They gave me a steroid shot and sent me home. Stated the flagyl and yet another reaction so the antibiotic so they gave me Augmentin. I have had been sleeping about 3 hours a night with help from Xanax which my doctor told me to take. Anyway, by Tuesday is so so filled with anxiety and had a panic attack which then lead to depression all in a matter of a few days. I realize now I am sensitive to medication and even the Augmentin is known for panic/anxiety. I can’t believe the day before thanksgiving I was out shopping with my kids and having fun and now I am in such a horrible place. The anxiety still here and won’t let’s sleep. I feel like I am going crazy and just want my life back. Did you have insomnia? How did you cope? I have taken Xanax for 5 nights now and scared to get addicted. Again, this anxiety and panick attacks only started after that morning dose on thanksgiving morning. Thank you fagain for sharing your story.

    • meANXIETYme

      December 5, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Erin. Thanks for sharing. The more we talk about this, the better informed we’ll all be, so I appreciate all the information you shared.
      I did not have the anxiety immediately from the Prilosec, but I know there have been other people reporting that it happened quite quickly. Especially with what sounds like your high sensitivity to meds, I’m not surprised at all.
      I had insomnia because of the anxiety, absolutely. I worried about falling asleep and not waking up. I worried about what might happen while I slept. At that time, I was often staying up until very early in the morning–like 1 or 2am–then falling asleep and waking around 11am. I felt that the later I slept, the less time I would have to be alone until my husband came home from work. It was a terrible cycle because my sleep wasn’t good and that just makes everything worse. The fear of taking medication was bad, too, because of all the adverse reactions I’ve had in the past. I wouldn’t have taken Xanax if you had paid me, so I struggled a lot. I would be mildly concerned that the Xanax might be causing some of the anxiety and sleep issues. Can you try some more homeopathic things to sleep? Believe it or not, Tart cherry juice can actually help you sleep, if you can find it and if you can handle the taste. You can try to mix it with some other juice–like apple (don’t do citrus because the acid in citrus will bother your already stressed stomach)–to make it more palatable. You don’t need a ton of the cherry juice to be effective. I found that did help me somewhat with sleeping. You could also try eating a little turkey about an hour before bed, with the hope that the triptiphan in it will help you sleep.
      A lot of people swear by melatonin pills, though I’ve never actually tried that. Warm milk is an old method of trying to help you sleep because it also has either triptiphan or something similar that makes you sleepy. I would do a search of homeopathic sleep options and try a few. Sleep is imperative for relieving anxiety, so do the best you can to work on that.
      If you do homepathic pills, be sure to make sure it doesn’t interfere with any prescriptions you might be on. Things like warm milk, turkey, and tart cherry juice should be very safe for you to try because they’re everyday natural items.
      I hope you find something that works. Try to be patient with yourself. I know that’s hard, but you’ve gotten into a cycle that your brain needs to come out of. It might take some time and some persistence, but I believe you an overcome this. If you get to that point, see if you can talk to a counselor, a social worker, a therapist, a spiritual adviser (priest, rabbi, etc)…support like that can be very helpful too.
      I’ll be sending you good thoughts and energy. I hope you’ll come back and let me know how you’re doing.

      • Erin

        December 5, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        Thank you for your comment. I am discontinuing Xanax as of tonight (on. .5mg for 5 nights so hopefully no withdrawals). Apparently the antibiotic I am on has a lot of complaints of severe anxiety. This has been a terrible road. I hope to feel like me again. I can’t take the fluttering feelings in my gut that wake me up when I fall asleep. I am trying warm milk tonight. A week with three hours average of sleep per night is terrible and I am not even tired during the day. So something is causing this horrible energy. I really appreciate your response. Thank you so much.

      • meANXIETYme

        December 5, 2015 at 10:04 pm

        Oh yes, I’ve had the issue with antibiotics too! It’s hard once you realize you’re sensitive to trust medications again. I struggle with this, too. But things like antibiotics that have an end, you just need to fight through it and finish it.
        Try that milk, see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, try something else. Keep fighting, you’ll make it through. Remember that YOU are still in there!

  6. Holly

    December 13, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Hi Again. It’s Holly. I know the suffering you are experiencing, Erin. I’m off the Prilosec for 4 months and still not better. I was getting better with a Bach flowers remedy and the advice of an Ayurvedic dr to eat a Vata suppressinf diet which includes warm milk with ghee and cardamom before bed. I did “reenter” my body a few days ago as I was floating above it for the past 4 months from the severe anxiety. I am also having sensory overload all the time . I got a Chinese herbal formula calles “Peace Pearls” by the Classical Pearls line which really helped me to sleep soundly last night. The Xanax helped a little but gave me rebound anxiety and palpitations. An acupuncturist could get the herbal formula for you. I would definitely recommend it. I am e-mailing with people all over the world that had severe anxiety induced by Prilosec. They also can’t be left alone like I feel now. I am glad that there’s hope from this blog. A few people gave a timeline of between 6 months- 1 year or so until they felt all better. I am scared to take an antidepressant but we’ll see. The anxiety/floating feeling is so unbearable. I am also a mother of young kids and my husband and mother have been helping me around the clock because I can’t function by myself from this anxiety and panic. Thank you for this blog and bringing us all together .No one else could understand what we’re going through.

    • meANXIETYme

      December 13, 2015 at 10:08 am

      I have heard from several people that acupuncture can help anxiety. It’s next on my list to try after my current attempts with hypnotherapy. I’ll be blogging on that experience soon!

      Thanks for posting again, Holly. The more we help each other, the better off we are.

  7. Holly

    December 13, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I recommend acupuncture and have been studying to become one for 4 years actually which is why I can’t believe I took that awful drug when I knew better ways to heal! I do get acupuncture twice a week, craniosacral therapy, meditation and hypnosis. The Bach flowers remedy has been the most helpful thing actually. I had a custom formula made . You drink four cups four times a day for anxiety. I read that this formulation is best for intense panic attacks and am having it made soon : agrimony, cherry plum, chestnut bud, impatiens, gentian, and star of Bethlehem. There are many practitioners of it and they sell it in whole foods . I also recommend the rescue remedy and the current formula I’m on for anxiety : mimulus, elm, aspen, and star of bethelem. Very very powerful ! Don’t know how it works ! Cherry juice is great also and look up Vata suppressing foods in terms of Ayurvedic medicine. Milk, dairy, nuts. Also recommend a book called Five steps to freedom by Lorraine mason – 5.95 on kindle for iPhone. All these things are helping !! Good luck everyone !

    • meANXIETYme

      December 13, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Awesome, thanks for sharing! So much to try…

  8. Holly

    December 13, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I spoke to a few people who suffered shortness of breath on this drug and continue to suffer on and off years later. One woman says its worse during her time of the month. I have that as a major symptom also. Another woman said it got so bad and she now has a rare autoimmune lung disease. It must all be the same thing though … Does anyone else still have this symptom? A few people mentioned their inability to get a fulfilling breath here. It is definitely related to anxiety.

    • meANXIETYme

      December 13, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Sometimes I feel that way, but I feel that it is part of my anxiety as it happens mostly when I feel anxious. However, it’s hard to know what came first, you know?

      • Michele

        August 21, 2019 at 11:19 pm

        I have been on Prilosec 20mg twice a day for almost 2 months. Roughly 2 weeks in, I started getting a heavy tight feeling in my chest, which I read could be a normal reaction to acid reflux, so I chalked it up to that. The feeling kept coming every morning, accompanied with shortness of breath,bad enough that walking around the house was very tough, forget the staircase, I’d be doubled over gasping. Beyond the pressure, I would also get muscle spasms in my abdomen and just general tense feelings in my abdomen and chest. Yes anxiety and stress made it worse, but it didn’t cause it. I truly believe the Prilosec did it all. I also started experiencing anxiety attack, which I hadn’t suffered from for years. I’m just now starting to wean myself off of this drug bc from very early on, I felt like it was making me feel worse, but I was told by doctors to keep taking it. So I did thinking I’d get better. Never got better. I was even more red to take 40 mg twice a day, but there was no way I was gonna take that much.

    • Anonymous Joe

      March 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Holly,

      I’m the same Joe that wrote on Aug 18 2014 and followup on July 9th 2015. Prilosec did not -cause- my shortness of breath, but it exacerbated it. I was having small bouts of shortness of breath before seeing my doctor who prescribed Prilosec, leading the even worse shortness of breath and palpitations, panic attacks, etc.

      What my original shortness of breath was attributed to was very low magnesium levels. You can do a Google search and see that shortness of breath can be related to low magnesium levels, and that Prilosec is thought to inhibit the absorption of magnesium, which would make the symptoms worse.

      I’m not a doctor, but I would check with yours to see if magnesium supplements would be OK for you to take. It took couple weeks, but 500mg per day and my shortness of breath is gone. It has the added benefit of being calming, so I take it before bed every night.

      Best Wishes

      • meANXIETYme

        March 7, 2016 at 10:31 pm

        Thanks for coming back and sharing more information, Anonymous Joe!

  9. Tina

    March 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    WOW! After reading this and reading all the comments, I am so thankful for y’all. I was diagnosed with Gastritis last Saturday and given Prilosec to take for 30 days. I’ve never taken it and I don’t really like to take medicine but if it was going to take my pain away I was willing to do it. Well yesterday (Thursday), only after taking the pill 4 times (I started taking them on Sunday), I woke up with severe pain. My heart was racing, I couldn’t breathe right, I was sweating, I couldn’t stop pacing and if I tried to sit down I would feel more paniced, I was dizzy, my muscles are stiff, and other stuff. I went back to the er and all of the tests they did came back fine. I overheard the dr say to someone else that she thought I was having an anxiety attack but she never said anything to me. They just sent me home and told me to continue the Prilosec. I did and the very next day I woke up with the exact same issues. I managed to calm myself down and I looked up anxiety and sure enough every single symptom is what I had. So now I’m waiting for my follow up dr appointment to talk to him about this. Stumbling upon this article is a blessing bc I am not taking the Prilosec anymore and I want to see if I wake up tomorrow with the same issues. I hope everyone feels better.
    Ps: I was talking to people who suffer from anxiety and one of them said she takes vitamin B and it regulates her anxiety. I hope that little tip can help someone who reads this too.

    • meANXIETYme

      March 18, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks for joining in the conversation, Tina. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Don’t be too terribly surprised if your doctor doesn’t agree and has no idea about Prilosec and anxiety. Hopefully since you didn’t take the pills for too long, it will get out of your system without too much delay.
      I don’t remember if I’ve said it, but I’ve had great success with digestive enzymes and probiotics to help with my chronic gastritis. I’d been on that regime for several years and within the last few months have been able to stop the digestive enzymes altogether without a return of my gastritis symptoms. I have occasional heartburn, but probably no more than the average person. I’ve switched from taking a probiotic pill to drinking Kefir on a daily basis, which has stronger probiotics in it, which gives the good bacteria a chance to get past my stomach and into my intestines, where they are very badly needed!
      Good luck, Tina. I hope you do really well with resolving your issues.

  10. John doe

    August 18, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Glad you are feeling better.

    I too am discovering the wonders of ppi’s. I went through about 9 months of “out of the blue” anxiety. This led to the typical round of “every test under the sun” to check my heart and all the other symptoms that my anxiety was manufacturing. Around the time it stopped I started going to a Chiropractor that also practiced dietary health. First thing he did was wean me off ppi’s and started me on HCL tablets. Heartburn gone! My anxiety also evaporated. I chalked it up to, I was finally getting to the bottom of the issue so the anxiety had nothing to feed on. About a month later I started getting an ache in the right of my throat. No anxiety mind you. I tried many things to figure out what was causing the irritation. 9 months later I thought, maybe it’s the HCL tabs. I weaned my way off them and the ache started going away. Then the heatburn came back 3 days later. Crap. So I grabbed a bottle of Prilosec OTC that was still sealed and left in my cabinet. 4 days later while I was working out I had an anxiety attack. Being that this is the only thing that changed in my life, I started researching ppi and anxiety links. I ran out of the prilosec, I take 2 a day, and picked up some nexium OTC. Now I sit here at 4 am after a wakeup call round of anxiety. I’m going to talk to both my pcp and chiro and find out where to go from here. 1 thing my chiro did tell me is that there has been a ton of research pointing to the gastro tract as almost a second brain. So many things related to mood are tied to our GI track.

    • meANXIETYme

      August 18, 2016 at 9:21 am

      I’m sorry you went through all that.
      Talk to your chiropractor about digestive enzymes combined with probiotics. That is how I manage my heartburn very effectively without the ppi side effects!
      And yes, there is a lot of talk about that “gut brain” and how it affects our mood and mental health.

  11. Sharon

    July 10, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Hi, everyone, I know this is an old thread but I am in hopes that someone will see my post and respond. I am a 54 year old female that went through the same awful effects from Prilosec two years ago. I was only on it for 11 days, but had all the symptoms in previous posts–severe anxiety, muscle cramps, stomach pain, didn’t feel like I should be left alone, trips to the ER, etc., etc…I thought I was going nuts; I was actually getting my affairs in order since I thought I was surely dying. Fast forward two years to now–it took a good three months for the symptoms to completely go away, but I have been feeling pretty good these past 2 years. Then, out of the blue this past Sunday I had a terrible panic attack…it was like deja vu! My heart started racing and pounding, my throat closed up, and I had pain running down my left arm. I happened to be driving my car (alone) and pulled over to the side of the highway and called 911. Of course, when the ambulance arrived and I got checked out, all was normal. Since then, I have had heart palpatations, headache, muscle aches and twitching, and I am sleeping off and on about 3 hours a night (tossing and turning due to the headache, muscle aches, and listening to my heart beating in my chest). I go to see my primary doctor today, but my question is, has anyone experienced anything like this? A good while without symptoms and then symptoms surfacing out of the blue?? It’s not as bad as what I went through two years ago, but disturbing none the less…is it some kind of flashback?? I have started on a regimen of extra B12, Magnesium, potassium, etc. (as I did with my first bout) and I am hoping this will help!

    • meANXIETYme

      July 10, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      If it truly was a panic attack then the symptoms you described would probably all be from that. But obviously you need to get your doctor looking at you.

      My understanding is that you can have body and muscle memory so it could be a flashback kind of thing the first time in the car and everything afterward comes from your body still being in hypervigilance mode from the panic attack.

      You might consider see a cognitive behavioral therapist to help you get to a better place with the anxiety and hypervigilance.

      Hope you’ll come back and let me know how your doctor appt goes.

      • Erin

        July 10, 2018 at 2:26 pm

        Yes, Sharon. I have been through everything you describe. At our age our Estrogen starts to deplete and some of us just can’t handle it. It started with anxiety and health anxiety where I always thought I was dying. Then a full blown panic attack and then depression at some point. I went on Lexapro and got completely back to normal. Lexapro truly saved me as I felt I was going nuts! I am so happy again and not anxiety or panic. When I got off of the lex, I was again hit with anxiety and panic and depression so I went back on and have decided to stay on it after I have been menopausal for a year or two.

  12. Sharon

    July 11, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Thank you for responding to my message:) I saw my doctor yesterday and all my vitals checked out fine–I had bloodwork done this morning to check levels of everything vital to bodily function, including magnesium, potassium, etc. Yesterday was actually a pretty good day, and I had a lot of energy, felt less edgy, and slept better than on Sunday following my panic episode. Erin, I think you may be on to something with the correlation between this and estrogen levels. It seems like as soon as I hit menopause, my whole body began changing fairly rapidly–funny, because I spent a long time looking forward to the day when I didn’t have to fool with a period every month but neglected to think about all the other changes that would be occurring at that stage, too! Anyway, for now I plan to up the nutrients I put in my body and try practicing meditation and yoga. This morning I felt a little jittery (almost like I’m vibrating inside, much like I felt when I was on the Prilosec), to the point where I thought it might escalate, and calmed myself down by focusing on taking slow, deep breaths. It’s just so strange how this hit me out of the blue, but maybe it has been slowly creeping up on me and I just didn’t see the symptoms. I have heard that some people have good results on Lexapro (and it’s funny, because my doctor asked me if I wanted to start on that!), but due to drug sensitivities in the past I think I will see how it goes without it… a therapist would definitely be in order, as meANXIETYme mentioned–I’ve used therapy in the past to cope with other life issues, so I appreciate the benefits. Thanks again for the replies– it really helps to know that there are others out there who care and understand 🙂

    • meANXIETYme

      July 11, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      I’m glad all went well and you feel like you have some sort of plan.

      I had a complete hysterectomy so I got forced into menopause really fast. It sure does play havoc with your body!

  13. Erin

    July 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    You might want to look into a doctor that specializes in Menopause and hormones. My friend has the same thing and she wears a low dose estrogen patch which took away anxieties and insomnia and the patch is actually really good for many with so many benefits despite all the horror stories. I tried it but I needed the big guns (lexapro) to get me through it. Best of luck!

    • meANXIETYme

      July 11, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks for the thought but I had estrogen fed cancer so can’t do any hrt.

      • Erin

        July 11, 2018 at 2:11 pm

        Oh!! So sorry to hear that. 😦 best of luck to you 🙂

      • meANXIETYme

        July 11, 2018 at 2:12 pm


  14. Lucas

    October 31, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I know I’m late to the conversation, but I’m 18 and was given Prilosec from my mother as a precaution for stomach issues. BAD IDEA! I took it for about a week and a half and it started off okay, but I began to have severe reactions to it. I couldn’t eat for 3 days straight. Felt like I was dying. I never had anxiety prior to taking it and now I do. I’m on my 3rd or 4th week since I’ve quit taking it, and I’ve honestly improved a lot. I still have sudden spikes in anxiety and from time to time a panic attack, but I started going to Therapy and I’ve learned to manage it. Since my body took a beating, I have been very susceptible to getting sick. So I now have a cold and it feels worse than a regular cold since my body is having a harder time fighting the virus. But I generally feel better. Tho my mind does get a bit foggy here and there it isn’t as bad as it was before. I tried to take magnesium, but my body can’t really handle anything right now so I drink chamomile tea and A LOT of water. Right now it’s taking things day by day, but it’s been hard. I wish someone could tell me how long this would last! It’s a terrible feeling.

    • meANXIETYme

      October 31, 2018 at 9:56 am

      I’m sorry you are struggling with this. I hope things get better soon. Support your system by staying hydrated and try to eat so healthy as you can. If you didn’t already, try magnesium glycinate pills. They are easier on the stomach and absorb better. Stay strong!

      • Lucas

        October 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm

        How long did it take till the anxiety went away for you?

      • meANXIETYme

        October 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm

        I know it took some time. A few weeks or a month, but everyone is different and has different circumstances surrounding the prilosec use…like how long you took it for and at what dose, etc.

    • Sharon

      November 1, 2018 at 8:12 am

      So sorry that you are going through this, Lucas, but please know that you are not alone! I had the same experience two years ago after having been on Prilosec for 11 days–thought I was dying, anxiety attacks so bad that I thought my heart would self-destruct, trips to the ER and numerous tests such as EKG, MRI’s, ultrasound, CT scan, and blood work only to find out that all tests checked out fine. I did some research and found that there were others with the same awful symptoms…through correspondence with others through the ‘Askapatient’ website, I started on a total body cleanse by eating as many leafy greens and protein as I could, making my own gatorade to replenish electrolytes (fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, sea salt, coconut water, honey–you can google ‘homemade gatorade’), and ramped up my exercise routine. Slowly started feeling better, but it was like one step forward and two steps back some days…I think for me it took about 2 months to feel completely back to my old self again. Like ‘meANXIETYme’ reponded, the recovery time is different for everyone…we all have different chemical make-ups, so each person will experience different reactions and recovery times. Just keep doing what you’re doing and make sure to stay well-hydrated (no caffeine) and eat as healthy as possible. You WILL get better, it just takes time. All the best to you–wishing you a speedy recovery!

      • Lucas

        November 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        Hello Sharon, I know my response is late now but I’ve been now off of it for 6-7 weeks and I’ve gotten much better. I think maybe I’m at week 8 if I try and remember but I have a question since lately I’ve had moments of depersonalisation. I was wondering that on your way to recovery you ever had to deal with this? My anxiety has gradually decreased and I’ve been able to manage it but the depersonalisation was never this bad till recently. I may just be overthinking. I don’t know sometimes, but I was hoping someone had similar experience with that.

      • Sharon

        November 19, 2018 at 8:21 pm

        Glad you are feeling a bit better, Lucas. Yes, I did experience times of depersonalization even for a time after I stopped taking the Prilosec—it felt like an out-of-body experience, or a ‘floaty’ feeling. Sometimes I would go for a walk to try to shake off the anxiety, and it felt like my feet were not touching the ground. All these symptoms subsided slowly the longer I was off the Prilosec, it just took time…
        Hope you continue to improve and you are able to get back to normal as quickly as possible!

      • Lucas

        November 23, 2018 at 3:45 pm

        Did you have more consistent déréalisation or just small fogginess leading up to the 2 months of being off of it? I’ve had this lately and it’s not too severe but it’s more annoying and really dampens my day. I was on Prilosec same about as you were so I’m really hoping it ends soon. I’m very tired of it.

      • Sharon

        November 24, 2018 at 11:19 am

        Since everyone has different reactions and recovery times, it’s hard to compare symptoms and duration, etc.—— I had the feeling of depersonalization pretty much the whole time I was on the Prilosec and then for a while after I stopped it, and then it became more sporadic until it finally went away. I think you will just need to ride it out and eat as healthy as you can, plus stay hydrated! Sending wishes for a speedy recovery! Some days it’s one step forward and two steps back…

      • Lucas

        December 8, 2018 at 11:14 pm

        Did you ever feel weird returning back to normal? I no longer really have an stomach problems and the anxiety is lingering and going away, not really a problem anymore. But getting back to normal feels weird because I forgot what it felt like. Did you get this?

  15. Sharon

    December 11, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Yes, I did feel weird for a while after being off the Prilosec. I am in my 50’s and now dealing with menopause so I’m not sure what ‘normal’ is any more, anyway (lol)–at least you don’t have that to look forward to! I did take up a very simple morning yoga routine (Rodney Yee’s a.m. yoga for beginners) when I was struggling with side effects after stopping the Prilosec and I continue to practice that every morning. It is especially helpful when I get a bit ‘squirrely’ and feel unbalanced. I find that it keeps me centered and takes my mind off of anything my brain is trying to murmur to me. The yoga ‘tree pose’ was very helpful when I was recovering from the Prilosec and feeling anxious since you have to concentrate on balancing on one leg–it kind of jogs your brain into breaking the focus away from any escalating anxiety. I have heard people talk about the helpfulness of the CALM app, but I have not personally tried it. I think you just have to find what works best for you…increasing your exercise may help, since it releases those endorphins we need for mental stability. Keep doing what you’re doing and give it time…our body chemistry changes naturally throughout life, so I think we are all coping with finding a new ‘normal’ at different stages of our lives…

    • Lucas

      December 11, 2018 at 9:26 am

      The issue I’ve been dealing with is worrying I could have schizophrenia or something. I learned about it in my psychology class and I’m probably just suffering from med student syndrome but I’ve scared myself into this new state of worrying. They say if you think you’re going crazy you aren’t because you have the ability to notice that you’re not okay. People with severe mental illnesses don’t have that and they just get sick without any warning. Today I’m going to start doing Yoga again, I haven’t done it since I got sick mainly due to procrastination and sheer laziness, but I need to clear my mind and hopefully yoga does that for me. I just worry if I’m not scared at any moment I’m probably going to slowly slip into a state of severe mental illness. Which is a dumb way to think about all this, but the anxiety which lingers makes me worry about things like these. 2 weeks ago I thought I had bipolar and now this. I just need to find my centre of calm and relax. I think I am more self destructive googling what I could have then just living my life. Truly hope I’m back to some sense of normal soon. Knowing people like you have gotten better gives me hope, sometimes that’s all we have.

      • meANXIETYme

        December 11, 2018 at 9:42 am

        The best thing I have done for myself is to stop googling symptoms. It was hard but well worth the effort.

  16. Benzoicacid

    January 4, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Hi..i took omeprazole for only two months last year february for h pylori bleeding ulcer. Since then i am not myself anymore. I am bedridden with fear.. cant even get up to go to washroom.. vision issues.. extreme fear and paranoia and health anxiety.. i feel paralyzed and muscles in my body keep contracting and stiffening.. you were so lucky your reaction tapered off. After a year, i am in the same state.. i am too young to get stuck like this forever.. i took many anti depressants and benzos for anxiety, no relief.. i cry and scream every day.. cant focus on a small task like thinking straight or bear tv or two ppl talking.. recently went to a neuro suspecting brain damage.. he has put me on steroids and zantac ..acid blocker again though not a ppi 😦 i am terrified.

    • meANXIETYme

      January 5, 2019 at 11:25 am

      I would highly suggest you consider seeing a therapist. It has made a huge difference in my life. Some of what you are dealing with may in fact be both anxiety and PTSD. Keep trying things and seeking help. 💕

  17. Benzoicacid

    January 5, 2019 at 3:08 am

    I am feeling a lot of what you went through.. only worse and for a year now.. i cry a lot.. i really want to see light at the end of the tunnel but with my thinking power compromised and my body in near paralysis, its impossible to do so.. i want to recover like you did but i have quit omeprazole for a year now.. why is it not happening

    • meANXIETYme

      January 5, 2019 at 11:28 am

      Every physical body responds differently. And recovers differently. And as I said, I feel you might be stuck in an anxiety and PTSD loop. Trying therapy for these issues is a good next step. You might even start with online therapy if you are not able to get out of the house right now.

  18. Eric

    January 8, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I can feel everyone’s pain. I took omeprazole for about three weeks for GERD. My PCP prescribed it. 40mg daily. I thought it was great at first, because I was symptom free in a matter of a couple of days. Then on about day 5, I woke up not feeling right. I had bouts of anxiety and this back and forth depression all day long. Some days were better than others. I thought I was going crazy. I saw a therapist. Then I figured out on my own that the only thing that was different was I was on this medication. I never felt like this prior. I have been off of the omeprazole for five days now. I am still experiencing the anxiety and depression at times, but not as severe. I also have that weird out of body experience sometimes too. I am hoping that I will feel totally normal again soon too. Any help or advice will help. And since I have not been on it long, are my chances of a full recovery good?

    • meANXIETYme

      February 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      I’m sorry, Eric but I never got a notification of your pending comment. I hope that by now you are doing better.


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