The short answer:
It is better to stop taking omeprazole gradually through an appropriate protocol to avoid the rebound hyperacidity and other symptoms associated with omeprazole withdrawal.
- Stop taking omeprazole is advised to be tapered off.
- The best way to stop taking omeprazole is to slowly taper off omeprazole over two to four weeks.
- The sudden withdrawal of omeprazole may lead to rebound hyperacidity and your symptoms might come back again.
How to stop taking omeprazole?
Omeprazole and other PPIs are commonly prescribed for the treatment of high acid secretion-related symptoms and sometimes they are used for the long term (Ref).
You may need to speak to your doctor before you stop taking omeprazole. The abrupt withdrawal may be associated with more acid secretion and symptoms come back again.
Therefore, weaning off omeprazole should occur according to an appropriate protocol that may vary from patient to patient based on the symptoms and the patient’s clinical picture.
Some patients may need one step to wean off omeprazole. Others may require several steps and may need to use other medications to safely help them weaning of omeprazole.
For children, slower withdrawal is recommended throughout a long duration.
Sometimes, you may continue to use omeprazole occasionally after stopping your regular administration, to relives occasional symptoms.
You have to take care, the abrupt stopping of omeprazole, without tapering the dose, could increase the symptoms relapse. Therefore, it might be prudent to follow a specific protocol to stop omeprazole from reducing the dose to the lowest effective dose before omeprazole withdrawal and to be provided with occasional symptom management (Ref).
In general, clinicians prefer the gradual dose reduction for omeprazole withdrawal.
- Reduce the dose from twice daily to once daily.
- Transfer from high dose to low dose
- Transfer from daily administration to every other day
The protocol for stopping omeprazole can be concluded as follow:
- Step #1: You have to establish a regular therapy of omeprazole
- Step #2: You need to have your daily dose of omeprazole or change the dose frequency. for example, take omeprazole once daily instead of twice daily.
- Step #3: If you are at a high dose of therapy, you need to use an alternate-day strategy
- Step #4: Stop omeprazole
Other possible strategies for stopping omeprazole
- You can use omeprazole on demand.
This means you can stop taking daily doses of omeprazole and use it only when you need it to relieve symptoms such as heartburn or GERD.
- Try other medications
To avoid rebound symptoms after stopping omeprazole, You can use other medications such as
- H2 Receptor blockers such as famotidine could help you to lower gastric acid secretion after stopping omeprazole administration.
- Antacids: these types of medication could help you in rapid relief of symptoms by neutralizing the higher acidity. You can use antacids such as calcium carbonate (Tums), calcium carbonate, and magnesium hydroxide (Rolaids). you have to take care as these medications could lead to constipation or gas as possible side effects.
Can I stop taking omeprazole suddenly?
It is not recommended to stop omeprazole suddenly. Stopping omeprazole suddenly may trigger your stomach to secrete more acid, consequently, symptoms may come back and you may suffer from heartburn, gastritis, and acid. Gradual withdrawal is recommended especially if you are using omeprazole for a long time.
Can I stop taking omeprazole after a week?
In certain cases, it might be not dangerous to stop taking omeprazole early. However, you might suffer from heartburn or other symptoms related to rebound hyperacidity.
In contrast, in certain cases, stopping omeprazole could be dangerous such as when you are taking omeprazole for Barrett’s esophagus, early stopping omeprazole could cause more damage to your esophagus.
In general, weaning off omeprazole might vary according to whether it is prescription omeprazole or OTC omeprazole.
- For prescription omeprazole
It is recommended to take omeprazole for 2-4 weeks for most conditions such as stomach ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD). Other conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus longer administration is required to avoid further complications (Ref).
- For OTC omeprazole
With regard to the package instructions, you can take OTC omeprazole for two weeks. If you need longer than 2 weeks, you have to call your healthcare provider.
When should I stop taking omeprazole?
The treatment regimen of omeprazole varies based on your condition and the reason why you are taking it.
You may need to take omeprazole for a few weeks or months or sometimes you may take it for a long term that may extend for many years.
Once you get better, you can stop taking omeprazole. However, You have to ask your doctor before stopping taking it especially if you were on long-term therapy.
What are the symptoms of stopping taking omeprazole?
Stop taking omeprazole is sometimes associated with many symptoms including the following:
Symptoms related to the gastrointestinal tract such as:
- Rebound hyperacidity
- Acid regurgitation
- Constipation or diarrhea
Other symptoms such as
- Flu-like symptoms
1. How long does omeprazole withdrawal last?
The rebound of higher acid secretion is among the most common symptoms that result from omeprazole withdrawal and is sometimes known as omeprazole withdrawal. Such symptoms were reported to last up to one week following stopping omeprazole. Therefore, for stopping omeprazole safely, it is recommended to reduce the dose of omeprazole slowly and not not more than every two weeks so that the rebound hyperacidity is settled in between each reduction.
2. What is the best way to stop taking omeprazole?
The best way to stop taking omeprazole is to slowly taper off omeprazole administration over 2-4 weeks. As the main protocol for stepping down omeprazole is carried out in 2-4 weeks.
The higher the dose of omeprazole you are taking the longer the taper-off duration
3. What monitoring is needed after stopping omeprazole?
After stopping omeprazole, you might need symptoms monitoring and management with on-demand use of omeprazole.
You may need to attend follow-up appointments at 4 and 12 weeks after stopping omeprazole and again at 6 and 12 months.