The short answer.
Weight loss after stopping omeprazole is not a common symptom. However, some patients suffer from nausea, diarrhea, and anxiety as symptoms of omeprazole withdrawal. Such symptoms may be causes of weight loss after stopping omeprazole
- Weight loss is a rare symptom following stopping omeprazole.
- Diarrhea, nausea, anxiety, and loss of appetite after stopping omeprazole are among the main causes that could lead to weight loss following omeprazole withdrawal.
- Rebound hyperacidity is one of the main symptoms following stopping omeprazole.
- Omeprazole long-term uses may increase your risk of weight gain.
Does Omeprazole withdrawal cause weight loss?
Weight loss is not commonly reported following omeprazole withdrawal. However, sometimes patients experience weight loss after stopping omeprazole. Variations of weight (weight loss or weight gain) may occur after stopping omeprazole based on the concurrent symptoms associated with its withdrawal.
Why does stopping omeprazole cause weight loss?
Omeprazole withdrawal is associated with symptoms that could affect your body weight. This includes the following:
- Anxiety: It is a rare symptom of stopping omeprazole. It could be due to the increased production of cytokines. Anxiety following omeprazole withdrawal could play an important role in weight loss after omeprazole withdrawal.
- Loss of appetite: loss of appetite could be due to the increased acid secretion after stopping omeprazole. It could strongly affect your weight inducing weight loss.
- Nausea and Diarrhea: Sometimes stopping omeprazole is accompanied by nausea and diarrhea and this may contribute to weight loss after stopping omeprazole.
- Heartburn and acid regurgitation: increased acid secretions and consequently heartburn and acid regurgitation are common symptoms after stopping omeprazole. Such symptoms could strongly affect your appetite leading to weight loss. In general, acidity and weight loss go parallel. Therefore, increased acidity after stopping omeprazole could decrease your appetite leading to weight loss.
- Low vitamin B12: The long-term use of omeprazole is reported to cause Vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, Vitamin B12 deficiency, even after stopping omeprazole, may contribute to weight loss (Ref).
Other symptoms of omeprazole withdrawal.
Drug cessation is quite a difficult task. It is sometimes associated with undesired side effects.
For omeprazole, which is usually prescribed for long-term treatment, withdrawal is probably accompanied by side effects (Ref). Rebound acid hypersecretion is one of the most common symptoms reported following omeprazole withdrawal.
A previous study reported that healthy individuals who were treated with omeprazole for eight weeks had symptoms of rebound acid hypersecretion following omeprazole withdrawal. The authors assumed that the Rebound acid hypersecretion might lead to drug dependency, which may have critical implications.
Symptoms of omeprazole withdrawal include the following:
- Rebound hyperacidity which could be due to increased acid secretion after stopping omeprazole administration.
- Acid regurgitation
- Abdominal disorders such as constipation and diarrhea
- Flu-like symptoms
Does omeprazole cause weight gain long term?
Weight gain isn’t a common side effect associated with omeprazole administration. However, certain rare cases showed that the long-term uses of omeprazole and other PPIs were linked to an increase in body weight.
Less than 1% of patients taking omeprazole experienced weight gain ranging from moderate to severe (Ref).
A study reported that patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) treated with omeprazole for a mean of 2.2 years had an undesired weight gain. The author recommended that patients receiving omeprazole for the long term should be encouraged to manage their body weight through lifestyle modifications.
Another study published in 2015 showed that males who administered omeprazole for one year had an increase in body weight compared with those untreated. However, female participants didn’t show a significant increase in their body weight.
Interestingly, the mechanism of weight gain associated with omeprazole administration remains unclear.
One possible explanation of weight gain associated with omeprazole administration could be the excess food intake due to the disturbance of the glandular system of the stomach.
1. Does taking omeprazole prevent weight loss?
Yes, omeprazole may help to prevent weight loss.
Omeprazole is commonly prescribed to treat symptoms associated with higher gastric acid secretion. The higher acid secretion, heartburn, and other related symptoms could affect your appetite and lead to weight loss. Therefore, taking omeprazole to relieve such symptoms may help you to avoid weight loss.
2. Does omeprazole cause increased appetite?
Yes, omeprazole could increase your appetite indirectly.
The higher gastric acidity could negatively affect your appetite. Therefore, taking omeprazole to control your gastric pH could help you to improve your appetite.
3. How to wean off omeprazole?
To wean off omeprazole, similar to other PPIs, you may need up to 2-4 weeks, depending on the dose you use. The higher the dose, the longer the duration.
Weaning of omeprazole can be successfully performed through a protocol over 2-4 weeks as follows (Ref):
- 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.
4. How long does rebound acidity last after stopping omeprazole?
After stopping the omeprazole administration, rebound hyperacidity may result and you may suffer from symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion. These symptoms could last up to 2 weeks.
5. What should I eat after stopping omeprazole?
Stopping omeprazole could be a challenge, especially for those who take it for a long time. this due to the side effects that may result. After stopping omeprazole, you have to carefully select your appropriate food to avoid worsening your condition.
Foods you can eat after stopping omeprazole include the following:
- Probiotics: The beneficial probiotic microorganisms have been reported to relieve digestive symptoms.
- Vegetables: You can eat vegetables such as broccoli which is sometimes considered a heartburn remedy
- Chewing sugarless gum: chewing gum has been reported to increase saliva secretion and consequently help relieve heartburn symptoms.
- It is important to avoid fatty food and spicy food which could trigger gastric acid secretion and therefore could worsen your symptoms.