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  1. Hi all, It's been a crazy few months since August... and yet it feels like we barely started on this journey. Not really looking forward to next year based on what I've seen... Anyway, some background, my 62yr old mum has on and off over the years experienced stress related throat symptoms - difficulty swallowing, lump in throat etc. All her visits to throat specialists yielded nothing (except for a slight hernia hiatus w/ GERD, which she was put on a PPI long term for). Unable to find the source of her discomfort, she became more distressed by it, resulting in a vicious cycle of cause and effect. Eventually she got put on Fluvoxamine 150mg, Olanzapine 2.5mg and Nordiazepam 11.25mg back in 2018 Nov. Previously she has been rx fluvoxamine on and off since 2004, and seem to have always gone cold turkey off them whenever she felt better. Her pdoc never warned her not to do so, nor suspected that her repeated visits and complaints of symptoms may have been due to withdrawal. She was previously rx benzos PRN but never took them until the TID prescription in nov 18. Fast forward to 2019, she started exhibiting symptoms of what i now know was tolerance withdrawal from benzos, increasing anxiety and visibly fearful, things shes never had before. In Aug 19 she switched a pdoc believing that the previous pdoc's meds werent working anymore. The new pdoc cold turkeyed her off the antipsychotic as well as her benzo, but rx clonazepam to her to be taken PRN, but only if she really needs it coz it's 'addictive' and thus bad. She was also switched to mirtazapine 30mg. This switch resulted in a tsunami of acute withdrawal symptoms to appear. Within weeks of zero sleep and many many disturbing symptoms, she became suicidal. I got involved at this point, but was otherwise ignorant of the real danger she was in. I knew she was in withdrawal, I just didnt know withdrawals could be so dangerous or last that long. The pdoc reassured me that everything will be okay, and that she's already looking better than when she first came in! (Turns out, it was because she had a clonazepam just before the appointment. Duh!) When things didnt relent by the end of august, and she became actively suicidal, i grew concerned and admitted her to a psych ward. Bad mistake, because they misdiagnosed her as depression and did a major change to her cocktail of drugs again. They reinstated her on 10mg V, and switched her to 75mg Effexor XR, as well as loaded her on zdrugs for the duration if her stay(10+days). This mistake did help me figure out what went wrong though, as the switch to Valium helped me find benzobuddies and the ashton manual. Only then did the past month finally make sense. I was horrified at how arbitrary pdocs were making their adjustments to medications, and shocked that they would so blatantly tell me its her underlying illness that she has been masking symptoms of from me. Makes one wonder if she was so good at masking symptoms previously, why is she incapable of doing so now? 😕 They tried to cold turkey / rapid taper her off V again, but i insisted they reinstate her back on her benzo and do a proper taper instead. They agreed but only reinstated and discharged her with 8mg V with the instruction to taper her benzo at 1mg/mth. My discovery and obsession of benzo withdrawal has blinded me to the other two real dangers that she was in, that she was cold turkeyed off an antipsychotic, and put on venlaflaxine, a super short halflife snri. By the time I realize it may not just be benzo withdrawal, it was too late, she was already off olanzapine for 3 mths, and on effexor xr for the same amount of time. I raised my concerns, but the pdoc brushed away my concern again. These ill advised tapering instructions resulted in my mum entering a state of catatonia stupor in mid nov, and had to be admitted to the hospital for a week, after she couldnt stabilize on her 1mg cut to 7mg V. As of now, shes having a myriad of symptoms, including but not limited to dp/dr, akathisia, broken sleep, major brain fog cognitive dysfunction/memory issues, paranoia, confusion, dysphagia, anxiety, fear, panic, agoraphobia, constipation and other gi issues, and something im growing more and more concerned for, tardive dyskinesia (rapid eye blinking, chewing, lips smacking) which Im wondering if it was from the olanzapine cold turkey or the clonazapem use for 3 weeks after her first cold turkey. Most days, shes hardly present and would take a long time to register things i say, or execute simple instructions. Her cognitive skills fluctuates, but only from really bad to somewhat bad, never good or normal. Her anxiety has somewhat weaned but is still fearful and obsessively worried and paranoid. She bounced back from her catatonic state rather quickly, but is experiencing severe dp/dr and brain fog that hasnt relented for the 2 weeks since she got discharged from the hospital. Waves and windows throughout the day... Anyway.. her tardive dyskinesia concerns me... and got me reading up on more than just benzo withdrawal. Effexor has always concerned me, so on and off i'd be on SA reading up about it, but Ashton said to taper ADs after benzos so i never really questioned it, until I read the thread about tapering stimulating drugs first which got me thinking if we should get her off effexor first and do a long hold on her benzo instead... of course, i'm assuming her pdoc will be supportive but who knows 😕 Anyway... I'm currently holding her on 7mg V intil the end of the year, which will make it about 2+mths shes on that dosage. Will do a micro taper eitherway, drycutting V or counting beads for effexor XR. As of now, i started tapering her PPI omeprazole coz shes been on it for almost 4 yrs and that concerns me... as well as the Valium Interaction with omeprazole. for all I know, her anxiety and throat symptoms over the yrs couldve been caused by the PPI, coupled with her cold turkeying off her ADs on her own over the years, it seemed like a perfect storm waiting to happen... I wish back then I had known the things i know now, perhaps then she wouldnt be on these drugs or been cold turkeyed off them. It's painful to watch her usually high functioning self be reduced to someone whom I have to bring to the washroom otherwise she doesnt remember she has to urinate. I really miss her. I wish I had read up more, because I had the exact same thing happen to me in my early 20s with ADs and antipsychotics (had a BS bipolar II diagnosis and even had 10 rounds of ECT done to me) but I was taught to embrace my mental illness and work towards recovery... but I always kind of knew it was BS because I knew I didnt become suicidal or had behavioral issues until i started on psych drugs, and that I didnt fully recover until i was off them for a couple of years (I learnt to act normal so my pdoc would take me off them). Anyhow... tons of regret not researching more when I was younger, coz I can see clearly now what happened to me back then, and what is happening to my mum now. Sorry for the long post. Been feeling very guilty and helpless lately over her current situation, and cant figure out what the next best step should be. Anyway, I hope everyones doing ok and making progress in their own journey to recovery.
  2. New here, so will hope to fill in fuller history later. I am 71 and have had depression to varying degrees 1977 to date. Managed to work full time 1964-2001, though. 12 years on irregular shift pattern 1964-1977. Last month, went to new younger GP who arranged blood tests, (after I had given him my list of ill-health symptoms!) Blood, mostly OK, but indicated low folic acid, he said. I am on 5mg daily folic acid tab for last 5 weeks. I do feel better (carrying out lots of small projects in my retirement). Had so many ups and downs in last 40 years, though, that I think this may be a placebo effect. However, a more positive side of me thinks I may be on the way to breaking through the wall where "the drugs don't work anymore" at 225mg Venlafaxine slow release. I have been on Losec (Omeprazole 10mg) for decades, too. I read that it can spoil your absorption of certain vital items in the vitamin B family, at least? Thanks for reading, all.
  3. I am 23 days post op from Nissen Fundupliction. I am 45 years old and have suffered atypical symptoms of acid reflux for about 9 years now. I never get heartburn, but was constantly nauseous. I would also have very scary "panic attacks" after eating acidic foods or drinking wine that would wake me up 8 hours after eating with SEVERE nausea, puddles of sweat, a heartbeat too fast to count and a feeling of death or doom. They would last at least an hour, coming and going in waves. I would sleep sitting up and holding my husband's hand. It is my own opinion that my acid was coming up to my vagus nerve, where it didn't belong, and cased my body to go into fight or flight. This happened two to three times a month until after months of testing, I was diagnosed with acid reflux. I tried different medications while my entire body started shutting down, one system at a time. I was not able to empty my bladder, my moods were all over the place and intense, my skin was green and my muscles were fading away. I had constant headaches, etc. I settled on Omeprazole but still had symptoms and felt terrible. PH tests and swallowing tests all showed that I produced way too much acid and it washed into my mouth, even when I was upright and eating a very alkaline diet. My teeth were decaying at an alarming rate, my voice would be gone for months at a time, and the nausea was constant. I finally found an occupational physiologist (a nutritionist who works at a cellular level) who helped me with a very restricted diet. My life got better and I felt amazing. I lived like that, while still on 80 mg. of Omeprazole for 3 years, but could not continue the diet as strictly as I had been. (life gets in the way) My GI said that my acid tests didn't change, even though I felt better. He wanted me to see a specialist 6 hours away. The thought of staying on medication for life worried me. Since I had tried every "fix" I am aware of and I was still struggling with the reflux, I decided on surgery. After reading the posts, I am very happy to be weaning off of PPIs. My surgery was intense and I just started transitioning from a liquid diet to soft foods. It is not for the faint of heart. My esophagus is so tight that I feel like an anaconda eating a rabbit whenever I swallow anything, but healing will be a process. I am happy that I am not waking up nauseous and water finally tastes good. (acid and water are not friends). I hope my improved body will keep the acid where it belongs and am excited to start weaning off of my meds. I truly appreciate the advice that I found here.
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