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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I stopped using the Prilosec that I have been taking since the summer

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Last summer I was treated for a few ulcers that I had. Recently I had an upper and lower GI and all looks fine. I stopped using the Prilosec that I have been taking since the summer and have started to have heartburn again and sometimes some trouble swallowing. Should I go back on the Prilosec again?

How often are you having heartburn symptoms?
Are you taking any other medications at this time?

Dr abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I take Lipitor, Metaprolol, Lisinopril, an 80mg aspirin, and a 1000mg vitamin D each morning. The heartburn seems to come in the middle of the night a few times as well as after an evening meal.
Thank you for clarifying,

Yes, you can restart the prilosec. You can try it for two weeks and then stop it. If your symptoms return, I would discuss whether you need longer term treatment with your doctor. If you continue to have problems swallowing, you may need either another scope or a barium swallow study to see why you are experiencing this symptom. (it can be due to scarring/narrowing of the esophagus from chronic acid reflux, irritation of the lining of the esophagus from reflux, infections, etc).

One precaution, there is an uncommon but potential interaction with cholesterol medications and prilosec (and other similar acid blocking medications). If you note any muscle aches/pains then stop the prilosec and contact your doctor. The prilosec can increase the amount of lipitor in your body, leading to an increase risk of side effects.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have and I will be happy to discuss further,

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is it "normal" to need long term treatment? Will taking prilosec over a long period cause any problems other than the ones you mentioned?
Yes, there are some people who do require long term treatment with medications.

People that are more likely tend to have a recurrence of symptoms within three months of stopping the medication.

There have been three issues that have been raised regarding long term treatment with prilosec and similar medications--

First-there may be an association with increased risk of fractures with long term use (by affecting calcium absorption)

Second-Vitamin B12 and iron deficiency can be associated with long term use. This is treated with vitamin B12 supplements. It is generally a mild and easily treated deficiency

Third-PPI medications can increase the risk of pneumonia (regardless of the length of treatment)

Overall, however, these medications are felt to be safe for use even for 10-15 years.

Dr Abby

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