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3 Steps to Help You Safely Transition Off Acid Reflux Medications

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Many people who suffer from and are either on or have been on acid reflux medications. After all, this is pretty much the only option most people are offered.

But the FDA has warned that these drugs are only safe to take for treatment periods of 14 days — a far cry from what many doctors prescribe for their patients. And worse, few doctors even mention that there are safe and effective alternatives.

That’s why I wrote a book, The Drug-Free Acid Reflux Solution.

One of the problems associated with using acid reflux medications is that they create dependency, causing horrible symptoms when someone tries to quit cold turkey. As you can imagine, this makes people believe that they will never be able to get off of these medications. As I explain in The Drug-Free Acid Reflux Solution, nothing could be further from the truth. What you do have to expect is that your symptoms might get worse as you start to lower the medications. This reaction will be temporary, and it can be significantly reduced using the lifestyle, and supplement interventions detailed in the book. Nonetheless, it is likely to occur and should be anticipated.

The guidelines that follow apply specifically to people who have been taking a proton-pump inhibiting medication for more than four weeks. It’s also important to discuss any change in your medication with your doctor. Although I firmly believe most people can succeed in managing acid reflux without pharmaceuticals, every case is different.

Here is a snapshot of how I have successfully helped hundreds of people wean off dangerous acid-blocking drugs:

Step 1:

When patients start my Reflux Recovery Diet, I recommend they remain on their prescribed reflux medication for the first 14 days. In those 14 days, patients eliminate all , gluten, alcohol and dairy from their diet, while increasing intake of specific fruits, vegetables, fiber and probiotic-rich foods. However, along with these changes to the diet, I recommend my patients take natural supplements known to sooth tissue and optimize digestion, such as deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), aloe and slippery elm

Step 2:

After 14 days on the Acid Reflux Recovery Plan, it’s time to start the weaning process.On the 15th day, I recommend switching from a proton-pump inhibiting medication to an over-the-counter histamine-blocking acid reflux medication. Yes, this is still an acid suppressing drug, but it’s significantly weaker than a proton-pump inhibitor. The safest and most widely available over the counter histamine blocking reflux drug is called ranitidine (Zantac). Take 1 tablet of the regular strength (75 mg) 1x daily in addition to the measures outlined above every day for another 14 days, while continuing with the tissue soothing supplements.

Step 3:

Now we’re getting to the end of the program, and it’s time to start really pulling back on the pharmaceutical interventions by cutting back on the histamine-blocking acid reflux medication dose to every other day for another 14 days, while continuing with the tissue soothing supplements.

After this last round of 14 days (6 weeks after beginning the plan to wean off medications), most of my patients are ready to discontinue medications altogether.

Some Points to Note:

Although great results are often seen within the first few weeks of the program, I urge patients take the full 42 days to wean off of any prescription medication.

I also recommend individuals continue taking the supplements for at least another 30-60 days, along with adhering to the dietary measures to ensure best results.

Throughout this process, some may experience times when there are increased symptoms. This may be the result of reducing the medication, or other influences like stress, dietary indiscretions or other common triggers. This is typically when I recommend the addition of carnosine to the supplement regimen, which typically helps tremendously. Typically, the symptoms will resolve within about 3-5 days.

If reflux symptoms persist, be sure to consult with your doctor. The symptoms you are experiencing may be a sign of something more serious.

Please remember that some worsening of symptoms is likely to occur, but do not be fearful. If interested in a simple 30-day to help you safely recover from reflux, you can use the strategies and tools outlined in  The Drug-Free Acid Reflux Solution —  you will be acid reflux and medication-free in no time!


Dr. Passero completed four years of post-graduate medical education at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado. Dr. Passero has trained with some of the nation’s leading doctors in the field of natural medicine. In his practice, Dr. Passero focuses on restoring harmony to both the body and mind using advanced protocols that incorporate herbal therapy, homeopathy, vitamin therapy and nutritional programs. Through education and guidance patients are able to unlock the power contained within each one of us. For more information, visit his website, Green Healing Wellness, or follow him on Facebook.


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5 responses to “3 Steps to Help You Safely Transition Off Acid Reflux Medications”

  1. Faith Lobel says:

    Many years ago, I switched from proton pump acid reducing meds to a combination of 1 gm. Sucralfate twice a day — plus a large dose of prescription Ranitidine (possibly 300 mg.) at bedtime. I weaned myself off the Ranitidine about two years ago. The effect never lasted through the whole night anyway.
    A few months later, I started taking only half the dose of the sucralfate (breaking each tablet in half), and continued this for a whole year — but then I had to revert to the original dose. I’m still taking 1 gm. Sucralfate before breakfast and again before dinner and generally have no symptoms during the day, but I always wake up with reflux in the morning. Sometimes the discomfort from reflux also prevents me from falling asleep. I use a Medi-slant pillow and am careful to eat and drink nothing after about 9:30 p.m. I do have a copy of your book. I would be reluctant to go back on Ranitidine, unless it could really help. At 76, I also have osteoporosis, glaucoma and kidney stones. Have you any suggestions?
    Many thanks.

  2. Laura Mullinax says:

    My husband was diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus and has been on PPIs for years. Is there any information on this in the book?

  3. Ron says:

    I cured my chronic heartburn with hydrochloric acid with betaine pill supplement made by KAL. I was on Nexium, Tagamet, Prilosec for about ten years until around 2010. I figure these meds shut down my acid production to a crawl. KAL was the only brand that worked for me. Tried 3 or 4 other brands that did not make a dent. I take it only when i feel heartburn coming on. Sometimes go on for weeks without.

  4. Virginia Speaks says:

    To deal with severe heartburn, I used d-limonene capsules. For the first month, I took 2000mg per day, then dropped down to 1000mg. I still take the d-limonene every day, though others I’ve read about are able to take it every other day. I’ve given this info to others who have also had great success with d-limonene.

    • Andrew says:

      Hello Virginia, were you taking PIP drugs at the time of starting d-limonene? If yes, how dd you transition from PIP to d-limonene?
      Thanks