Omeprazole Worsens Aggression–Alternatives Exist!


I wrote in my last blog piece about how Omeprazole (also known as the brand Prilosec) can worsen Candida symptoms. Omeprazole worsens aggression, in my clinical experience, which affects people with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities and psychiatric disabilities.

Let me introduce myself.  I am Dr. Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D., a board certified psychiatrist and nutritionist.  I specialist in treating the problems that yeast, or Candida, cause, including problems relating to Autism.

Let me give a case example before explaining.  I had a patient at a residential treatment center.  He had a neuro-muscular degenerative disorder called Hungtington’s chorea at the age of 16.  He was very tall and very aggressive.  On his second day there, he took all the computers in his classroom and threw them through the windows into the courtyard.   I went through his list of medications and found that he was on omeprazole.  I immediately took him off of omeprazole.   By the next day he was better and he had no more such incidents for months.

This is not an isolated instance.  It is well known in studies published after Omeprazole came onto the market that the drug can cause hallucinations and aggression.   These side effects are not listed as common side effects, but they are psychiatric side effects that are critically important when they occur. They are very harmful for the patient and those around him or her.

These may not be side effects that are recognized because the people prescribing them don’t watch for these side effects, and may attribute them to the underlying condition affecting the patient, such as Autism.  In my clinical experience as a psychiatrist treating patients with these underlying conditions,  however, Omeprazole causes aggression regularly.   I would go so far as to say, from my clinical experience, that  Omeprazole is one of the worst drugs to take.  Every time I have a patient who has some developmental disability, Autism, or psychiatric problem who is also on Omeprazole, I try to remove that drug to make sure that Omeprazole is not making the problems worse.   When I do, the patient usually improves.  Aggression is decreased or stops.   Chronic hallucinations improves if the patient stops Omeprazole or one of the medications related to Omeprazole.

Why does stopping omeprazole help my patients?

Omeprazole stops stomach acid, which normally kills yeast.  If a person takes Omeprazole to  stop the production of stomach acid, the person loses their natural defense against yeast in the stomach.  I explain on other pages on this website the relationship between intestinal yeast and other problems like Autism, Depression, and other disabilities.

So what is the patient is taking Omeprazole for an ulcer or  gastroesophageal reflux?  These are real problems that need treatment.

First, instead of trying Omeprazole as the first line medication, try some of the other medications.    From a psychiatric and behavioral standpoint, the older drug ranitidine (Zantac) is better for ulcers in these patients than Omeprazole.  If you want to avoid medications altogether, a  good treatment for ulcers is cabbage juice.  You make juice from fresh green cabbage, freezing it in ice cube trays, and taking one cube (defrosted) a few times a day until the ulcer resolves.  Believe it or not, this treatment has been studied in humans and animals and has been shown to be effective.  It really works.    The only side effect is the taste of the cabbage juice, which can be diluted with water.  As a preventive measure, one can continue the cabbage juice at few doses per week.

If you need Omeprazole because nothing else works, keep in mind that if you see any side effects at all, such as increased aggression or hallucinations, call your health care practitioner and stop taking it.

Please feel free to contact me for appointments and Telemedicine consultations in New York, California and Wisconsin.  I have many other treatments for Autism and other similar problems that may benefit your loved one.