Can omeprazole cause depression? (3+ research studies revealed the truth)

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about the possibility of omeprazole causing depression. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor which is one of the most commonly used medications. 

This blog will cover how this over-the-counter medication can mess up your mental health and can make you suffer from clinical depression. Stick with us if you wish to know everything about it. 

Can omeprazole cause depression? 

Yes, omeprazole can cause depression. Although it is believed to be free from side effects, it’s not. Many researchers have worked tirelessly to find out how this over-the-counter medication, that people literally keep shoving in their mouths after spicy or heavy meals, can be linked to a major mental health disorder that can actually ruin lives. 

What does research suggest? 

There are plenty of research studies that indicate the depressing effects of omeprazole. One researcher and his entire team worked on collecting data of more than 30,000 patients who had been taking omeprazole regularly. 

The team discovered that many of those people were suffering from depression. In fact, some of them were battling with major depressive disorder (MDD), which is one of the most common reasons of suicide in the entire world!! 

However, the team noticed that some of the people taking omeprazole had no signs of depression or any other affective mood disorder. This made them curious and they started digging the reason behind this difference. 

After looking at demographics and the doses of omeprazole, the team found out a dose-dependent relationship between omeprazole and depression. 

They came to know that people who had no sign of depression took omeprazole only when needed and skipped the drug some days. The people who showed some signs of depression took more of the drug. 

At last, the people who developed major depressive disorder (MDD) were those who took an excess of omeprazole, multiple times a day. 

A 2028 study indicated that the data from hospitals and medical centres proved that most of the people who complained of depression were taking omeprazole. Some were taking just omeprazole and had taken other medication, neither OTC nor any prescription drug. 

The same study also monitored the depressive effects of omeprazole on elderly population and it was concluded that the use of this PPI was directly linked to affective mood disorders in such people. 

A 2018 study indicated that not just depression, omeprazole can cause other psychiatric side effects in people. Although it is considered a safe medication and more than a billion people use them, it still can induce psychosis in some people. 

The same study used a case study as an example. It included a 12-year old who developed psychosis after the repeated use of omeprazole. This indicates that not just geriatric population, but the paediatric population is also sensitive to the use of this over-the-counter Proton pump inhibitor. 

One study revealed that the effects of omeprazole can vary from person to person. Some people don’t get any side effects and are still using this medication safely. However, some other people have developed psychosis and they were advised to never take omeprazole again. 

This difference depends on a whole lot of factors. People who are stronger or have a physiological composition that does not get bothered or disturbed by omeprazole can get away with little to no side effects. 

However, people who have any history of mental illness, another underlying disorder, family history of depression, or drug sensitivity can get badly affected by the drug and develop a number of psychological symptoms. 

People who tend to misuse the drug are on the top of the list and are most susceptible to mental side effects. Make sure you use these medications only when needed. Don’t let your body become dependent on any medication. 

It is absolutely okay to take omeprazole if your stomach burns or your acidity does not seem to go away. However, it is not recommended to make it a habit. There are plenty of dietary changes and home remedies that can significantly help you tone down your acid reflux. 

If you just make such foods part of your routine and stay away from trigger foods, you can effectively control your acidity without the need of any medication. 

Can you avoid using omeprazole by taking precautions? 

You may be able to avoid using omeprazole if you stick to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. If you avoid eating trigger foods and stick to foods that are healthy for your gut, you may be able to avoid increased stomach acidity and you won’t need an acid reducer if you don’t have excess acid, right? 

Some tips include:

Eat dinner earlier 

Studies suggest that you should be done with dinner at least 3 hours before you go to bed. When you lie down on bed, the process of digestion gets slower. So you need to digest your food before you go to sleep. 

According to one study, eating a late-night meal can increase acid exposure when lying down by 5%, compared with eating earlier in the evening.

Eat smaller portions 

Do not fill your plate up. It puts a burden on your stomach to digest large amounts of food at one time. Instead, try to eat in smaller, more frequent meals. 

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a moderate body weight can help reduce acid reflux in the long term. Some studies suggest that people who have excess belly fat are more likely to suffer from gastric acid reflux. 

Follow a low carb diet

Some researchers suspected that undigested carbs may cause bacterial overgrowth and increased pressure inside the abdomen, which could contribute to acid reflux. Having high amounts of undigested carbs in your stomach can cause flatulence and bloating. 

Don’t drink too much alcohol 

Alcohol can exacerbate your acid reflux and heartburn. It’s best to avoid drinking too much alcohol, as it affects you negatively in more ways than you can imagine.

Limit your caffeine intake

Caffeine is often found associated with acid reflux. Studies suggest that high caffeine intake can cause gastrointestinal problems like acid reflux, diarrhoea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) etc. 

It can also exacerbate the symptoms in those who already have GERD or peptic ulcer.

Limit the intake of carbonated beverages 

Studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of acid reflux. 

One study found that carbonated soft drinks can worsen certain acid reflux symptoms, like heartburn, fullness, and burping. This is because carbonated beverages make your burp more, that can increase the amount of acid escaping your stomach and irritating your oesophagus, throat and mouth. 

Don’t go heavy on citric juices

All citrus fruits contain ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, which could cause indigestion if you consume them in large amounts. Grapefruit juice and orange juice are considered the most common triggers for heartburn and acid reflux. 

Walk a mile after dinner

Studies suggest that going for a short walk after dinner can help your body to produce more digestive enzymes and makes your stomach absorb the nutrients from your food. 

It improves your digestion and reduces bloating, acid reflux, constipation and provides relaxation from several other gastrointestinal problems. 

Add milk and yoghurt in your diet

Milk and yoghurt are well known to provide relief from gastric acidity. Yoghurt also contains lactobacillus, which is a probiotic, also known as ‘good bacteria’. This good bacteria can improve your digestion and can manage excessive acid secretion in your stomach. 

Avoid spicy foods

Yes, food can taste pretty bland without spice and your favourite seasonings, but spicy food can mess up your stomach and is the most common cause of acid reflux in people who add high amounts of spices in their foods. Make sure you cut back on spicy food, at least for a while. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed the possibility of omeprazole causing depression. Although it is believed to be free from side effects, it’s not. 

Many researchers have worked tirelessly to find out how this over-the-counter medication, that people literally keep shoving in their mouths after spicy or heavy meals, can be linked to a major mental health disorder that can actually ruin lives. 

We have learned plenty of research studies which have explained the depressing effects of omeprazole. You may be able to avoid using omeprazole if you stick to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

If you avoid eating trigger foods and stick to foods that are healthy for your gut, you may be able to avoid increased stomach acidity. Make sure you immediately report to your healthcare provider if you suffer from any unusual side effect. 

FAQs: can omeprazole cause depression 

Can acid reducers cause depression?

Yes, acid reducers can cause depression. Although they are believed to be free from side effects, they are not. Many researchers have worked tirelessly to find out how these over-the-counter medications, that people literally keep shoving in their mouths after spicy or heavy meals, can be linked to a major mental health disorder that can actually ruin lives. 

What are the negative effects of omeprazole?

Side effects of omeprazole include:

  • Flatulence 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Headache 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 

Do proton pump inhibitors cause depression?

Yes, PPIs can cause depression. A 2028 study indicated that the data from hospitals and medical centres proved that most of the people who complained of depression were taking omeprazole. Some were taking just omeprazole and had taken other medication, neither OTC nor any prescription drug. 

The same study also monitored the depressive effects of omeprazole on elderly population and it was concluded that the use of this PPI was directly linked to affective mood disorders in such people. 

Can omeprazole affect mood?

Yes, omeprazole can affect mood. Make sure you do not overuse the drug. It is absolutely okay to take omeprazole if your stomach burns or your acidity does not seem to go away. However, it is not recommended to make it a habit. There are plenty of dietary changes and home remedies that can significantly help you tone down your acid reflux.

What can I take instead of omeprazole?

Acid reducers other than proton pump inhibitors include:

  • Antacids: They are alkaline in nature and once inside your stomach, they neutralise gastric acid. Examples include Aluminium hydroxide gel (Alternagel), calcium carbonate (Alka-Seltzer), gaviscon, pepto-Bismol etc. 
  • Histamine-2-blockers: These OTC meds inhibit the production of gastric acid. Examples include cimetidine, famotidine, rimantadine, zantac 360 and nizatidine etc.

References 

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