Over 200 Common Drugs May Cause Depression, Report Warns

Over 200 Common Drugs May Cause Depression, Report Warns

The 200 commonly used medications include birth control pills... blood pressure & heart medications... antacids and painkillers.

Almost thirty-seven per cent of these prescription drugs showed depression in the list of potential side effects.

The researchers from the University of IL examined the health records of 26,000 people over a decade to see whether common treatments were linked to mental health problems.

"It could, in fact, be that the drugs are leading to depression, however it could be that people had pre-existing depression".

Using 10 years of data collected from more than 26,000 Americans, researchers reported a significant link between the use of medications with the potential to cause depression and the chances of becoming depressed.

Many would be surprised to learn that their medication, although having nothing to do with mood, anxiety or any other condition normally associated with depression, may increase their risk of having depressive symptoms and lead to a diagnosis of depression, according to lead study author Dima Qato, who teaches at the University of IL at Chicago.

"One could say with or without the medication, the medical condition and the conditions they're living in may be a cause for the depression", McDonald said. It just shows that if you are already consuming the drugs then you more likely have the chance of suffering from depression.

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"It was both surprising and worrisome to see how any medications have depression or suicidal symptoms as a side effect, given the burden of depression and suicide rates in the country, said Dima Mazen Qato, an assistant professor and pharmacist at the University of IL at Chicago and lead author of the study".

Patients who do develop depression as a drug side effect can often switch to different prescriptions, said Dr. Barbara Mintzes, a pharmacy researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia who wasn't involved in the study. The research didn't consider, however, whether the patients had a medical history of depression or if the condition they were being treated for contributed to their depression. About 15 percent of people taking at least three drugs tied to depression reported this diagnosis, compared with about five percent of participants who didn't take any drugs with this potential side effect.

Researchers found adults using multiple medications were more likely to admit to having depression. It was 5 percent among those not taking the drugs, 7 percent among those taking only one drug, and 9 percent among those taking two drugs at the same time.

AUBREY: The findings are notable given how many people take drugs that are linked to depression.

Researchers at the University of IL at Chicago found that 37.2% of USA adults took such drugs. Here's physician Don Mordecai.

DON MORDECAI: People should always be ready to ask, what are the risks and benefits of me taking this medication? Or, including evaluation of medication use in the depression screening and diagnostic tools used by doctors and nurses and recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, especially when it comes to persistent or treatment-resistant depression. For instance, it may be possible to go off a high blood pressure medication if you make other changes.

AUBREY: Strategies that could help you feel better and reduce the risk of depression.

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