A study found that one in three adults in the United States is taking prescription drugs that can cause depression and increase the risk of suicide.
Because these drugs have nothing to do with depression, patients and health care providers are often unaware of the risks.
The study also found that people who used multiple drugs were even more likely to become depressed.
More than 200 common prescription drugs list depression and suicide as potential side effects.
- hormonal contraceptives,
- blood pressure and heart medications
- proton pump inhibitors,
- and an analgesic.
About 15 percent of people who used all three drugs at the same time experienced depression, compared to only 5 percent of those who never used the drugs.
The results were similar for drugs that listed suicidal thoughts as a side effect, with multiple drug use increasing the risk.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Dima Kato, said:
“The message from this study is that polypharmacy [taking multiple drugs simultaneously] It can cause symptoms of depression and patients and health care providers should be aware of the depression risks associated with all types of common prescription drugs, many of which are also available over the counter.
The drug increases the risk of experiencing depressive symptoms and may lead to a diagnosis of depression, even though it has nothing to do with mood, anxiety, or other symptoms usually associated with depression. Knowing this may surprise many. “
The study includes data from 26,192 individuals from 2005 to 2014.
Unfortunately, prescriptions and use of these drugs are on the rise, Dr. Kato said.
“People are not only using these drugs alone, but more and more, they are using them together, but very few of these drugs have warning labels. Until a solution is established, it is at the discretion of the patient and the health care professional.” Please be aware of the risks. “
Dr. Qato believes medical professionals need to be more aware of the psychological risks associated with patients taking multiple medications.
“With depression being one of the leading causes of disability and rising suicide rates in the population, we need to think innovatively about depression as a public health problem, and this study It provides evidence that patterns of drug use should be considered in strategies aimed at eliminating disability.” The effects of depression in everyday life can be reduced or minimized. “
This research Journal of the American Medical Association (Qato et al., 2018).