Prescribed Drugs May Lead To Depression

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But scientists are warning in a new study from the University of IL at Chicago that one-third of USA adults may be using prescription drugs that could increase the risk of depression or suicide.

Qato notes that the findings reveal a trend of increasing polypharmacy for medications that list depression, particularly suicidal symptoms, as a potential adverse effect.

The researchers, from the University of IL at Chicago, looked at how more than 26,000 people from 2005 to 2014 used medications.

Researchers on the current study found the risk of depression was higher among people taking more than one drug.

And more meds seems to equal more risk: 15 percent of people who took three or more of those medications reported symptoms of depression.

On the other hand, there's a worrisome dose-response pattern: the more of these drugs patients took concurrently, the higher their risk of depression.

Some of the medication on the list are well known for their depression-like side effects, such as beta-blockers and interferon. Reported use of three or more concurrent medications with a potential for depression as an adverse effect was estimated at 6.9 percent in 2005 and 2006 and 9.5 percent in 2013 and 2014. This makes the need for awareness of depression as a potential side effect even more urgent.

"People are not only increasingly using these medicines alone, but are increasingly using them simultaneously, yet very few of these drugs have warning labels", said Qato.

According to the study, the common prescription medications prescribed don't have anything to do with depression, so that is one reason that patients, and even their health care providers, don't know about the risk, according to University of IL campus online publication, UIC Today.

Suicide is on a sharp rise in the United States, and recent celebrity deaths certainly underscore that grim reality.

If you or someone you know are experiencing depression or have thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, which is available 24 hours a day. The researchers warned that this approach meant that conclusions could not be drawn about cause-and-effect relationships, pointing out that the questionnaires did not take into account possible antecedents of depression.

Qato says physicians may want to consider including evaluations of medications when they screen for depression.

"The doctor is not going to prescribe a drug that he or she does not feel is important for you", Dr. Nydegger said. Till now, we were familiar with the broad category of generalised side effects. Coincidence? Perhaps not, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. The study found about 1 in 3 adults in the taking at least one of these drugs.

"People should always be ready to ask, 'What are the risks and benefits of me taking this medication?'" says Don Mordecai, a psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente.

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