One-third of com­mon med­i­ca­tions can make peo­ple de­pressed

Iran Daily - - Health -

Drugs taken by more than one-third of US adults have de­pres­sion as a pos­si­ble side ef­fect, a new study re­vealed. Th­ese med­i­ca­tions in­clude blood pres­sure drugs called beta-block­ers, hor­monal con­tra­cep­tives and pain med­i­ca­tions, re­searchers said, upi. com re­ported.

And they’re used by 37 per­cent of Amer­i­cans, ac­cord­ing to the study of 26,000 adults.

“The use of mul­ti­ple med­i­ca­tions associated with a po­ten­tial risk for de­pres­sion or sui­ci­dal symp­toms is in­creas­ing and may be con­tribut­ing to the grow­ing prob­lem of de­pres­sion,” said lead re­searcher Dima Mazen Qato.

Suicide rates are climb­ing in the United States, and doc­tors are fac­ing treat­ment-resistant de­pres­sion, too, said Qato, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois Col­lege of Phar­macy.

For the study, she and her col­leagues col­lected data on men and women who took part in the US Na­tional Health and Nu­tri­tion Ex­am­i­na­tion Sur­vey be­tween 2005 and 2014.

The team found that use of three or more de­pres­sion-linked pre­scrip­tion drugs in­creased from seven per­cent in 2005 to 10 per­cent in 2014.

In ad­di­tion, use of drugs with sui­ci­dal symp­toms as a pos­si­ble side ef­fect rose from 17 per­cent to 24 per­cent dur­ing the 10-year study pe­riod, Qato said.

The like­li­hood of re­port­ing de­pres­sion was sig­nif­i­cantly higher among adults us­ing mul­ti­ple med­i­ca­tions, she noted.

For ex­am­ple, 15 per­cent who took three or more of th­ese drugs re­ported de­pres­sion, com­pared to seven per­cent who took only one drug with ties to the mood dis­or­der, Qato said.

Qato added the pat­tern per­sisted among an­tide­pres­sant users and nonusers.

Be­sides blood pres­sure drugs such as meto­pro­lol and atenolol, med­i­ca­tions that can lead to de­pres­sion in­clude gabapentin (Neu­ron­tin), an anti-seizure treat­ment also used for shin­gles. Oth­ers are pro­ton pump in­hibitors such as Prilosec; pain med­i­ca­tions in­clud­ing ibupro­fen (Advil, Motrin) and hy­drocodone; and sex hor­mones like estra­diol, the study noted.

Most are pre­scrip­tion drugs, but some are avail­able over the counter, Qato said.

About 15 per­cent of adults are thought to use five or more pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions si­mul­ta­ne­ously, the re­searchers said in back­ground notes.

And nearly five per­cent of US adults are es­ti­mated to have de­pres­sion symp­toms. But lit­tle re­search has looked at the role com­monly used med­i­ca­tions may play in its development.

This study does not prove med­i­ca­tions with de­pres­sion as a po­ten­tial side ef­fect ac­tu­ally cause the dis­or­der or in­crease sui­ci­dal risk.

Still, the find­ings high­light the role that in­creas­ing ‘polyphar­macy’ — use of mul­ti­ple med­i­ca­tions — may have on the bur­den of de­pres­sion in the United States, Qato said.

Dr. David Roane, chair­man of psy­chi­a­try at Lenox Hill Hos­pi­tal in New York City, of­fered this ad­vice:

“Peo­ple suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion would do well to have an eval­u­a­tion by a physi­cian or a psy­chi­a­trist who is aware of all of the med­i­cal and phar­ma­co­log­i­cal as­so­ci­a­tion with de­pres­sion so they can be aware of things that might be con­tribut­ing to the de­pres­sion,” he said.

Roane cau­tioned, how­ever, “that while a med­i­ca­tion may contribute to de­pres­sion, stop­ping the drug is not go­ing to be enough to treat the de­pres­sion. They still have to be treated for de­pres­sion”.

He was not in­volved with the study.

Doc­tors should con­sider the risk of de­pres­sion be­fore pre­scrib­ing drugs, es­pe­cially if pa­tients take more than one med­i­ca­tion tied to de­pres­sion, Qato said.

“For some pa­tients, this may in­volve re­vis­ing their med­i­ca­tion reg­i­men be­fore ini­ti­at­ing an an­tide­pres­sant or psy­chother­apy,” she said.

The re­port was pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion.

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