Narcotic Painkillers Boost Depression Risk

Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 02:46 PM

By Nick Tate

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Chronic use of prescription narcotic painkillers boosts the risk of major depression, new research shows.
 
Opioid analgesics — such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin — have long been known to reduce pain, but a Saint Louis University researcher has found individuals using such medications for six months or longer are far more likely to develop depression.
 
The study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, is based on an analysis of about 50,000 veterans' medical records. According to the findings, patients who started and remained on opioids for 180 days or longer were at a 53 percent increased risk of developing a new episode of depression. Those on such drugs for 90-180 days were at a 25 percent increased risk, compared to patients who never took them for longer than 1-89 days.

Editor's Note:
Natural Hormones Help Treat Heart Disease, Depression and Chronic Fatigue
 
"These findings suggest that the longer one is exposed to opioid analgesics, the greater is their risk of developing depression," said Jeffrey Scherrer, associate professor of family and community medicine at Saint Louis University and principle investigator of the study.

"Opioids have long been known to allay pain and suffering, but reports of adverse effects are abundant and continue to emerge."
 
Scherrer said it is unclear how opioids contribute to the development of depression in a patient, but suggested such drugs may reset the brain's 'reward pathway' to a higher level and thus elevate the threshold for a person's ability to experience pleasure from natural rewards such as a food.
 
"Preliminary evidence suggests that if you can keep your daily dose low, you may be at lower risk for depression," he added.

© 2014 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Painful Urination: What Does It Mean?

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 01:10 AM

Painful urination includes signs of discomfort, a burning sensation, or anxiety while passing urine. It is more common i . . .

Pancreatic Cancer: Its Symptoms, Awareness, and Treatments

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 00:57 AM

Awareness on pancreatic cancer is quite imperative, since it can give you a chance at a healthy and happy life. Awarenes . . .

Panic and Anxiety Attacks: Symptoms and Disorders

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 00:43 AM

There are different types of medications for panic and anxiety attacks and disorders. In different cases, different medi . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved