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Study: One-Third of US Adults Unknowingly Using Meds That Cause Depression

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By    |   Monday, 09 July 2018 09:40 AM

An important new study from the University of Illinois in Chicago says that more than one-third of American adults may be using prescription medications that have the potential to cause depression and increase the risk of suicide. These medications are becoming more common and because they often have nothing to do depression, patients and health care providers may be unaware of the risks.

The researchers analyzed medication use of more than 26,000 adults from 2005 to 2014. They found that more than 200 commonly used prescription drugs — including birth control medications, blood pressure and heart medications, proton pump inhibitors, antacids and painkillers — have depression or suicide listed as potential side effects.

The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and is the first study to demonstrate that these drugs often used at the same time were associated with a greater likelihood of experiencing depression.

Approximately 15 percent of adults who used three or more of these drugs concurrently — called polypharmacy -- experienced depression compared with just 5 percent for those not using drugs, 7 percent for those using one medication and 9 percent for those using two drugs simultaneously. 

“The takeaway message of this study is that polypharmacy can lead to depressive symptoms and that patients and health care providers need to be aware of the risk of depression that comes with all kinds of common prescription drugs — and many of the drugs were also available over-the-counter,” says lead researcher Dima Qato, associate professor of pharmacy systems, outcomes and policy at UIC College of Pharmacy.

“Many people may be surprised to learn that their medications, despite having nothing to do with mood or anxiety or any other condition normally associated with depression, can increase their risk of experiencing depressive symptoms, and may even lead to a depression diagnosis.”

Qato and her team of researchers found that the use of prescription medicine with a potential depression adverse effect jumped from 35 percent in the 2005 to 2006 period to 38 percent in the 2013 to 2014 period.

The use of antacids with potential depression effects increased from 5 to 10 percent in the same period while use of three or more drugs concurrently increased from 7 to 10 percent.

“People are not only increasingly using these medicines alone, but are increasingly using them together,” says Qato. “Yet very few of these drugs have warning labels so it’s up to patients and health care professionals to be aware of the risk.

“With depression as one of the leading causes of disability and increasing national suicide rates, we need to think innovatively about depression as a public health issue, and this study provides evidence that patterns of medication use should be considered in strategies that strive to eliminate, reduce or minimize the impact of depression in our daily lives,” she said.

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An important new study from the University of Illinois in Chicago says that more than one-third of American adults may be using prescription medications that have the potential to cause depression and increase the risk of suicide.
meds, depression, unknown, adults
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2018-40-09
Monday, 09 July 2018 09:40 AM
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