One in three Americans take meds with depressive side effects

One in three Americans take meds with depressive side effects

The study numerous drugs listed were used concurrently, which increased the risk of experiencing depression.

Some hormonal birth control pills, heart and blood pressure medications, proton-pump inhibitors, antacids and painkillers were among the more than 200 commonly used prescription drugs that researchers said have depression or suicide listed as a potential side effect.

More and more Americans are using such prescription drugs, according to the study published this week in the journal JAMA. Researchers from the University of IL at Chicago examined 26,000 adult patients from 2005 to 2014.

The research team, led by Dima Qato, professor of pharmacy at the University of Illinois-Chicago, found that roughly 4.7% of those who don't take any medication with depression as a side effect have depression, compared to 6.9% of those who take one such drug, and 15.3% of those who take three or more.

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.

A new study from University of IL at Chicago researchers suggests that more than one-third of USA adults may be using prescription medications that have the potential to cause depression or increase the risk of suicide, and that because these medications are common and often have nothing to do with depression, patients and health care providers may be unaware of the risk.

"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.

In contrast, only 5 percent of participants who didn't use any of those medications reported depression.

The report cautioned that "Product labeling for over-the-counter medications does not include comprehensive information on adverse side effects including depression".

"Use of antacids with potential depression adverse effects, like proton pump inhibitors and H2 antagonists, increased from five percent to 10 percent in the same period", said the study.

As depression is one of the leading causes of disability, it is important that we do what we can to help and support people who suffer from it, especially as the stigma associated with mental health often stops them from receiving the help they need. The researchers have not established any causal relationship between the drugs they identified in the study and depression - they merely pointed out a correlation.

Health professionals are issuing a disturbing warning about common medications after finding that hundreds of drugs are putting people at risk for developing depression.

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