Study: Your medications could be causing depression

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NEW YORK — Many Americans may not realize they are at risk of depression because of the medicines they take.

A new study in Jama estimates more than one third of U.S. adults use prescription drugs that have depression or suicide listed as potential side effects. The 200 commonly used medications include birth control pills, blood pressure and heart medications, antacids and painkillers.

The study found multiple medications increased the risk. Fifteen percent of adults in the study who took three or more of these medications at the same time experienced depression – compared to just five percent who took none and seven percent who took one.

“It could in fact be that the drugs are leading to depression,” said Dr. Tara Narula. “However it could be that people had pre-existing depression it could be the chronic conditions people are taking the medications for, heart conditions, cancer, is what’s really causing the depression not the drugs.”

With depression one of the leading causes of disability and suicide rates on the rise, health experts say it’s important patients are aware of the side effects of their medications – especially if they have a history of mental health issues.


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