Commonly used prescribed medications can increase risk of depression

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According to the study, that includes more than 200 commonly prescribed meds, such as birth control pills, heart and blood pressure meds and antacids.

Results showed during these years: the use of depression-linked prescription drugs increased.

The study is based on the medication patterns of over 26,000 adults between 2005 and 2014.

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

"In this cross-sectional USA population-based survey study conducted between 2005 and 2014, the estimated overall prevalence of US adults using medications with depression as a potential adverse effect was 37.2 percent", the study's summary page says.

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Researchers from the University of IL and Columbia University analyzed medication data from more than 26,000 adults between 2005 and 2014, and found that an estimated 37% of all people living in the USA are taking drugs that have depression or suicidal thoughts as potential side effects.

"It could, in fact, be that the drugs are leading to depression, however, it could be that people had pre-existing depression". It just shows that if you are already consuming the drugs then you more likely have the chance of suffering from depression.

He also advised people not to stop taking medication out of fear they may develop depression, particularly because so many on the list are used for long-term treatment.

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.

More than one in three Americans may be taking prescription medications that can lead to depression or increase the risk of suicide, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of IL at Chicago (UIC).

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Qato says physicians may want to consider including evaluations of medications when they screen for depression.

The researchers also found that along with an increase in polypharmacy, there was an increase in prescriptions for medications that have depressions and suicide listed as a side-effect.

OLFSON: They'll ask about people's sleep and their mood and their appetite and their ability to make decisions, thoughts about whether life is worth living, all the kind of basic symptoms of depression. Were people taking the medications any more or less likely to have depression?

About 15 percent of people taking at least three drugs tied to depression reported this diagnosis, compared with about five percent of participants who didn't take any drugs with this potential side effect, the study found. In contrast, only 9 percent of those who took two drugs were at risk, as well as 7 percent for one drug and 5 percent for no drugs. Over that same period, the proportion of US adults taking at least three drugs linked to depression rose to nearly 10 percent from about seven percent.

Dima Qato, assistant professor of pharmacy systems, outcomes, and policy in the UIC College of Pharmacy had this to say about the prescription medication study's findings. It's a reminder to always be thinking: "does this person really need this medication?"

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MORDECAI: Such as changing your diet, limiting your salt intake, increasing exercise.

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