Medications That May Cause Depression

Among other side effects, medications can cause depression and adversely affect your quality of life: what kind of drugs?

One cure - the other cripple.

No matter how naive this folk proverb may sound, it is true for the vast majority of drugs.

Usually, the side effects of drug therapy are minor, but sometimes they are truly devastating..

According to a study published in JAMA, more than 30% of Americans take drugs that can lead to depression, including suicide.

As part of the study, scientists found that more than 200 items of common drugs can adversely affect mental health..

Many of them - hormonal contraceptives, drugs for hypertension, antiulcer and analgesics - are prescribed for diseases that are not connected with the psyche. Therefore, doctors rarely mention possible mental risks..

Popular drugs that can cause depression

Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are taking anything from the list:

1. Beta blockers

Beta blockers such as metoprolol (Corvitol) are used in the complex treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In the list of their indications ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, migraines, some types of tremors and glaucoma. Hypertensive patients are forced to take beta-blockers for a long time, and it is precisely the long-term use associated with depression. Fortunately, there are many safe alternatives to this group of drugs..

“This group is becoming less popular among cardiologists because new things are appearing that work better and risk-free,” said Dr. Joshua Nathan, president of the Illinois Psychiatric Society..

Warning: only a doctor should cancel or interrupt beta-blockers!

2. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroid hormones, such as prednisone, have a wide spectrum of action and are indispensable in the treatment of autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), bronchial asthma, allergies and even cancer. However, steroids affect mental health. According to Professor Nathan, prolonged use of these hormones can cause anxiety, psychosis, and depression..

Euphoria and mania appear to be more common with short-term use, while depression becomes more noticeable with longer use, even if the doses are low. In addition, family predisposition and alcoholism increase the risk of developing one of these side effects, ”warns the psychiatrist.

Talk with a specialist about your risk factors and possible replacements..

3. Antibiotics

Although this does not apply to all antibiotics, some do cause depression and suicidal thoughts. Especially fluoroquinolones, such as levofloxacin or ciprofloxacin, as well as penicillin preparations. A large study in the United Kingdom showed that a single course of fluoroquinolones increases the risk of depressive disorders by 25%. At the same time, one course of penicillin therapy increases this risk by 23%, the second course - by as much as 40%. Tangible treatment fee.

Our advice: be careful with antibiotics and do not take them without urgent need. The prescription of these drugs is your doctor’s prerogative..

4. Interferons

It was found that 40% of patients on interferons develop depressive disorders. Drugs in this group are prescribed for the treatment of certain types of cancer and viral infections, such as chronic viral hepatitis C. At the end of the course of interferon therapy, depression usually disappears, but a recent study suggests: the disease may return after a while.

Medications That May Cause Depression

Since interferon fights against life-threatening diseases and, as a rule, is necessary for patients, the drug is canceled only in extreme cases. The remaining patients are prescribed antidepressants so that they can continue the course..

Clinical experience suggests that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other classes of antidepressants are effective in 85% of interferon-induced depression.

5. Anticonvulsants

Doctors know that anticonvulsants (anticonvulsants) contribute to depression. Topiramate, gabapentin, as well as valium and alprazolam, which suppress the nervous system, are reliably associated with the development of this condition. Of particular concern is the fact that today anticonvulsants have significantly expanded the scope. They are prescribed for the treatment of bipolar disorder, neuropathic pain and mysterious fibromyalgia..

Fortunately, this side effect is completely reversible, and completely disappears after you stop taking it. If you are worried about this, discuss with your doctor your possible alternatives to anticonvulsants and benzodiazepines..

6. Opioids

The painkillers that caused one of the most serious public health crises in the United States not only cause extreme addiction, but also increase the risk of depressive disorders. It begins to grow after about 30 days of treatment, and even small doses of analgesics do not solve the problem..

7. Hormonal contraceptives

Some studies have found a correlation between contraceptive methods (including birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, and hormonal coils), depression, and / or decreased quality of life..

Doctors suggest that the main culprits may be hormonal fluctuations caused by these drugs. But here it’s too early to put an end. It’s important to understand that hormonal contraceptives affect women in different ways..

Contraception recently reported that in some groups there is no connection between hormonal contraception and depression. A publication in Menopause even claims that COCs protect women from future depressive disorder.

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