Authors: Natalie Morton, Future Science Group
Researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC; IL, USA) have revealed that approximately 37.2% of adults in the USA could be using prescription medications in which depression may be an adverse side-effect. As this includes over-the-counter drugs and medications that are for ailments not linked to mental health, consumers may be unaware of the potential side-effects.
This study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, retrospectively examined the use of over 200 commonly used medications, including birth control, painkillers and blood pressure medicines, amongst others, and discovered that many of them listed depression and suicide as potential side effects.
Polypharmacy – the practice of taking several drugs concurrently – appeared to have the greatest effect on depression, with an estimated 15% of adults suffering from depression whilst taking three different medications alongside one another.