Adults take medicines that can cause depression

Millions are taking drugs, including birth control, that increase the risk of suicide

Millions are taking drugs, including birth control, that increase the risk of suicide

The risk increases when people take these drugs concurrently.

New study results released by the University of IL indicate that one in three adults in the U.S.is unknowingly taking prescriptions that can potentially increase their risk of depression and suicides, reports USA Today.

For the study, the researchers collected and analyzed data from the National Health Examination Survey involving medication use patterns of over 26,000 United States adults from 2005 to 2014. The researchers discovered that 200 commonly used medications have depression and suicide listed as side effects, including common birth control, painkillers, and antacid drugs.

Lead author Qato said solutions could include updating drug safety software so pharmacists could recognize if a person is taking drugs that raise the risk of depression.

Researchers found adults using multiple medications were more likely to admit to having depression.

One drawback of the study, however, is that researchers lacked data on a history of depression, which can increase the risk of this mood disorder developing in the future, researchers note.

A team of researchers from the University of IL made a decision to take a look at prescription drugs and their potentially unknown side effects. What's more, the fraction of American adults taking three or more prescription drugs with these side effects jumped from 6.9 percent in 2005-2006 to 9.5 percent in 2013-2014.

Prevalence of depression higher for adults reporting use of multiple meds with depression as side effect.

"The take away message of this study is that polypharmacy can lead to depressive symptoms and that patients and health care providers need to be aware of the risk of depression that comes with all kinds of common prescription drugs - many of which are also available over the counter".

"With depression as one of the leading causes of disability and increasing national suicide rates, we need to think innovatively about depression as a public health issue", Qato writes.

"Many prescription medicines may have depression as a possible side effect and this should be discussed with patients up front".

Some people who developed depression as a side effect of medication, however, might have had undiagnosed or untreated depression before they took the other drugs, said Pinar Karaca-Mandic, academic director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Mark Olfson is a researcher and professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.

Scientists found that the risk rose significantly when three or more medicines were taken together. Fifteen percent of them had depression compared to just 5 percent of people who took none of these medications.

"The best thing people can do if they're concerned is to go and have a talk to their GP", Dr Kyle said.

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