1 in 3 adults take medications linked to depression

(WSYX/WTTE)

We're on your side with a new warning about medications you may be taking that could increase your chance of depression. Medications such as birth control, blood pressure, and even antacids all have the side effect for depression. According to the new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than one third of Americans are taking these drugs.

It looked at more than 26,000 adults over a 9-year period.

Doctors at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist told us this study should be an "eye opener" for those taking medications every day.

“I think this study is really going to open everybody’s eyes to the problem of depression, the problem of suicide and help people to advocate more for themselves and their family members,” said Doctor Megan Schabbing the medical director of psychiatric emergencies at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist. "Some of these are very common medications such as high blood pressure medications, some of the anti-hem like beta blockers can cause depression as a side effect, these are prescribed very frequently for patients with high blood pressure, even pain medications and contraceptives can cause depression."

The JAMA study shows there are 200 common medications sold in the country that include depression as a potential side effect, nearly 40-percent of Americans take these drugs.

Researchers found depression rates more than triple when people used at least 3 drugs with a possible-side effect of depression compared to people who don't take any of these medications.

“This is a big sort of red flag for people to talk about their medications with their physicians. I think far too often times someone has prescribed a medication and there really isn't an in-depth discussion enough in terms of weighing out the benefits versus the risks of the medication,” said Dr. Schabbing.

In the report the depression rate skyrockets to 15.3% of someone taking 3 or more drugs at the same time. If someone is taking one medication the likelihood of depression is 6.9% and no medications at all 4.7%. We asked Dr. Schabbing if people should worry.

"I think it's important number one, any medication that you're taking, it's important to talk to your doctor about the potential side effects,” said Dr. Schabbing. “If you’re somebody with a family history of depression and you’re on one of these medications that can cause depression it’s important to talk to your doctor about what do you view as a benefit-risk ratio.”

Doctors said this study does not prove there's a cause and effect with these medications and depression, just that there is a link. If you want to read the report here’s a link: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2684607

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