A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed that one-third of the adults in the United States might be using prescribed drugs that could cause depression or could raise suicidal tendency.
The research, conducted by a team of experts at the University of Illinois, has revealed that more than 200 commonly prescribed drugs in US carry warnings that depression is a potential side effect of these medications. Some of the medications such as blood pressure and heart medicines, antacids, painkillers and birth control pills can cause depression.
During the research, experts at the University of Illinois examined 26,000 adult patients from 2005 to 2014 and found that 15 percent of the participants who took three or more of these medications experienced depression. In contrast, five percent of the participants who have not taken any medications and seven percent who took a single medication revealed that also suffer from depression. The team also found that these people who suffer from depression also showed suicidal tendencies.
"People are not only increasingly using these medicines alone, but are increasingly using them simultaneously, yet very few of these drugs have warning labels, so until we have public or system-level solutions, it is left up to patients and healthcare professionals to be aware of the risks," said Dima Qato, the lead author of the study in a press release.
Qato also added that depression is one of the major causes of disabilities and increased suicide rates in the US. The expert also urged authorities to think innovatively about depression as a public health issue.
Even though this report seems important, Professor Andrea Cipriani, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford revealed that there is nothing alarming about it.
"First, the risk of depression was higher in people that took more types of medicine and this may be a result of the medicines interacting, but it may also be because people with chronic illnesses take more medicines and are also more likely to have depression. This was an observational study so we cannot tease this apart," said Andrea Cipriani, Newsweek reports.
Second, this study looked at many medications, including antidepressants. For many of the people who self-reported depression this may simply be because the particular antidepressants didn't work for them, or that they were biased towards expecting feelings of depression. It doesn't necessarily mean the antidepressants caused the depression," Cipriani added.