In the Journals

1 in 3 people take medication that could cause depression

More than one-third of adults in the U.S. took a medication with depression listed as a potential adverse event, ranging from beta blockers and heartburn medications to emergency contraception, according to findings recently published in JAMA.

“There is only limited information about the use of medications that have the potential for depression as an adverse effect,” Dima Mazen Qato, PharmD, Ph.D., MPH, of the department of pharmacy systems at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues wrote.

Researchers analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 26,192 adults (mean age, 46.2 years) during five, 2-year cycles (2005 to 2006 through 2013 to 2014).

Qato and colleagues found that the overall estimated prevalence of medication use with depression as an adverse event was 37.2%, increasing from 35% (95% CI, 32.2-37.9) in 2005 and 2006 to 38.4% (95% CI, 36.5-40.3) in 2013 and 2014. In addition, approximately 6.9% (95% CI, 6.2-7.6) of respondents said they used three or more medications at the same time with a potential for depression as an adverse event in 2005 and 2006, increasing to 9.5% (95% CI, 8.4-10.7) in 2013 and 2014.

In adjusted analyses that did not include antidepressant users, researchers also found that the number of medications used with depression as a potential adverse event was linked to higher prevalence of concurrent depression. The estimated prevalence of depression was 15% for those reporting use of three or more medications with depression as an adverse event vs. 4.7% for those not using such medications (difference, 10.7% [95% CI, 7.2-14.1]). These patterns persisted in analyses restricted to adults who had not used any psychotropic medication, among adults with high BP and adults treated with antidepressants, according to Qato and colleagues.

More than one-third of adults in the U.S. took a medication with depression listed as a potential adverse event, ranging from beta blockers and heartburn medications to emergency contraception, according to findings recently published in JAMA.
Photo Source: Shutterstock

"Some of these medications, including proton pump inhibitors and the emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel, are also available over the counter, and product labeling for over-the-counter medications does not include comprehensive information on adverse effects including depression.”

Qato and colleagues added that with more than 200 medications — both OTC and prescription — with potential adverse events of depression or suicide as potential adverse events, their findings should spur discussions with patients about the link between these drugs and the risk for depression. by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Qato reports serving as a consultant for Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

More than one-third of adults in the U.S. took a medication with depression listed as a potential adverse event, ranging from beta blockers and heartburn medications to emergency contraception, according to findings recently published in JAMA.

“There is only limited information about the use of medications that have the potential for depression as an adverse effect,” Dima Mazen Qato, PharmD, Ph.D., MPH, of the department of pharmacy systems at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues wrote.

Researchers analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 26,192 adults (mean age, 46.2 years) during five, 2-year cycles (2005 to 2006 through 2013 to 2014).

Qato and colleagues found that the overall estimated prevalence of medication use with depression as an adverse event was 37.2%, increasing from 35% (95% CI, 32.2-37.9) in 2005 and 2006 to 38.4% (95% CI, 36.5-40.3) in 2013 and 2014. In addition, approximately 6.9% (95% CI, 6.2-7.6) of respondents said they used three or more medications at the same time with a potential for depression as an adverse event in 2005 and 2006, increasing to 9.5% (95% CI, 8.4-10.7) in 2013 and 2014.

In adjusted analyses that did not include antidepressant users, researchers also found that the number of medications used with depression as a potential adverse event was linked to higher prevalence of concurrent depression. The estimated prevalence of depression was 15% for those reporting use of three or more medications with depression as an adverse event vs. 4.7% for those not using such medications (difference, 10.7% [95% CI, 7.2-14.1]). These patterns persisted in analyses restricted to adults who had not used any psychotropic medication, among adults with high BP and adults treated with antidepressants, according to Qato and colleagues.

More than one-third of adults in the U.S. took a medication with depression listed as a potential adverse event, ranging from beta blockers and heartburn medications to emergency contraception, according to findings recently published in JAMA.
Photo Source: Shutterstock

"Some of these medications, including proton pump inhibitors and the emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel, are also available over the counter, and product labeling for over-the-counter medications does not include comprehensive information on adverse effects including depression.”

Qato and colleagues added that with more than 200 medications — both OTC and prescription — with potential adverse events of depression or suicide as potential adverse events, their findings should spur discussions with patients about the link between these drugs and the risk for depression. by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Qato reports serving as a consultant for Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.