Study Finds Link Between Meds and Depression

NEW YORK -- A new study suggests an estimated 37 percent of U.S. adults take prescription medications that have depression listed as  a potential side effect. Many are common drugs, including painkillers and birth control pills. 

Many Americans may not realize they are at risk of depression because of the medicines they take.  A new study in JAMA estimates more than one third of U.S. adults use prescription drugs that have depression or suicide listed as potential side effects. 

The 200 commonly used medications include  birth control pills… blood pressure & heart medications… antacids and painkillers.  

"Talk to your pharmacist. Talk to your doctor. Ask questions," encourages CBS contributor Dr. Tara Narula.

The study found multiple medications increased the risk.  
15% of adults in the study who took 3 or more of these medications at the same time experienced depression - compared to just five percent who took none and 7 percent  who took one.  

"It could in fact be that the drugs are leading to depression, however it could be that people had pre-existing depression if could be the chronic conditions people are taking the medications for, heart conditions, cancer, is what's really causing the depression not the drugs," Narula points out.

With depression one of the leading causes of disability and suicide rates on the rise, health experts say it's important patients are aware of the side effects of their medications - especially if they have a history of mental health issues. 

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for depression in the general adult population.

(Meg Oliver, CBS News)

More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center