Depression an Adverse Effect in One-Third of Prescription Medications

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

HealthDay News — The estimated prevalence of using medications with depression as an adverse effect is 37.2%, according to a study published in the June 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dima Mazen Qato, PharmD, MPH, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues analyzed five 2-year cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2006 through 2013-2014) for use of prescription medications with depression as a potential adverse effect.

The researchers found that 7.6% of the 26,192 adults reported depression. The overall estimated prevalence was 37.2% for use of medications with depression as an adverse effect, which increased from 35.0 to 38.4% from 2005-2006 to 2013-2014. Reported use of 3 or more concurrent medications with a potential for depression as an adverse effect was estimated at 6.9% in 2005 and 2006 and 9.5% in 2013 and 2014. The number of medications used with depression as a possible adverse effect correlated with increased prevalence of concurrent depression, in analyses excluding antidepressant users. The estimated prevalence of depression was 15 vs 4.7% for those reporting use of 3 or more medications with depression as an adverse effect vs those not using such medications.

"Use of multiple medications was associated with greater likelihood of concurrent depression," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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