Many Take Medications Linked to Depression


The contents of your medicine cabinet might be affecting your mood. A 2018 study in JAMA found that about 1 in 3 American adults takes one or more prescription drugs known to increase the risk of depression, and people who take several of these medications are more likely to become depressed.

For the study, researchers examined data on more than 26,000 adults (average age, 46) who filled out national health surveys in one of five two-year periods between 2005 and 2014. They found that 37 percent of the participants (9,150) were taking a medication with the potential to cause depression. The rate of depression was 15 percent among those who took three or more of these medications, 10 percent among those who took two of these medications, 7 percent among those who took one of these medications, and 5 percent among those who did not take any of these medications.

Drugs linked to depression include some for hypertension, hot flashes, prostate enlargement, pain, gastrointestinal or respiratory problems, epilepsy, and-ironically-depression and anxiety. If you’re struggling with depression, be sure to review all of your medications with your doctor to determine whether they might be all or part of the problem.