Depression has many triggers. Factors such as family genetics, stressful environment, physical changes, personality and hormonal changes can trigger depression in people. However, many people don’t know that some widely used prescription drugs can also cause depression as a side effect.
Depression is incredibly common, impacting one in six people in their lifetime. Depression is characterized by low moods, as well as a lack of interest and enjoyment in almost all activities. Children and teenagers will experience nervousness, in adults it can be expressed in sadness.
These symptoms can also be accompanied by changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, a lack of energy, as well as a feeling of worthlessness and guilt. People may also have difficulty concentrating and foggy thinking, difficulty in making decisions, and difficult thoughts about death. Some may even have suicidal thoughts and intentions, or even make plans or worse – attempting to take their own life.
A possible side effect
According to a study published in 2018, more than one-third of US adults take prescription drugs that can cause depression. The risk of drug-induced depression increases if a person takes more than one drug that has depression listed as a possible side effect.
When some drugs interact with each other, they create other side effects, and depression can be one of them. This is one of the reasons why it is important to talk to your doctor if you are taking several medications at the same time.
Common drugs that cause depression
According to the website Medical Daily, there are 5 drugs that can cause depression:
1. Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers are commonly prescribed for hypertension. They are also used to treat migraines, irregular heartbeats, angina and tremors. Certain beta-blockers such as atenolol, metoprolol and carvedilol can cause symptoms of depression.
2. Hormonal medications:
Changes in hormone levels in women can often trigger symptoms of depression. The use of hormonal contraceptives in the form of birth control pills and intrauterine devices, or estrogen replacement therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms can cause depression as a side effect.
3. Medications for Parkinson’s disease: Studies have shown that Parkinson’s disease itself is associated with a high risk of depression. Medicines such as Levodopa or Sinemet CR are used to treat Parkinson’s. These drugs can affect a person’s mood as they can increase dopamine levels for long periods.
4. Corticosteroids: Often just called steroids, these are used to treat a variety of conditions such as rashes and inflammatory conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Steroid use can affect serotonin, a chemical produced by the brain that helps regulate mood.
5. Stimulants: Stimulants are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and daytime sleepiness with narcolepsy – a neurological disorder that affects the sleep and wake cycle. They can lead to drug dependence, causing symptoms such as fatigue and difficulty sleeping when people stop taking the drugs.
If you’re struggling with mental health contact ERAN either by phone, at *1201, or online at eran.org.il.