Qato says that solutions worth further study may include updating drug safety software to recognize depression as a potential drug-drug interaction, so that health care professionals, including pharmacists, are more likely to notice if a patient is using multiple medications that may increase risk.
Drugs taken by more than one-third of US adults have depression as a possible side effect, a new study reveals.
The study was observational in nature, and was based on survey data on more than 26,000 adults from 2005 to 2014, collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Because of how widely used some of these medications are, doctors and health care providers may be unaware of any increased risk of depression or suicide, even though they are known side effects, the researchers said.
In addition, use of drugs with suicidal symptoms as a possible side effect rose from 17 percent to 24 percent during the 10-year study period, Qato said. "Many may be surprised to learn that their medications, despite having nothing to do with mood or anxiety or any other condition normally associated with depression, can increase their risk of experiencing depressive symptoms, and may lead to a depression diagnosis", she said in a statement.
In contrast, only 5 percent of participants who didn't use any of those medications reported depression.
According to a new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, about one-third of U.S. adults may unknowingly be taking meds that have depression or suicide as a side effect.
The report was released one week after USA health authorities said suicides have risen 30 percent in the past two decades, with about half of suicides among people who were not known to suffer from mental illness.
As depression is one of the leading causes of disability, it is important that we do what we can to help and support people who suffer from it, especially as the stigma associated with mental health often stops them from receiving the help they need.
The report cautioned that "Product labeling for over-the-counter medications does not include comprehensive information on adverse side effects including depression". The survey shows that over the decade in question, all the common drugs looked at it in the study were increasingly prescribed.
The list of potential side effects that accompanies most prescription drug may seem farcically long, and it can be easy to assume that the ill effects won't impact you.
About 15 percent of adults are thought to use five or more prescription medications simultaneously, the researchers said in background notes.
"Many prescription medicines may have depression as a possible side effect and this should be discussed with patients up front".
Qato hopes the research leads to improved warnings on how these prescription medications could lead to depression.