Can your Medicines Cause Depression?

There are multiple scientific studies, more or less substantial, providing data that certain medicine might trigger or influence in certain way the depression.

Drug-induced depressive disorders are classified in the DSM-III-R as organic mood syndrome, depressed type. The ability of certain drugs to cause depression is of clinical relevance because organic mood syndrome is a component of the differential diagnosis of depressive symptoms. Consequently, psychiatric textbooks often provide different lists of drugs thought to be capable of causing depression. 

Strong evidence supporting the existence of causal associations is often lacking. There is no specific drug for which there is definitive evidence of a causal association with depressive symptoms or depressive disorders. Nevertheless, for a number of drugs,the evidence is suggestive, although not conclusively, of a causal association. Despite this, rational decisions about the continuation or discontinuation of drugs can often be made.

Some medications prescribed for various medical conditions do cause such feelings as sadness, despair, and discouragement. And those are feelings that are often associated with depression. Other medicines prescribed for medical problems can trigger mania (excessive elation and joy). That's usually associated with bipolar disorder. There are also many psychiatric medications which paradoxically might actually make depression, patient suffers from, worse. These include highly sedating medications such as antianxiety medications or antipsychotic medications and certain mood stabilizers, which not only are sedating, but can slow down thinking processes and lead people to feel more withdrawn and less motivated to go about their daily activities.

Medications that cause mania or depression appear to alter brain chemicals in some way. And even though the medications may be necessary to treat the condition, the side effect appearance might be unacceptable for the patents.

There are just examples of certain medications that can cause symptoms of depression Note that for some medications the various researches might present different, sometimes completely opposite results, but nevertheless you should be aware on the potential negative effects to be sensitive to your mental condition changes, while you take them. You should understand that every individual reaction might be completely different on the taken drugs, and in some cases not an individual medication make the difference, but combination of various prescribed medications causing the cumulative effect on your well-being.

So, be aware on the following drugs to be considered as might be causing the depression in adults:
  • Accutane, which is prescribed for the treatment of acne, has been suspected to cause depression.
  • Antihypertensives, such as clonidine (Catapres).
  • Barbiturates, such as phenobarbital, pentobarbital (Nembutal), and secobarbital (Seconal).
  • Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), or lorazepam (Ativan).
  • Calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil (Calan).
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone.
  • Hormonal medications, such as birth control pills (oral contraceptives) and hormone therapy used to treat the symptoms of menopause.
  • Medications used to treat Parkinson's disease or other neurological disorders, such as restless legs syndrome.
  • Medications used to treat seizures, such as phenytoin (Dilantin).
  • Pain medications, such as meperidine (Demerol) or codeine.
Symptoms of depression can also be caused by the use of or withdrawal from alcohol and illegal drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines (methamphetamines, crystal meth, or crack), heroin, and cannabis (marijuana).

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