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More Than One-Third of Adults Take Meds That Have Depression Risk


By Alanna McCatty

June 12, 2018

More Than One-Third of Adults Take Meds That Have Depression Risk

An estimated 37% of adults use medications where depression is a potential side effect, according to a new study. Researchers looked at 26,192 adults who participated in a national survey between 2005-2014.

Results, published in JAMA, indicated that more than one-third (37.2%) of adults use medications that have depression as a possible side effect. Over time, the percentage of people using these medications has steadily increased, going from 35% in 2005-2006 to 38.4% in 2013–2014. People were more likely to experience depression while using multiple medications that listed depression as a side effect.

Additionally, the percentage of people using medications that are associated with suicidal symptoms increased from 17.3% in 2005-2006 to 23.5% in 2013-2014.

Overall, adults reported using more than 200 medications that have been associated with depression or suicidal behavior as adverse effects, including anti-hypertensives (blood pressure meds), proton pump inhibitors (used to control acid reflux), pain medications and hormonal contraceptives.

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Alanna McCatty
Alanna McCatty

Alanna McCatty is founder and CEO of McCatty Scholars, an organization that devises and implements financial literacy programs for students to combat the nationwide issue of the loss of educational opportunity due to the ramifications of burdensome student debt. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs. She is a graduate of Pace University.


Last updated: June 12, 2018