200 Drugs Named As Causes of Depression

ALERT: Check your prescriptions; Prilosec, Zantac among Rx that increase depression risk

| More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect

(Allison Aubrey, NPR) If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.

More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.

1 In 3 Adults In The U.S. Takes Medications Linked To Depression

The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (used to treat acid reflux), beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure), and anticonvulsant drugs.

“The more of these medications you’re taking, the more likely you are to report depression,” says study author Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.

The study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, included 26,192 adults who participated in a federal survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

All of the participants listed the medications they were taking at the time of the survey. In addition, they each completed a depression screening, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), which asks about sleep, mood, and appetite.

More than a third of the people who took the survey were taking medications known to have depression or suicidal thoughts as potential side effects. Olfson and his collaborators wanted to determine whether those participants were more or less likely to be depressed, compared to participants who didn’t take any of these medications.

“What we found is that, in fact, they’re more likely,” Olfson says. And they found that people who took three or more of the medications were three times as likely to be depressed. Read the full story at NPR.


More than 200 commonly used prescription drugs — including hormonal birth control medications, blood pressure, and heart medications, proton pump inhibitors, antacids, and painkillers — have depression or suicide listed as potential side effects.

However, the list compiled by researchers does not appear to be publicly available; if and when it does become available, Headline Health will publish it. Until then, you can look up the side effects of any drug you take at drugs.com.  


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