Many Americans Taking Meds That May Cause Depression

More than one-third of adults are taking prescriptions with this potential side effect.

According to a new study that looked at 26,192 adults, more than one-third of the U.S. population is taking drugs like birth control, allergy pills, blood pressure medication, and heartburn pills which list depression as a possible side effect. This number has increased from 35 percent to 38 percent over the last ten years. Worryingly, the medications linked to depression are often innocuous-seeming and some are even over-the-counter. 

With the American population living longer than before, the number of health problems goes up, along with the number of medications people are taking. Aside from certain prescriptions potentially causing depression, when they are prescribed by different medical professionals and taken together those combinations can cause serious side effects too. 


Of the study's participants, around eight percent reported depression symptoms (fifteen percent of which reported taking three or more depression-linked drugs). While more research is required to determine how many people have undiagnosed or untreated depression before the symptoms appear (as opposed to just the medications bringing it about), these findings do show the importance of talking to your primary care doctor about how you feel and letting them know all the medications you are taking. In a lot of cases, a patient can be prescribed a different medication if they do develop depression, which can help them feel better and prevent escalating side effects. 

Related:

FAQ: The Facts About Chronic Depression

In the News: Lifting Weights May Decrease Depression

The Happiness Jumpstart Plan

Dr. Oz goes where he's never gone before. He's letting you eat fast-food and it's not what you expect. Learn which fast food meals you can eat under 500 calories while still enjoying the food you love.