Ethics in Medicine

Common Over the Counter and Prescription Drugs Contribute to Depression

Kristen Sparrow • June 14, 2018


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First Do No Harm. I guess I’m not surprised.  I’ve been suspicious of Gabapentin for awhile though.  Anecdotally, I’ve had a number of patients who felt quite dysphoric on it and had to stop.   And, of course, birth control pills can be a serious problem for some women.

Many patients are taking more than one drug that has depression as a side effect, and the study found that the risk of depression increased with each additional such drug taken at the same time.

About 200 prescription drugs can cause depression, and the list includes common medications like proton pump inhibitors (P.P.I.s) used to treat acid reflux, beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, birth control pills and emergency contraceptives, anticonvulsants like gabapentin, corticosteroids like prednisone and even prescription-strength ibuprofen. Some of these drugs are also sold over-the-counter in pharmacies.

For some drugs, like beta-blockers and interferon, the side effect of depression is well known, but the authors of the study were surprised at how many drugs were on the list.”