Factors like family history, stressful environment, personality and hormonal and physical changes trigger depression in people. But did you know that certain widely used prescription drugs can also cause depression as a side effect?

Depression is a mood disorder that leads to a constant feeling of sadness and lack of interest in life.

Symptoms of depression:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Continuous low mood
  • Issues with appetite and weight
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

According to a study published in 2018, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are on prescription medications that could potentially cause depression.

The risk of drug-induced depression increases if a person is on more than one drug that has depression as a possible side effect. Some medications can also cause interactions and show unexpected side effects. Hence, it is essential to discuss with the healthcare provider about all your current medications before starting a new drug.

Common drugs that trigger depression

1. Beta-blockers:

Beta-blockers are common medications for high blood pressure. They are also used for treating migraines, irregular heartbeats, angina and tremors. Certain beta-blockers such as atenolol, metoprolol and carvedilol may cause symptoms of depression.

2. Hormone medications:

Variations in hormonal levels in women can often trigger symptoms of depression. The use of hormonal contraceptives in the form of birth control pills and IUD devices, and estrogen replacement therapy to ease menopausal symptoms can cause depression as a side effect.

3. Parkinson's medications:

Studies have shown that Parkinson's disease itself is associated with a high risk of depression. Drugs such as Levodopa, Sinemet and Lodosyn are used for treating Parkinson's. These medications can affect a person's mood as they can elevate dopamine levels for long periods.

4. Corticosteroids:

They are often known as steroids. They are used to treat a range of conditions such as rashes and inflammatory conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The use of steroids can affect serotonin, a substance produced by the brain that helps in mood regulation.

5. Stimulants:

Stimulant medications are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD ) and for daytime sleepiness with narcolepsy – a neurological disorder that affects the sleep-wake cycle. They can lead to drug dependence, causing symptoms such as fatigue and sleep difficulties when people withdraw from the drugs.

The risk of drug-induced depression increases if a person is on more than one drug that has depression as a possible side effect. pixabay