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Regards to all our listeners!
I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Here is what's new this week in To Your Health, a consumer health-oriented podcast from NLM, that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.
Depression is an increasingly reported side effect of taking prescription medications among American adults, suggests a cross-sectional, comprehensive study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Specifically, the study of more than 26,000 adults finds about 37 percent report depression is a concurrent, adverse effect of taking a range of common prescription medications. The study's three authors explain reports of depression among adults increased significantly — comparing results from 2013 and 2014 with findings in 2004 and 2006.
The authors add about 9.5 percent of adults who are taking three or more prescription medications report concurrent depression compared to about 6.9 percent in 2005 and 2006.
The authors found that when they adjusted the study's findings by removing the use of anti-depressant drugs, the estimated prevalence of depression was 15 percent for persons who used three or more medications versus about 4.7 percent for adults who did not use common prescription medications.
The researchers include about 200 prescribed medications routinely taken by the study's diverse participants, which then were reported as associated with depression. The study's findings are derived from the periodic National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although the study's researchers explain the US Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended screening adults for depression, the authors note commonly used depression screening tests (and we quote): 'do not incorporate evaluations of prescribed medications that have depression as a potential adverse effect' (end of quote).
The authors urge primary care physicians to inform patients of the potential links between medications for routine illnesses with depression. The authors suggest new longitudinal research also is needed to assess if depression will decline when patients are informed of the possible side effects of common medications.
Meanwhile, the American Psychiatric Association provides help for depression within the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's depression health topic page.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides additional, helpful information about depression treatment in the 'treatment and therapies' section of MedlinePlus.gov's depression health topic page.
Links to the latest pertinent journal research articles about depression are available in the 'journal articles' section of MedlinePlus.gov's depression health topic page. Links to relevant clinical trials that may be occurring in your area also are available in the 'clinical trials' section.
To find MedlinePlus.gov's depression health topic page, please type 'depression' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'depression (National Library of Medicine).' MedlinePlus.gov also contains health topic pages on postpartum depression, teen depression, and antidepressants.
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