Medicines that Cause Depression (cont.)

Drugs That May Cause Depression

The following drugs have been reported to cause depression in some patients. Elderly people are particularly at risk.

  • Accutane: This drug treats severe acne.
  • Alcohol
  • Antabuse: This medicine is used to treat alcoholism.
  • Anticonvulsants: Anticonvulsants are used to control epileptic seizures, examples include Celontin and Zarontin.
  • Barbiturates: These are a group of central nervous system depressants that slow down brain function. These medicines have been used to treat anxiety and to prevent epileptic seizures. They are commonly abused; examples are phenobarbital and secobarbital.
  • Benzodiazepines: This group of central nervous system depressants is often used to treat anxiety and insomnia and to relax muscles; examples include Ativan, Dalmane, Halcion, Klonopin, Librium, Valium, and Xanax.
  • Beta-adrenergic blockers -- Also known as beta-blockers, these medicines are used in the treatment of various heart problems, including high blood pressure, heart failure, chest pain caused by angina, and certain abnormal heart rhythms. They may also be used to treat migraine headaches; examples include Lopressor, Tenormin and Coreg.
  • Bromocriptine (Parlodel): This is a medicine used to treat Parkinson's disease.
  • Calcium-channel blockers: This group of medicines slows the heart rate and relaxes blood vessels. Calcium channel blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, congestive heart failure, and certain abnormal heart rhythms, examples include Calan, Cardizem, Tiazac, and Procardia.
  • Estrogens: This class of female hormones is often used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat menopause symptoms and to prevent or treat osteoporosis; examples include Premarin and Prempro.
  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics: Examples of these drugs include Cipro and Floxin.
  • Interferon alfa: This drug is used to treat certain cancers as well as hepatitis B and C.
  • Norplant: This is a medicine used for birth control.
  • Opioids: This group of narcotics is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. These drugs have a high potential for abuse and addiction; examples include codeine, morphine, Demerol, Percodan, and OxyContin.
  • Statins: These medicines are used to lower cholesterol, protect against damage from coronary artery disease, and prevent heart attacks; examples include Mevacor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol, and Lipitor.
  • Zovirax: Doctors prescribe this drug to treat shingles and herpes.

What Should I Do If My Medicine Causes Depression or Mania?

When a medicine produces symptoms of mania or depression, your doctor may recommend discontinuing the drug or reducing the dosage (if possible). If this is not possible, your doctor may treat the manic or depressive symptoms with other drugs.

Should I Stop Taking a Drug If It Causes Depression or Mania?

If you do experience depression or mania while taking one of these medications or any other, call your doctor immediately. Do not stop taking the medicine unless directed to do so by your doctor. In all cases, the risk of side effects must be balanced against the risk and discomfort of not treating the disease.

WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: "What is Depression?"

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Pub, 2000.

Fieve, R. Bipolar II, Rodale Books, 2006.

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on July 24, 2012

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/24/2012


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