This headline summarizing the findings of a June 2018 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association is catching the attention of multiple news outlets. The study by Dr. Qato and colleagues looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 26,000 US adults. 37.2% of subjects were taking one or more of the 200 commonly prescribed prescription drugs that list depression or suicidal thoughts as potential side effects, such as antacids and blood pressure medications. The main concern was for polypharmacy (taking more than 1 drug at the same time). The overall prevalence of depression in patients taking 3 or more drugs was 15%.
Here is what Sunpointe providers would like you to know about the study:
- DO NOT stop any of your prescription medications. The study doesn’t mean the medications cause depression and many of the drugs treat chronic health conditions that if untreated may put you at even higher risk of depression.
- The study stresses the importance of coordination of care with your primary care provider and accurately reporting all of your medications to your Sunpointe clinicians. Please check that releases of information are up to date.
- The depression screening referred to in the study was the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). This is monitored here at Sunpointe as part of your admission assessment and during treatment depending on your diagnosis.
- If you have any questions re: your medications, please review them with your prescriber at your appointment