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Common Blood Pressure Medicines Found To Alleviate Depression Risk

Nov, 2020 - By WMR

Common Blood Pressure Medicines Found To Alleviate Depression Risk

A study published in the ‘Hypertension’ journal found some commonly prescribed medicines for high blood pressure to alleviate risk of depression.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the most common mental disorder, and around 265 million people across the globe suffer from it. Moreover, hypertension or high blood pressure is a common among individuals suffering from depression. The study that was conducted in Denmark was the first to methodically explore common hypertension medications can influence risk of depression. The team of researchers, led by Lars Vedel Kessing, professor of psychiatry at the Psychiatric Center Copenhagen and the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences in Denmark, analysed data of over 3 million adults who were taking any of the 41 medications that are prescribed for blood pressure management from the Danish health registries between 2005 and 2015. The four major categories of the medications which were reviewed were angiotensin agents, calcium antagonists, diuretics, and beta-blockers.

The team found that:

  • None of the common high blood pressure medications (41 in total) were found to increase the risk of depression.
  • Nine medications, few in each category, lowered depression risk significantly (2 out of 16 angiotensin agents, 3 out of 10 calcium antagonists, and 4 out of 15 beta-blockers.
  • Diuretic medications had no influence on depression risk.

Angiotensin agents such as Ramipril and enalapril; beta-blockers (atenolol, propranolol, carvedilol, and bisoprolol); and calcium antagonists (verapamil and its combinations, and amlodipine) were the 9 hypertension medications which lowered risk of depression considerably. All of these medications are currently approved in the United States. These findings can help patients with hypertension who are at risk of depression, individuals with prior mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as those with family history of these disorders. The authors added that patients who are experiencing benefits from their prescribed medicines have no reason to switch to the aforementioned medications. However, they can switch if there is a likelihood of depression or if it has already developed to some extent.

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