PMID: 44864Jan 1, 1979

Iatrogenic depression (author's transl)

J F Chevalier, D Ginestet


A number of drugs are traditionally blamed for causing depression: in general medicine, the antihypertensives, the oral contraceptives and the appetite suppressants; in psychiatry, the neuroleptics. The identification of iatrogenic depression is difficult methodologically, for two reasons: 1. Detection of the depression. 2. Linking convincingly that state of depression with the administration of a particular drug, given the presence of many non-pharmacological factors. The literature and the experience of clinicians provide fairly contradictory evidence, but an analysis of published work calls for the following observations: --the type and severity of depression are rarely specified;--a history of psychiatric disorder is commonly stressed;--the specific role of the disability caused by physical or mental illness and the need to use palliative rather than curative measures are usually underestimated;--biochemically, it is surprising that the effects which some of these drugs are known to have upon the cerebral amines do not cause more depression of mood. In fact, if we consider how widely the drugs incriminated are used, it is clear that real drug-caused depression is rather uncommon.

Related Concepts

Antipsychotic Effect
Contraceptives, Oral
Chronic Disease
Fetishism (Psychiatric)
Differential Diagnosis
Antipsychotic Agents
Manic Disorder
Antihypertensive Agents

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