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Be warned, common blood pressure drugs may increase risk of depression

Some commonly prescribed blood pressure pills may increase risk of mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 11, 2016 17:57 IST
Blood Pressure

Medication for blood pressure may affect your mental well-being, warn researchers.(Shutterstock)

Have you ever felt depressed when taking medicines for blood pressure? Turns out some commonly prescribed blood pressure pills may increase risk of mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.

“Mental health is under-recognised in hypertension clinical practice, and the possible impact of antihypertensive drugs on mental health is an area that physicians should be aware of and consider if the treatment of high blood pressure is having a negative impact on their patient’s mental health,” said Sandosh Padmanabhan, Professor at University of Glasgow in Britain.

In this study, researchers compared four common classes of antihypertensive drugs and risk of mood disorders.

They collected data on 525,046 patients (ages 40-80) from two large secondary care Scottish hospitals.

The researchers selected 144,066 patients being treated for hypertension with either angiotensin antagonists, beta blocker, calcium channel blockers or thiazide diuretics.

They were compared to a group of 111,936 patients not taking any of those drugs.

Researchers followed the patients for five years documenting hospitalisation for mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

After more than 90 days on the antihypertensive medications, the study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, found that there were 299 hospital admissions, predominantly due to major depression, among the patients studied, at an average 2.3 years after patients began antihypertensive treatment.

Patients on beta-blockers and calcium antagonists were at two-fold increased risk of hospital admission for mood disorder, compared to patients on angiotensin antagonists.

Patients on angiotensin antagonists had the lowest risk for hospitalisation with mood disorders compared to patients on other blood pressure meds and patients on no antihypertensive therapy.

Patients taking thiazide diuretics showed the same risk for mood disorders compared to patients taking no antihypertensive drugs, the study found.

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