Hormonal contraception, including birth control pills or implants, can increase the chances of a woman of depression and use of antidepressant medication, according to a comprehensive study of Danish women.
Based on data on the use of prescription drugs for more than 1 million women drugs, researchers found that those who started using hormonal contraception were significantly more likely to later get a prescription for the first time for antidepressant medication, compared to women who are not in hormonal contraception.
for teenagers, from hormonal contraception it was linked to a greater risk of increased use of antidepressants. Depending on the type of hormonal contraception, there also may have been a link at the risk of being diagnosed with depression.
“Such a comprehensive study of this issue has not been done before,” said lead author Dr. Øjvind Lidegaard, University of Copenhagen.
previous studies have attempted to clarify the connections between contraceptive hormones and depression, Lidegaard wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry, but these results contradictory.
The authors note that the prevalence of depression is almost double among women compared with men. That difference did not emerge until after puberty, however. Two female sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone – are believed to be factors in the increased risk once reproductive years begin
Lidegaard and colleagues used data from the Danish course sex hormones Registry Study, which it includes all women living. in Denmark. psychiatric diagnosis.
The women included were followed for about seven years each. About 55 percent use hormonal contraceptives during the study period. During that time, 133.178 women were first prescribed antidepressants and drugs were 23,077 newly diagnosed with depression.
Compared with women not using hormonal contraceptives, using birth control pills were 23 percent more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant medication for the first time during the study period.
Those who use birth control pills that contain only the hormone progestin were 34 percent more likely to be prescribed antidepressants. For women using a ring birth control, the increased risk was 60 percent and doubled among those using a contraceptive patch.
These risks were also slightly higher among adolescents, researchers found.
compared to girls aged 15 to 19 who do not use hormonal contraceptives, researchers found an increased risk of 80 percent of that antidepressant drugs first prescribed among girls who use birth control pills .
risk was about 120 percent higher among those using progestin-only birth control pills.
While the overall risk of being diagnosed with depression was generally the same or lower, regardless of the type of birth control women used, researchers found some increases in the first diagnosis of depression for women using certain types of hormonal contraception.
Lidegaard said previous studies of women on hormonal contraception have not found differences in the treatment of depression or diagnosis as women who experience mood swings after starting hormonal contraception usually leave taking pills and nonusers are converted back.
researchers caution that their results are limited by several factors, however. For example, the fact that antidepressant medications are sometimes prescribed for reasons other than depression. In addition, depression appears as a potential side effect of hormonal contraception, they write, so these drugs and devices not be prescribed so often women already at risk, which would mean the risk of actual depression it is higher than indicated by these results.
“All women, doctors and counselors of contraception must realize that we have this potential in the use of hormonal contraceptives side effects,” Lidegaard
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