Proton pump inhibitors prescribed to heart patients may up risk for depression

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects every aspect of one’s life and to such an extent that it becomes tough for him or her to live and enjoy life. At times, even trying to go through the day can become an overwhelming task. Depression can happen to anyone irrespective of his or her age, gender, culture and background.

Some of the common symptoms experienced by those depressed may include the feeling of sadness, guilt, decreased energy, mood swings, appetite changes, weight gain or weight loss, and suicidal thoughts. While some may experience persistent sadness, others may describe their feelings in terms of a physical condition like pain in their heart.

Though it may be just a phrase for some, several studies have highlighted that depression and heart diseases go hand in hand. Depression increases the rate of mortality by multiple times, one can witness significant problems in treating his or her heart disease due to depression. As such, one can develop depression due to heart disease and vice versa,

According to a 2017 study, proton pump inhibitors or PPIs prescribed for relieving indigestion and heartburn and to treat heart patients are linked to causing depression among the users. As per the study, people taking a PPI were twice as likely as other individuals to report anxiety or depression. It is a major risk factor for the increased rate of depression among the elderly patients.

What are PPIs?

Commonly used to treat acid reflux and stomach ulcers, PPIs reduce the amount of acid made by the stomach. Some of the common PPIs include omeprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole and rabeprazole. Prescribed for acid reflux conditions, some heart patients take PPIs to counter the side effects of blood clot prevention or antiplatelet drugs.

Those taking these commonly prescribed drugs can experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation, among others. In addition to being linked to increasing the chances of liver and kidney diseases, these powerful acid-suppressing drugs have been associated with blood disorders, weakened bones, dementia and infections.

Use of PPIs associated with a higher level of depression

In order to determine the neurological side effects of PPIs, the above-mentioned study examined 344 older Italians aged 75 and above. They were assessed based on their answers about their mood and the use of PPIs. The mood of the participants was assessed using the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Used for identifying depression in older population, this self-assessment tool defines depression by a GDS score ≥11.

The study found that the use of PPIs was associated with a higher GDS score. In addition, higher PPI dosages were also associated with the increased probability of depression. The association was independent of the diagnosis of a peptic disease and the use of antidepressant medications. However, researchers did not find any association between antacids and the GDS score.

According to the above research, around 14 percent of the depression cases could be avoided by withdrawing PPIs. Since PPIs are a frequent cause of depression in the older population, researchers recommended the elders on PPIs to have their mood routinely assessed.

As the sudden withdrawal of PPIs can result in the return of hyperacidity and worsen the heartburn symptoms, it is advisable to taper off the drugs gradually.

Popping prescription pills judiciously to ensure effective recovery

Different from short-term mood fluctuations or a state of emotional distress, depression is a serious mental health condition that affects how one feels, thinks and acts. As a result, it can negatively impact one’s physical and mental health. Caused by a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors, depression can affect anyone. A debilitating but treatable condition, one can undergo the residential programs for depression at the certified depression treatment centers to alleviate depressive symptoms. They usually consist a combination of medications, psychotherapies and alternative experiential therapies, including art, yoga and meditation.

At the Depression Treatment Helpline, we can help you find the best residential depression treatment centers in the United States. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-619-7729 or chat online with our therapists for any information.