Indexed on: 13 May '99Published on: 13 May '99Published in: Seminars in clinical neuropsychiatry
Medications and drugs of abuse are assumed to be causal agents of secondary mood disorders, but the research base supporting causality is weak or contradictory. Erroneous assumptions of causality can have an adverse effect on patient care. Recent research suggests that antihypertensives are underutilized because of the questionable assumption that they cause depression. Persons with alcohol use disorders and coexisting depression may not receive needed antidepressant medication in the belief that abstinence alone will lead to a remission of depressive symptoms. Clinicians should be alert to the association of various substances with mood disorders, but until further research becomes available, the case for causality should not be overstated.