It's possible people already had a medical history of depression prior to taking the drugs, or the medical conditions they were being treated for could have contributed to their depression.
Use of medications with depression or suicidal thoughts as potential side effects has been on the rise, according to the study's lead author, Dima Mazen Qato, an assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy of the University of Illinois, Chicago. To list a few of the commonly-prescribed medications are the heart medicines, birth control pills, and most of the painkillers.
According to the study, the common prescription medications prescribed don't have anything to do with depression, so that is one reason that patients, and even their health care providers, don't know about the risk, according to University of IL campus online publication, UIC Today.
The study went through the medication consumption pattern of over 26000 adults between the years 2005 to 2014.
However, there are several questions about these drugs that remain unanswered.
Numerous drugs are commonplace and not associated with a risk of depression despite the evidence showing their effects.
Some people who developed depression as a side effect of medication, however, might have had undiagnosed or untreated depression before they took the other drugs, said Pinar Karaca-Mandic, academic director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
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Common treatments like antacids, hormonal birth control, blood pressure and heart medications, proton pump inhibitors and painkillers are among 200 of the most commonly prescribed medications that carry list depression and suicide as risk factors, researchers from the University of IL at Chicago and Columbia University concluded.
The researchers also found that along with an increase in polypharmacy, there was an increase in prescriptions for medications that have depressions and suicide listed as a side-effect.
The study authors looked at more than 26,000 adults between 2005 and 2014, and found that those using the drugs had significantly higher rates of depression than those who did not.
Use of prescription drugs with suicidal thoughts listed as a potential adverse effect increased from 17 percent in 2005 to 24 percent a decade later, the study said. The types of medications include hormonal birth control medications, blood pressure and heart medications, proton pump inhibitors, antacids and painkillers.
Roane cautioned, however, "that while a medication may contribute to depression, stopping the drug is not going to be enough to treat the depression". In contrast, only 9 percent of those who took two drugs were at risk, as well as 7 percent for one drug and 5 percent for no drugs. Here's physician Don Mordecai.
Olfson said, "The strength of the association between the number of medications and the likelihood of being depressed is surprising".