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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.


Medications can cause depression symptoms by having a direct effect on the brain or an indirect effect by altering the normal way organs support the brain's functioning.

Which are the most likely culprits? Medications that change hormone levels can change mood. For example, corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are prescribed for a variety of illnesses (some examples are arthritis, neurologic illnesses, cancer, or allergic reactions). Athletes and body builders sometimes make the unhealthy decision to take anabolic steroids to improve performance or power. These potentially dangerous drugs can cause depression and irritability.

Birth control pills have an impact on hormones and can cause depression.

Another group of medications that can cause depression are tranquilizers and sedatives.

Although rare, many other medicines have been reported to cause depression. Let your doctor know if any depressive symptoms coincide with starting a new drug.

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