While it’s true that the word “gloomy” can be used to encompass both the ups and downs of our emotions, Merriam-Webster defines it as meaning depressed, gloomy, and sad. A bad mood can be treated in several ways: you can try to get out of your funk with activities like meditation or journaling, you can talk to your doctor to make sure your bad mood doesn’t isn’t a sign of something more serious, or you can practice preventative measures to try and stop these mood swings before they start. One way to do the latter is to find out which drugs might bring you down. Read on to learn about five prescription drugs that could be causing your mood swings.
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“Like all medications, blood pressure medications sometimes cause unwanted side effects,” says Harvard Health Publishing. “While many are mild and short-lived, some are more concerning, including mood swings such as depression.”
A 2020 study published in the journal Hypertension found that several common high blood pressure medications can affect people’s moods. “According to the study results, calcium antagonists and beta-blockers are associated with a two-fold higher risk of mood disorders, while angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and Angiotensin receptor blockers decrease the risk of mood disorders,” reports Cardiovascular Business.
However, some high blood pressure medications are believed to reduce the risk of depression. “Because there are so many different blood pressure medications, there is absolutely no need to tolerate side effects, especially depression, which can be very debilitating,” notes Harvard Health.
Antidepressants are supposed to help people feel better, but sometimes they can cause side effects that aren’t very pleasant. “Antidepressants are often prescribed to treat depression,” explains Victoria glass, MD. “However, they can also cause irritability and mood swings.”
If you think your antidepressants might be causing mood swings, a psychiatrist Zinnia Thomas, MD recommends that people ask their health care provider about trying another medication. They can add mood-boosting activities such as exercise or light therapy into the mix, she told Everyday Health. “The combination…may speed up your recovery and reduce your overall time on antidepressants.”
Some people who take birth control pills may find that their premenstrual mood swings are intensified, Glass says. “Some women experience mood swings when taking birth control pills. These can include depression, anxiety, or irritability,” she explains.
“It’s very common for hormonal birth control to impact mood, usually in a negative way,” Felice Gersch, MD, tells Insider. The site reports that hormonal birth control may have “stronger emotional effects” on people with a severe form of PMS known as PMDD, as well as people with a history of mood disorders. .
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Diabetes is known to potentially cause mood swings. “Fluctuations in blood sugar, also known as glycemic variability, can directly cause mood swings,” reports HealthyPlace. “Mood swings that occur from spikes and dips in blood sugar are physiological in nature rather than emotion-based,” the site explains. “Blood sugar levels can fluctuate whether diabetes is uncontrolled or well managed.”
However, diabetes medications intended to treat this potentially debilitating disease can often cause emotional problems as well. “Drugs that lower blood sugar, such as sulfonylureas and insulin, can cause depression and mood swings,” Glass warns.
Taking medications as directed, discussing pre-existing conditions and potential drug interactions with your doctor, and following a meal plan are all ways to treat mood swings and other side effects caused by blood sugar-lowering medications, advises the Mayo Clinic. .
“Doctors often prescribe statins to people with high cholesterol to lower their total cholesterol and reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke,” the Mayo Clinic explains. But statins — Lipitor and Altoprev are two well-known brands — can also contribute to low mood.
“While statins are very effective in lowering cholesterol levels, they can also cause side effects such as muscle aches and pains…These pains can make you more irritable and anxious, leading to mood swings,” warns Glass.
“The best way to deal with moods as a side effect of medication is to speak to your doctor and explain your concerns,” advises Glass. “Your doctor will be able to help you find the best medicine for your specific health needs that will also be safe and effective for you.”
Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and health agencies, but our content is not intended to replace professional advice. Regarding any medications you are taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your health care provider directly.