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Drug-induced depressive disorder
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Drug-induced depressive disorder

Contributors: Shea A. Nagle MPH, Abhijeet Waghray MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Substance- or medication-induced depressive disorder is characterized by marked mood changes from a person's baseline mood associated with the person's exposure to a substance or medication. Onset of symptoms occurs during or within 1 month of a patient initiating use of a substance or medication. Depression persisting past a drug withdrawal period is also considered substance- / medication-induced depressive disorder. Duration of symptoms depends on the particular drug, dose, half-life, and duration of use before onset of symptoms.

The estimated lifetime prevalence of drug-induced depression is 0.26%. People with drug-induced depression are more likely to report a family history of substance use, antisocial behavior, and stressful life events. Compared to individuals with major depressive disorder, people with drug-induced depression are more likely to report feelings of worthlessness, sleep pattern changes, and drug-induced suicidal ideation than depressed mood. Type of medication and dose affect the likelihood of a patient developing depressive symptoms.

Substances and medications that have been shown to induce depressive symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Alcohol
  • Stimulants (eg, cocaine)
  • Cardiovascular agents (clonidine, guanethidine, methyldopa, reserpine, beta blockers)
  • Dermatologic agents (isotretinoin)
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Anticonvulsants (levetiracetam)
  • Antimigraine medications (triptans)
  • Hormonal agents (corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, tamoxifen)
  • Varenicline
  • Immunological agents (interferons)
  • Levodopa
Patients with this disorder may have an increased risk of various general medical conditions.


F32.89 – Other specified depressive episodes

191495003 – Drug-induced depressive state

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Last Reviewed:06/15/2020
Last Updated:04/23/2024
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Drug-induced depressive disorder
A medical illustration showing key findings of Drug-induced depressive disorder : Sleep disturbance, Depressed mood, Suicidal thoughts
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.