Does β‑Blocker Use Increase Depression Risk?

pillsg730138337 1448007 — Emotional Well-being, Mental Health, Psychiatrists, Psychologists

The association amongst β-blocker use and depression was investigated in a population-primarily based observational study lately published in the journal Drug Safety.

While depression is usually cited as an adverse impact of β-blocker use, there is restricted proof supporting this causal connection. To much better comprehend the association amongst β-blockers and the danger of new-onset depression, the study authors analyzed information from the UK population-primarily based Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) GOLD database.

“We identifed patients aged 18-80 years with an incident depression diagnosis between 2000 and 2016, and matched controls, and estimated the risk (odds ratio [OR]) of depression in association with use of β-blockers,” the study authors explained.

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Findings of the evaluation revealed an enhanced danger of building depression amongst brief-term customers of β-blockers compared with no use at all (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.91 95% CI, 1.72-2.12).

Among brief-term customers, enhanced danger of depression was mostly restricted to patients with a neuropsychiatric disorder taking propranolol (aOR 6.33, 95% CI 5.16–7.76).  Patients on propranolol for a cardiovascular indication had been located to be at slightly elevated danger of depression (aOR 1.44, 95% CI 1.14–1.82). Apart from propranolol, no other lipophilic β-blocker or hydrophilic β-blocker was located to enhance the danger of depression.

Additionally, no association was observed amongst lengthy-term use of β-blockers and the danger of depression (aOR, .85 95% CI, .85-.94).

“Our findings suggest that the reported association between use of β-blockers and depression may not be causal but rather a result of protopathic bias,” the study authors concluded.


Bornand D, Reinau D, Jick SS, Meier CR. β‑blockers and the risk of depression: A matched case–control study. Drug Safety. Published on the net January 19, 2022.

This short article initially appeared on MPR

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