Can antibiotics cause depression?
May 10, 2010 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible tetracycline is responsible for these shaky crying jags? Just started both - coincidence?

Five days ago I started a course of broad spectrum antibiotics for a bad/embarrassing case of perioral dermatitis. My face is already almost clear but I've had the roughest weekend emotionally.

I've been separated for 8 months and holidays are hard, but I never expected mother's day to kick my ass quite like this. I've actually been feeling really good. Have a therapist etc. etc. And I wouldn't necessarily pin it on the antibiotics except for the jittery feeling that seems to have accompanied this mood swing.

Dr. Google, or rather Pharmacist Google, isn't coughing anything up for me and so I would appreciate your thoughts.
posted by Toto_tot to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
Doxycycline is a member of that group of antibiotics and seriously, I felt like crying every night I was on that stuff. My dermatologist had never heard of such a side effect but after I stopped taking it everything stopped being so terrible, so either I was coincidentally really sad (no reason to be sad, I don't even get sad when I'm depressed so it wasn't even really that) or it was the antibiotic.

I did some google searching and apparently it is a rare side effect of doxy, according to people on the internet who have taken it and not the FDA.

So I would bet tetracycline could cause it too. If it's unbearable call your doctor, they might have you stop taking it or they might give you a different antibiotic or something.

Oddly enough I've seen some research indicating that tetracycline might help cure depression, but obviously not in either of our cases.
posted by tweedle at 9:16 AM on May 10, 2010

I recently experienced an immediate and marked rise in my blood pressure from a medication that listed that side effect as very rare. It happened after taking the first daily pill, then calmed down, then happened again after taking the second pill. I had a really hard time convincing my doctor's nurse that the medication was causing the alarming rise in blood pressure. She said that because the medicine took a while to work, I shouldn't be experiencing any side effects yet. I had to flatly refuse to take any more of the medicine that was causing the problem and insist that they prescribe something else. I stopped the first medicine, got the second (a similar medication), and had no further problems.

All this is by way of saying that you should LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Nobody lives in it but you and no one else can judge better than you what effect a medicine has on you. Further, any reported side effects of any medicine are an average--if there is only a one per cent chance that a medication causes a particular problem YOU COULD BE IN THAT ONE PER CENT OF PATIENTS AFFECTED. Ask for a different antibiotic. And feel better. It's amazing what a change a little adjustment to your brain chemicals can produce.
posted by Jenna Brown at 9:29 AM on May 10, 2010

Response by poster: I should say that the one I'm on is either minocycline or melocycline.
posted by Toto_tot at 9:51 AM on May 10, 2010

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