Actonel and Depression

In clinical studies, depression occurred in up to 6.8 percent of people taking Actonel. However, depression also occurred in over 6 percent of people not taking the drug. If you are taking this medication and depression becomes a problem for you, be sure to let your healthcare provider know.

Is Depression a Side Effect of Actonel?

Actonel® (risedronate sodium) is a prescription medication approved to treat and prevent osteoporosis and to treat Paget's disease. There are several potential side effects of this medication. In studies, depression occurred in up to 6.8 percent of people taking Actonel. However, depression was reported in almost as many (6.2 percent) of those not taking Actonel.
Therefore, it is unclear if depression is actually a side effect of this medication. The small difference in percentages could probably be explained by chance, rather than by a real difference.
Keep in mind that just because it was unclear if Actonel caused depression in clinical studies, this does not mean that the medicine is not causing this problem in you. Clinical trials are designed to factor out many possible variables in order to understand whether a medicine works and what its possible side effects are.
Clinical trials are usually limited to a specific group of people. Once the medicine is approved, a wider range of people begin taking the medicine and for longer periods of time. The bottom line is that for an individual person, it can be difficult to say whether depression is caused by Actonel or by other factors.

Final Thoughts on Actonel and Depression

If you notice any possible depression symptoms while taking Actonel, or if something "just does not seem right," you should talk to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem, and can help determine if Actonel is perhaps causing or worsening your depression.
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