Long-Term Codeine Use Is Associated With Depressive Symptoms : Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology

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Long-Term Codeine Use Is Associated With Depressive Symptoms

Romach, Myroslava K. MSc, MD; Sproule, Beth A. PharmD; Sellers, Edward M. MD, PhD; Somer, Gail MA; Busto, Usoa E. PharmD

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Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 19(4):p 373-376, August 1999.


A community survey was conducted among long-term (>6 months) users of codeine-containing products to characterize chronic use of these extensively consumed medications. Respondents recruited through newspaper advertisements completed a mailed questionnaire. Three hundred thirty-nine completed questionnaires were obtained, yielding a response rate of 70%. Codeine dependence/abuse as defined by DSM-IV criteria was present in 41% of the respondents. Two thirds of the subjects had sought help for mental health problems, most often depression (70%). Scores on the Symptom Checklist-90 subscales were modestly elevated, particularly on the Depression subscale (1.2 +/- 0.9). Long-term codeine use is strongly associated with dependence. Depression and depressive symptoms are common. These data suggest that dysphoric mood states may be significant in maintaining long-term codeine use. (J Clin Psychopharmacol 1999; 19:373-376)

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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