Depression is a very serious problem with patients who have chronic diseases, including hepatitis. Not only can it cause isolation and other psychosocial issues; it is one of the most common reasons why patients do not adhere to their medication regimens. It may be beneficial to talk to a counselor or psychiatrist who specializes in depression to make sure that they are able to treat the underlining cause of the depression.

There are many very good medications that have minimal side effects, which providers can use to treat depression. The most commonly used antidepressants are from the serotonin uptake inhibitor class (SSRI), including Lexapro (escitalopram), Zoloft (sertraline), Celexa (citalopram) and Prozac (fluoxetine). Patients should not use St. John’s wort for depression without first talking to their pharmacist or physician.

There are many ways that people can increase their mood without taking medications. Exercise causes increased endorphins that can release neurochemicals, which can cause people to have better moods. Patients also can go outside to get sunlight. Florescent lights can cause a depressed mood.

Certain antivirals can cause some depressive or other symptoms. Check with your specialized pharmacist or medical provider to ask specific questions about depression or interactions between antivirals and antidepressants. Click here for more information specifically on depression and hepatitis C.