Long-term codeine use is
associated with depressive symptoms

by
Romach MK, Sproule BA, Sellers EM, Somer G, Busto UE
Department of Pharmacology,
Faculty of Pharmacy,
University of Toronto,
Centre for Addictions and Mental Health,
Ontario, Canada.
myroslava.romach@utoronto.ca
J Clin Psychopharmacol 1999 Aug; 19(4):373-6


ABSTRACT

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.
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