Medication Tantrums

Can some common types of medication affect our mood?

AXA PPP healthcare look at the reason why we could be having mood swings.

“My husband has temper tantrums out of the blue and then denies he has them afterwards – could this be a side effect of the drugs he is on? He takes blood pressure tablets, a diuretic, a blood thinner and Metformin for type 2 diabetes.”

It must be awful watching and dealing with someone close to you going through excessive mood swings and the answer to his symptoms may not be so simple to determine say our Health at Hand nurses.

However, on reviewing the medication your husband takes the one that may cause the side-effects you describe is the anti-hypertensive medicine, commonly used to treat high blood pressure. If this is the case then your GP can prescribe an alternative anti-hypertensive that may suit your husband better.

Other Causes

The mood swings you describe may also be due to other causes such as:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)

Certain medication to treat diabetes can increase the chance of hypoglycaemia. If you have low blood sugar then you are likely to become irritable and your mood will not improve until you have consumed some carbohydrate or a sugary drink.

However, you say your husband is taking Metformin which is less likely to cause low blood sugar than other medication.

We recommend that you make an appointment for your husband to visit the GP as he will need to undertake a thorough examination to get to the bottom of this. It may also be a good idea for you to accompany your husband if he agrees, as your perspective will provide the GP with a better understanding of the fuller picture.

Find out more on depression and how to live with it by reading Tanya’s Story and learn more about diabetes here

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Have you got a health question?

We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.

Click below to submit your question online.


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