Chronic self-medication with amlodipine for headache in a young adult with depression

Dr. Sukanta Sen


Self-medication (SM) is on rise across the world. A headache and other pain conditions are most common indications while analgesics and antibiotics are most commonly used in SM. We here present a case of chronic SM with amlodipine in a case of recurrent depressive disorder, current episode moderate with somatic syndrome, and tension-type headache. To authors’ best knowledge, this is first case report of SM with amlodipine for headache in a patient suffering with depression. A 19-year-old male patient presented with 2 years’ history suggestive of the recurrent depressive episode and SM with amlodipine for headache. Physical examination was unremarkable. Mental Status Examination found depressive affect with hopelessness. Standard treatment for depression was beneficial to him. Amlodipine, belonging to dihydropyridine group of calcium channel blocker, might reduce headache due to its pharmacodynamic properties. Although it is considered a safe antihypertensive, several reports of fatal side effects exist due to its intentional and accidental overdose. This case adds to the existing literature on SM and highlights a different pattern of the same with amlodipine

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