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Clinical studies of Sylatron have shown that up to 59 percent of people using this drug reported having depression. However, because depression is a common problem in people with cancer, it is difficult to determine whether the medication alone actually causes depression or if it is a combination of factors. If you develop symptoms of depression while using this drug, talk to your healthcare provider.

Does Sylatron Cause Depression?

Sylatron™ (peginterferon alfa-2b) is a prescription medication used to prevent malignant melanoma from coming back after surgically removing the cancer. Depression is one of the possible Sylatron side effects. This medicine belongs to a group of medications known as interferons, and depression has been linked to other interferon medications as well, not just Sylatron.

Research on Depression and Sylatron

In clinical studies, up to 59 percent of people using Sylatron reported having depression, compared to 24 percent of people who were not given Sylatron. Therefore, Sylatron appears to increase the risk for depression.
Because depression is common among people with cancer, it is difficult to tell whether any given case of depression is related to Sylatron or not. However, some factors, such as the timing of the onset of depression in relationship to using the medication, may suggest that Sylatron could be causing or contributing to a particular case of depression.
Regardless of the cause, it is important to get help, especially if you think you might harm yourself or others.

Final Thoughts

For people using Sylatron, depression is a potential side effect. Therefore, if you notice any possible symptoms of depression while using Sylatron or if something "just does not seem right," talk to your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to diagnose and treat the problem. If your healthcare provider believes the medicine may be causing your symptoms, he or she may recommend that you stop using Sylatron.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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