Antidepressants increase heart health risks by 14%

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Recently, I told you about a study, published in the journal Injury Prevention, which found that menopausal women who took antidepressants were 76 per cent more likely to suffer a bone break.

When new reports about the risks of antidepressants do come out, it sometimes feels like I’m shouting against the wind. That’s because despite these risks the popularity of antidepressant drugs does not decrease. In fact, it increases as they remain among the top ten drugs prescribed to patients.

Killing you slowly…

Now, a recent meta-analysis of 17 different studies has examined the links between antidepressants, cardiovascular events, and overall mortality, in both heart patients and the general population.

The results showed that, among the general population, antidepressant drugs increased overall death risk by 33 per cent — and risk of heart-related events by 14 per cent. This effect went across the board, striking all the various classes of antidepressants.

Interestingly, antidepressants had an insignificant effect on both mortality and cardiovascular events in patients with pre-existing heart disease. But researchers chalk that up to their blood thinning properties. (Obviously an off-label benefit — though it’s one that’s achievable without a daily dose of Prozac.)

Needless to say, there’s not much in this new study to reassure the millions of people currently using antidepressant drugs. And with so many people popping these pills, you’d think figuring out the basic question of safety would be an urgent priority.

But that would require understanding how these drugs affect the entire body — not just the brain. And this kind of holistic investigation isn’t exactly Big Pharma’s forte, is it?

Antidepressants “work” by blocking either the serotonin transporter or the norepinephrine transporter. And while this mechanism of action may help to keep these “feel good” chemicals in your brain, antidepressants may also prevent cells in other crucial organs from taking up these biochemicals the way they normally do.

Impairing natural body chemistry in this way could have dire consequences.

The bottom line is we just don’t know yet… and we need to start taking serious measures to find out — before more people see their lives cut short as a result.

Especially since this isn’t exactly a reasonable risk vs. benefit ratio we’re talking about here. Conventional wisdom still says that antidepressants are a safe and effective treatment for depression. (And who do you think brought us that particular “wisdom”?) But as usual, we’ve come to find out that this just isn’t so.



Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Sources:

Antidepressants Tied to a Significantly Increased Risk for Death, published online, medscape.com/viewarticle/886015

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