Antidepressants are one of the most widely used drugs worldwide. Despite its widespread use, little is known about the long-term health consequences of treatment.
in an article published recently in Cambridge University PressResearchers at the Bristol Center for Academic Mental Health have revealed that long-term use of antidepressants – five to 10 years – is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The conclusions also showed that this use is associated with a higher mortality from cardiovascular disease.
According to a study cited tech explorerantidepressants that do not directly increase the amount of serotonin – eg mirtazapine, venlafaxine, duloxetine And trazodone – is most at risk. Long-term use can double the risk of heart disease and death from cardiovascular problems and other health conditions.
However, the results also showed that use of other antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), was associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes (between 23 and 32% lower). The researchers noted that the reasons for these findings are not clear.
The group looked at the effects of long-term use of antidepressants on various health problems: diabetes, Hypertensionheart disease and stroke. The relationship between this use and mortality from cardiovascular disease and mortality in general has also been investigated.
To conduct the research, the group turned to Biobank, a large-scale database containing information on the genes, lifestyle and health of half a million Britons. These data were compared with physician and prescription records from 222,121 adults aged 40 to 69 years.
According to researcher Narinder Bansal, first author of the study, although the team took into account a “broad range” of pre-existing risk factors, “it is difficult to fully control for the effects of depression in this type of study, in part because there is a large variance in Disease severity records in primary care”.
“This is important because many people who take antidepressants, such as mirtazapine, venlafaxine, duloxetine and trazodone, can have more severe depression. This makes it difficult to separate the effects of depression from those drug effects. More research is needed to assess whether the associations we’ve seen are really due to the drugs.”
He continued, “However, our message to clinicians is that long-term prescribing of antidepressants may not be harmful. We hope that this study will help clinicians and patients have more informed conversations, weighing the potential risks and benefits of treating depression.”
“Regardless of whether medications are the underlying cause of these problems, our findings confirm The importance of monitoring and proactive cardiovascular prevention in depressed patients taking antidepressants, as both were associated with higher risks.”
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