Antidepressants such as Zoloft may put middle-aged men at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg reports a U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded study of 513 male twins, average age 55, which found those taking antidepressants including Zoloft had thicker blood vessel walls.
The report quotes the lead researcher as saying antidepressants may increase levels of brain chemicals including serotonin and norepinephrine, which could cause blood vessels to constrict. That in turn could limit blood flow and boost hypertension, triggering atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Numerous studies have also linked Zoloft and other types of antidepressants categorized as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, with potentially dangerous birth defects in babies born to women who take them during their pregnancy.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication.