A study by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge finds that critically ill patients were more likely to die if they were taking commonly prescribed antidepressants before being admitted to the intensive care unit.
Specifically, the research examined the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
According to a report on the study by CBS 42 out of Alabama, researchers analyzed the electronic medical records of 10,568 patients. After adjusting for the variables of age, gender and medical conditions, researchers found that patients on SSRI/SNRI’s prior to being admitted to the ICU were 73% more likely to die in the hospital, and that risk increase continued after one year.
One of the study’s physicians said certain subgroups of patients, such as those admitted for cardiac problems, appeared to be at particular risk.
The researchers acknowledged that the study showed only an association and not a definite cause.
But the report mentions a number of studies casting doubt on the common perception that SSRIs have fewer side effects than previous generations of antidepressants. Recent research indicates that that SSRIs, the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants, may increase the risk of bleeding, dizziness, falls, and stroke.
Several studies have linked SSRIs including Zoloft and Prozac with potentially dangerous heart and lung defects in babies born to women who take the drugs while pregnant.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with an SSRI lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.
See the report here: