Antidepressants Linked to Low Stroke Risk
Ivanhoe Broadcast)—It’s important to recognize the risk-to-benefit trade-off for any treatment plan on the path to wellness. A recently published UK study set out to better quantify stroke risks associated with commonly prescribed antidepressants.
Patients diagnosed with depression are often prescribed serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but the popular antidepressants have been linked to increased risk of brain bleeding which leads to stroke. Scientists analyzed 16 studies encompassing over 500,000 patients and concluded that though there is an increased risk of stroke, the risk for majority of patients remains low.
The study showed the participants taking certain SSRIs were 50 percent more likely to have intracranial bleeding and 40 percent more likely to have intracerebral hemorrhaging. Study author, Daniel G. Hackam MD, Ph.D explained that these numbers can be misleading devoid of proper context.
"Because these types of stroke are very rare, the actual increased risk for the average person is very low," Dr. Hackman said is a previously prepared statement.
Dr. Hackman advises if SSRIs are effective, patients should continue use when needed. Like all prescriptions, physicians need to evaluate antidepressants and potential risks on a case-by-case basis. Patients taking blood thinners and those who have a history of stroke or alcohol abuse may need to turn to alternative treatment plans.
"In general, these drugs are safe, and obviously there are risks to having depression going untreated," Hackman said.
Source: American Academy of Neurology
Click Here for a free weekly email with Ivanhoe's latest Medical Breakthroughs.