Some antidepressants can increase a rare stroke risk: Study

(MindBodyScience.news) If you take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat depression symptoms, you could be significantly upping your risk of suffering a rare form of stroke. These are the findings of a new study recently published in the journal Neurology, which found that people who take antidepressant drugs such as Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), and Lexapro (escitalopram) have a roughly 50 percent higher risk of developing an intracranial hemorrhage compared to people not taking the drugs.

For their study, researchers from Western University in London, Ontario, reviewed a compilation of 16 different studies on the drugs, which collectively included more than 500,000 total participants. Upon review, they determined that taking SSRIs is associated with a more than 50 percent increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage, and a roughly 40 percent increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, a subtype of intracranial hemorrhage.

And intracranial hemorrhage occurs when an excess of blood accumulates inside the skull or surrounding membranes, and includes specific injuries such as epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Intracerebral hemorrhage, on the other hand, is a specific type of intracranial hemorrhage that occurs within brain tissue itself, and that accounts for up to 13 percent of all strokes, according to Medscape Reference.

“Drug studies show that SSRIs result in acute blood thinning within a couple of weeks of first exposure,” said Dr. Daniel G. Hackam, lead author of the study, concerning the findings. “Therefore, if an event is likely to occur, it is going to happen within the first few weeks to months of exposure.”

At the same time, Dr. Hackam tried to downplay the findings, claiming that intracranial hemorrhages are relatively rare and many patients supposedly need SSRIs. But as we have covered on several occasions, SSRIs are not really necessary for anyone, especially due to the fact that they have been shown to make symptoms worse for many patients. The drugs have also been shown in earlier studies to increase stroke risk.

Many of the other common side effects associated with the use of SSRIs include gastrointestinal bleeding, hormone imbalances, male infertility, heart disease, premature birth, cataracts, violent urges, miscarriage, and breast cancer.

By Jonathan Benson, Natural News.

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