To Your Health
August, 2017 (Vol. 11, Issue 08)
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Antidepressants: A Real Downer for Alzheimer Patients?

By Editorial Staff

Evidence suggests antidepressants, while potentially effective in reducing depression symptoms, can also have major side effects – including an increased risk of suicide / suicidal thoughts in younger patients.

Now that's not what an antidepressant's supposed to do, is it? Unfortunately, taking an antidepressant if you suffer from Alzheimer's (which usually affects people at age 65 or older) doesn't mean you're out of the woods, either.

Seniors are already at increased risk of falls due to balance / stability issues and general frailty associated with old age (and antidepressant use, by the way). Now, research implicates antidepressants as a potential risk factor for head injuries, particularly among people with Alzheimer's disease. The elevated risk for injury commonly occurred within the first 30 days of use and persisted for up to two years. Researchers are particularly concerned by these findings because Alzheimer's patients often use antidepressants and are already at risk of injury from falling.

Click here to learn more about the potential side effects of antidepressant use and here for information on the dangers of use by children / adolescents. Always talk to your doctor about the side effects of medication and possible nondrug alternatives prior to filling any prescription.