To Your Health
September, 2017 (Vol. 11, Issue 09)
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Death by Antidepressants

By Editorial Staff

Antidepressants aren't supposed to be a cure-all for life's problems, psychological or physical, and they can be effective in at least managing the symptoms of depression, but the association with their use and an increased risk of death – yes, we said death – should raise more than a few eyebrows.

Take a look at the latest research ... and then talk to your doctor if you or someone you know is currently taking antidepressant medication.

Researchers reviewed studies involving hundreds of thousands of people and arrived at a startling conclusion: antidepressant users were 33 percent higher risk of death than nonusers. The researchers speculate that their findings may be explained by the fact that because antidepressants block serotonin absorption in the brain, they also block absorption in other organs such as the heart, kidney, lungs and liver. These organs use serotonin, so blocking its absorption may contribute to organ dysfunction. (The study also revealed a 14 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease in antidepressant users compared to nonusers.)

All medications have potential side effects; some more serious than others. In the case of antidepressants, the potential side effects include the ultimate one: death. If you're suffering from depression and take medication, it may be time for a conversation with your doctor about the risk-benefit of continuing use and whether nondrug alternatives may be equally as effective. If nothing else, they're probably significantly safer.