Antidepressant use linked to higher risk of premature death: study - (CTV News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • A new study has identified a link between antidepressant use and early death, CTV News reported.

  • In the study, the investigators performed a meta-analysis of 16 studies involving a combined 378 000 patients to analyse the possible association between antidepressant use and death risk, finding that the risk of premature death was increased by 33 percent among antidepressant users compared to non-users.

  • Study author Paul Andrews noted that while not all studies reported exact causes of death, among the studies that did, the causes of death ranged from heart attacks and stroke to accidents.

  • Andrews said that deaths involving accidents were unsurprising because "we know that antidepressants have negative effects on cognitive functioning as well."

  • In further analyses, the research team concluded that although the drugs may be risky in the general population, their risk among people with cardiovascular disease could be lower due to their anticoagulant effects.

  • Andrews suggested alternatives to antidepressants such as psychotherapy, stating "[psychotherapies] don't have the negative physiological effects…and they work just as well in the short term."

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