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Antidepressants linked to risk of brain bleeds: Study

Published on Oct 18, 2012 8:22 AM
 
A picture taken on Sept 13, 2012, in Paris shows pills. People using a common class of antidepressants may have slightly increased odds of suffering bleeding in the brain - though the risk is still very small, according to a Canadian study looking at more than 500,000 people. -- PHOTO: AFP  

TORONTO (REUTERS) - People using a common class of antidepressants may have slightly increased odds of suffering bleeding in the brain - though the risk is still very small, according to a Canadian study looking at more than 500,000 people.

The antidepressants are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and include widely used drugs like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and paroxetine (Paxil.)

The SSRIs have been linked to a risk of stomach bleeding, but studies have come to conflicting findings on whether SSRI users have any higher risk of hemorrhagic strokes, which happen when there is bleeding in or around the brain.

For the study, which appeared in the journal Neurology, researchers pooled the findings from 16 past studies involving more than 500,000 people who were on SSRIs or not.

 
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