Some Antidepressants May Raise Stroke Risk

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´╗┐Some Antidepressants May Raise Stroke Risk Oct. 17, 2012 -- Some antidepressants are linked to a slight increased risk of bleeding stroke, according to a new analysis.

Researchers looked at 16 published studies that included more than 500,000 people.

They focused on the popular antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs include Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Viibryd (vilazodone), and Zoloft (sertraline).

For most people, though, the risk of stroke linked with these drugs is low, says researcher Daniel G. Hackam, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

Overall, he says, "the additional bleeding risk is 1 per 10,000 people treated with SSRIs for one year."

For those who already have risk factors for bleeding stroke, however, the risk is higher, he says.

The studies evaluated found a link, not cause and effect. The new analysis is published online in Neurology.

Stroke strikes about 795,000 Americans each year, according to the American Stroke Association.

Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Understanding Stroke
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