Posted by Deborah Pujoue on August 22, 2011
If you are a woman who still isn’t convinced of how dangerous antidepressants drugs are, keep reading. A new study conducted by American researchers is showing that a woman who is suffering from depression and taking antidepressant medication is more likely to suffer from a stroke than a woman who isn’t depressed.
The study, which was conducted at Harvard University, says women with a history of depression who are taking prescription medications are 29 percent more likely to have a stroke than women that don’t take the antidepressants. The drugs that pose the highest risk are in a class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac or Zoloft, which put women at a 39 percent higher risk of suffering from strokes, according to an article posted in USA Today.
This is interesting news to the millions of women who take these antidepressants or are considering taking them. When pregnant, women open their babies to potential Prozac birth defects caused by their medications, but this study simply reminds you that you are also at risk. One thing that the study didn’t do was link the increased stroke risk directly to the medication; however, it did link the level of depression suffered by the women to the use of these types of medications.
“Although we found women who took antidepressants were at higher risk, I don’t have anything to indicate it’s because of the medications,” senior study author Kathryn Rexrode, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says.
Rather, use of antidepressants most likely indicates more severe depression, the researchers note, and depression has been linked to stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, smoking and physical inactivity.
Rexrode is not discouraging women from using antidepressants because of the study results. In fact, she says that since the study shows a “modest elevations in risk,” women shouldn’t stop taking drugs like Prozac or Zoloft as a treatment for their severe depression. I don’t know what I think about that. More and more information is coming out that shows how dangerous antidepressants are to unborn babies and women, yet so many are still taking the drugs. That in itself is scary. However, if you feel that you really need it, only take the drugs with the supervision of your doctor.