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Antidepressants Raise Diabetes Risk 30 Percent

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Brent Adams
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According to a recent study by a researcher from the University of Alberta, Canada that was published in the journal of Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice, a person’s risk of developing the disabling condition of Type 2 diabetes is significantly increased by the use of antidepressant medications.

Researcher Lauren Brown came to the conclusion that people who have a history of depression show a 30 percent higher likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. She also discovered that mixing tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) doubled the risk of diabetes of taking only one kind of antidepressant.

The records of 2,400 people undergoing depression treatment were reviewed by Brown, who divided them into four groups. The groups were those taking TCAs, those taking SSRIs, those taking both, and those switching between varieties.

Drugs like Elavil and Aventyl are in the older family of TCAs and were first introduced in the 1950s. Drugs like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft are newer SSRIs and were first introduced in the 1990s.

Approximately 10 percent of the patients involved in the study were taking both TCAs and SSRIs, which doubled their risk of diabetes in comparison to those taking only one kind of drug.

According to Brown, whether the increase in the risk of diabetes was caused by the drugs or another factor, such as the depression itself, was unclear. Brown said that those prescribed both TCAs and SSRIs are likely to have severe depression or “problems finding the right therapy.” She suggested that those who take both may simply have more severe depression, resulting in other health problems.

Depression has shared a correlation with an increase in the risk of obesity, which is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

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