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Antidepressants raise risk of death and stroke in older women

By Jimmy Downs

Older women taking certain types of antidepressants may be at increased risk of stroke, Webmd.com reported citing a new study.

The study known as the Women's Health Initiative showed that postmenopausal women taking tricyclic or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants were 45 percent more likely to have stroke than those who did not take the drugs.

For the study imitated in 1991, Jordan W. Smoller, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and colleagues followed 160,000 postmenopausal women in the United States for up to 15 years to see how SSRI antidepressants would affect the risk of stroke.
 
They found that compared to women who did not take antidepressants, those who used SSRI antidepressants were 32 percent more likely to die from all causes in one analysis and 45 percent more likely to suffer stroke, particularly the type caused by bleeding.

SSRIs include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, and Celexa.  SSRIs have been linked to high risk of violence, according to an article by Martha Rosenberg.

Those who are concerned about the safety of these antidepressants may consider trying vitamin D in high doses. Studies suggest that depression has something to do with vitamin D deficiency.