Tuesday December 11, 2018

Antidepressants May up Mortality Risk in Lung Disease Patients

The study results should not cause alarm among those who use these medications, but rather increase caution among patients and physicians

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A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. (IANS)
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While popping antidepressants may lift your mood, it may turn deadly especially for elderly suffering from obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — progressive lung disease that causes increasing breathlessness, say researchers.

The findings showed that new users of serotonergic antidepressants were at 20 per cent increased risk of death.

They may also have 15 per cent higher likelihood of hospitalization including higher rates of emergency room visits, and mortality related to respiratory conditions, as well as death overall versus non-users of the medications.

“There are biological reasons why antidepressants could lead to respiratory issues,” said lead author Nicholas Vozoris from Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada.

“These drugs can cause sleepiness, vomiting and can negatively impact immune system cells, which increases the likelihood of infections, breathing issues, and other respiratory adverse events, especially in patients with COPD,” Vozoris explained.

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Pills (representational Image), Pixabay

Due to the nature of the disease, more than 70 per cent of those with COPD also struggle with symptoms of low mood and anxiety, explained Vozoris, why the patients tend to have antidepressants.

For the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, included data from 28,360 new users of serotonergic antidepressants with COPD aged 66 and older and matched them to an equivalent number of non-users.

The results showed that among older adults with COPD, new users of this class of medication have modest, but significant, increases in rates of breathing-related death and all causes of death.

Also Read: Daily Exercise May Boost Better Lung Function Among Smokers

“The study results should not cause alarm among those who use these medications, but rather increase caution among patients and physicians,” Vozoris said.

“I hope our study encourages increased awareness when prescribing these medications and monitoring for adverse side effects. Also, because there is this association, we as physicians should give thought to psychotherapy and pulmonary rehabilitation as non-drug related treatment,” Vozoris suggested. (IANS)

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Antidepressants are linked to high risk of dementia: Study

For the study, published in the journal BMJ, an international team from the US, UK and Ireland analysed more than 27 million prescriptions as recorded in the medical records of 40,770 patients over age 65 diagnosed with dementia compared to the records of 283,933 older adults without dementia.

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However, the researchers are yet not aware of
Representational Image, Pixabay

If you are used to taking commonly prescribed antidepressants, think twice. According to a study, you may be at high risk of developing dementia, even 20 years before the actual diagnosis, a study has warned.

The researchers found greater incidence of dementia among patients prescribed anticholinergic antidepressants, anticholinergic bladder medications as well as anticholinergic Parkinson’s disease medications than among older adults who were not prescribed these drugs.

“Anticholinergics, medications that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have previously been implicated as a potential cause of cognitive impairment,” said Noll Campbell, assistant professor at the Purdue University in Indiana.

However, the researchers are yet not aware of "exactly how anticholinergics might cause dementia", the researchers said.
Representational Image- dementia, Pixabay

However, the researchers are yet not aware of “exactly how anticholinergics might cause dementia”, the researchers said.

For the study, published in the journal BMJ, an international team from the US, UK and Ireland analysed more than 27 million prescriptions as recorded in the medical records of 40,770 patients over age 65 diagnosed with dementia compared to the records of 283,933 older adults without dementia.

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“The findings make it clear that clinicians need to carefully consider the anticholinergic burden of their patients and weigh other options,” said Malaz Boustani, from the US-based Regenstrief Institute.

“Physicians should review all the anticholinergic medications – including over-the-counter drugs – that patients of all ages are taking and determine safe ways to take individuals off anticholinergic medications in the interest of preserving brain health,” Boustani said. (IANS)