Wednesday January 22, 2020

Risks Of Intestinal Bleeding Increase With Anti-Depressants: Study

Whenever physicians discover their patients are taking any combination of these medications, they should begin assessing the risks and benefits and determine whether there are alternative treatment plans.

Pills (representational Image), Pixabay

If you are in the habit of popping anti-depressant pills used to treat anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, then you could be at a risk of intestinal bleeding which can range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening.

Gastrointestinal bleeding, also known as gastrointestinal haemorrhage, is all forms of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the rectum.

Patients taking anti-depressant medications classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are 40 per cent more likely to develop severe gastrointestinal bleeding, according to a research review in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Although SSRIs are among the most frequently prescribed as they are relatively low-cost, effective and safe, they carry risks for gastrointestinal and intracranial bleeding — particularly when they also use common over-the-counter pain relievers.

Anti-depressants, prostate cancer
The antidepressant drug Prozac, also known as fluoxetine, is pictured. VOA

The most common and concerning interactions occur with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen and naproxen, anti-coagulants like warfarin or anti-platelet medications such as aspirin and clopidogrel, the study said.

“The real risk comes from the assumption that each of these drugs is relatively safe and benign. But they all carry a risk for bleeding, and that risk increases when these medications are taken concurrently,” said lead author Wei Cheng Yuet, Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Centre.

According to Yuet, a significant portion of SSRI prescriptions are written by primary care physicians.

The risk of bleeding is well established but not well known among patients, she said, while encouraging physicians to take a full inventory of the medications their patients take, including over-the-counter NSAIDs.

The risk of bleeding is well established but not well known among patients.

“Whenever physicians discover their patients are taking any combination of these medications, they should begin assessing the risks and benefits and determine whether there are alternative treatment plans,” Yuet said.

“For example, physicians should periodically assess antidepressant use even when patients are stable on therapy.”

Also Read: New Expanding Pills To Track Ulcers and Stomach Cancer

Yuet also recommends physicians monitor their patients closely for symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding during the first 30 days of SSRI therapy, especially if patients are taking concurrent medications that may increase bleeding risk. (IANS)

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Your Intestine Tells You When To Stop Eating: Study

The reason why we feel full after eating is because our intestine tells us that we need to stop eating

Your intestine monitors your eating. Pixabay

Your gut houses a distinct brain — extensive web of nerve endings lining your intestine — which tells you when to stop eating and feel sated, researchers have found.

The nerve endings lining your gut plays an important role in controlling how much you eat by monitoring the contents of the stomach and intestine and then sending signals back to the brain that boost or lower your appetite.

Most scientists believe this feedback involves hormone-sensitive nerve endings in the gut that track the nutrients you consume and calculate when you’ve had enough, but no one has yet tracked down the exact type of neurons that convey these signals to the brain.

“Given how central eating is to our lives, it is remarkable that we still don’t understand how our bodies know to stop being hungry when we eat food,” said neuroscientist Zachary Knight, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and associate professor in the Department of Physiology at University of California San Francisco.

One of the challenges to answering this question is that the thousands of sensory nerves involved in collecting sensory information from the stomach and intestine come in many different types, yet all of them transmit messages back to the brain via the same giant bundle, which is called the vagus nerve.

Scientists can either block or stimulate the activity of this nerve bundle and change animals’ appetites, but how to figure out which vagal nerve endings in particular were responsible for the change?

Intestine, eating
A stretched intestine is the reason why we feel full after eating. Pixabay

To resolve this mystery, the team, led by postdoctoral researcher Ling Bai, comprehensively mapped the molecular and anatomical identities of the vagal sensory cell types neurons innervating the stomach and intestine.

This new map, published in the journal Cell, allowed the researchers to selectively stimulate different types of vagal neurons in mice, revealing that intestinal stretch sensors are uniquely able to stop even hungry mice from wanting to eat.

“The vagus nerve is the major neural pathway that transmits information from gut to brain, but the identities and functions of the specific neurons that are sending these signals were still poorly understood,” Bai said.

Using these techniques, Bai and colleagues discovered that mucosal endings actually come in many different varieties — four of which the researchers studied in detail.

Also Read- No Gender Difference In Brain Function: Study

Some of these were mainly found in the stomach and others mainly in different parts of the intestines, with each type specialized to sense a particular combination of nutrient-related hormones.

The findings also suggest a potential explanation for why bariatric surgery — performed to treat extreme obesity by reducing the size of the gut — is so mysteriously effective at promoting long-term appetite and weight reduction. (IANS)