SSRI AND BLOOD THINNERS

SSRIs, a type of antidepressants, carry a risk of bleeding for users and combining them with blood thinners like Aspirin or the drug clopidogrel raises the risk significantly. (Darren Staples/Reuters)
Blood thinners are generally prescribed to patients who have had heart attacks; depression is quite common after a heart attack.
But SSRIs, a type of antidepressants, carry a risk of bleeding for users and combining them with other blood thinners like Aspirin or the drug clopidogrel raises the risk significantly.
The study, by scientists from Montreal's McGill University, was published in this week's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The researchers looked at the records of more than 27,000 patients aged 50 and over between 1997 and 2007, and found taking an SSRI and Aspirin increased risk of a bleed by 1.42 times. And taking an SSRI with combined blood thinning therapy — Aspirin plus clopidogrel —  pushed the risk up to 1.57 times.
The type of bleeding events the study refers to are things like bleeding stomach ulcers, a hemorrhagic stroke or other bleeds that necessitate hospital care.
The authors say doctors should exercise caution when prescribing these two types of drugs for cardiac patients, and should weigh the benefits of SSRIs for depression in these patients against the increased risk of bleeding.

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