Antidepressants and the risk of bleeding
background By blocking the serotonin transporter system antidepressants can, in theory, result in bleedings. However, we do not yet know how great the risk of bleeding is and what the clinical implications are.
aim To assess how great the risk of bleeding is and what the clinical implications are.
method Using keywords ‘antidepressants’ and ‘bleeding’ we searched the relevant literature up to March 2011 to find out what the risk of bleeding were for users of antidepressants.
results 34 studies met our selection criteria. Most studies reported upper gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic cerebrovascular accidents (cva). Antidepressants with high serotonin affinity can slightly increase the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Antidepressants do not increase the risk for hemorrhagic cva. Very little information is available about other types of bleeding.
conclusion Our systematic review of the literature shows that antidepressants are relatively safe as far as bleeding is concerned. Precautions can be taken in the case of high risk patients.