Spanish researchers are reporting that antidepressants
known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs may cause gastrointestinal
"The risk in the general population taking SSRIs is
very low -- 1 case in 2,000 patients treated -- and no specific action is
required if the antidepressant is correctly indicated by a physician,"
said lead researcher Dr. Francisco de Abajo of the Spanish Agency for Medicines
and Healthcare Products.
The study involved 1,321 people treated for upper
gastrointestinal tract bleeding and about 10,000 people as controls. It looked
at people taking SSRIs and found that they had high risk for upper GI bleeding
as compared to people not taking the drugs.
Some 5.3 percent of the people taking SSRIs had GI
bleeding as compared to 3 percent of those not taking the drugs.
"People with other relevant risk factors for GI
bleeding should be considered for protecting their stomach with
acid-suppressing agents. By no means, patients treated correctly with SSRIs
should discontinue their treatment because of the fear (of having) a GI
bleeding risk," de Abajo added.
The study is
published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.