A class of antidepressant drugs could make heart patients less likely to have a heart attack, U.S. researchers said on Monday. Drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft), make the blood less sticky and less likely to clot, they found.
The study, published in the American Heart Association (news - web sites)'s journal Circulation, suggests that doctors should check heart patients for depression and treat it with drugs if appropriate.
It also may suggest that depression drugs might be useful in heart disease in patients without depression--although the researchers stressed that more study is needed before anyone jumps to that conclusion.
But SSRIs do not carry the same risk. The action that makes them work on brain cells also affects platelets-blood cells that help form clots.