There’s no doubt that the advents in modern technology have left more people than ever feeling depressed and experiencing difficulty coping.
While many people do have serious mental health issues requiring treatment via therapy or prescription drugs, it is also true that antidepressant medications like Prozac and Zoloft are viewed almost as cure-alls in our society. Doctors are prescribing these medications at an alarming rate, often without being fully informed about their serious side effects and potential for long-term harm.
Now, a new study out of Canada is raising more red flags.
Canadian researchers found that people on antidepressants (who do not suffer from heart disease) are 33% more likely to die from any cause than those who are not taking such medications.
The analysis, conducted by a team from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, reviewed the results from previous studies of over 380,000 participants to determine the overall long-term effects of antidepressants on lifespan.
Initially, it appeared that there was only a 9% increase in the risk of death for those on antidepressants. An escalation that researchers did not feel was significant enough to cause alarm.
However, knowing that antidepressants thin the blood, which could have a positive effect on health including lessening the risk of developing blood clots, researchers then removed the results of participants with heart conditions.
This is where the alarming statistic emerged that the long-term use of antidepressants elevated the risk of death by 33%.
While it is common knowledge that serotonin produced in the brain affects mood, it is less widely known that all the major organs of the body — the heart, kidneys, lungs, liver — use serotonin from the bloodstream.
That being said, antidepressants not only block the absorption of serotonin in the brain, but all organs, and researchers warn that antidepressants could increase the risk of death by preventing multiple organs from functioning properly.
While a 9% increase in risk is not considered “clinically significant”, a 33% elevation in risk is cause for concern.
The study’s lead researcher Paul Andrews says the researchers are very concerned about their findings. “They suggest that we shouldn’t be taking antidepressant drugs without understanding precisely how they interact with the body. I do think these drugs for most people are doing more harm than good and that physicians ought not to generally prescribe them.”
If you found this article to be interesting, please share with friends and family by clicking the button below!