Heart Beat: Antidepressants boost bleeding risk

Heart Beat

Antidepressants boost bleeding risk

A note of caution to people taking Paxil, Prozac, and similar antidepressants: Research finds that these and related drugs, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can cause serious bleeding problems.

SSRIs rebalance serotonin levels in the brain, which helps ease depression. But the drugs also affect serotonin levels elsewhere, such as in platelets. These are the sticky cell fragments that play a crucial role in blood clotting.

The trouble isn't common, affecting fewer than 1 in every 200 people taking these drugs. Yet the findings have special relevance for people with heart disease.

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