Medication Update: SSRIs may increase risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

Medication Update

SSRIs may increase risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

Published: February, 2008

A meta-analysis of four observational studies enrolling 153,000 patients taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) found that these medications, taken alone or in combination with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), substantially increased the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. A detailed analysis of 101 bleeding incidents found that they occurred after a median of 25 weeks on SSRIs, and about 67% of those who experienced such bleeding were taking NSAIDs in addition to the SSRI.

This analysis suggests that patients and prescribing clinicians may want to watch for long-term complications, especially in older people who may have other health issues or may be taking multiple drugs.

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