No Excess Harm with Antidepressant Use, Study Finds

A total of 720,821 patients using antidepressants were included in the authors analysis
A total of 720,821 patients using antidepressants were included in the authors analysis

No significant differences in 1-year all-cause mortality risks were seen among patients treated with antidepressants from a single class in the first 90 days, a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology reported.

Past studies have evaluated whether depression is a mortality risk factor but not many have investigated whether antidepressant drugs impact mortality risk. Study authors estimated hazards of 1-year all-cause mortality associated with antidepressants in 720,821 patients, with use occurring within 90 days of a depression diagnosis. They accounted for potential clinical and demographic confounders; sensitivity analyses compared findings by antidepressant class. 

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Results showed that use of antidepressants was associated with significantly lower hazards of 1-year mortality risk vs. no use in Cox (hazard ratio [HR] 0.93, 95% CI: 0.90–0.97) and propensity score estimates (HR 0.94, 95% CI: 0.91–0.98). Marginal structural model-based estimates showed no differences in mortality risk when the exposure was specified as "as-treated" in every 90-day intervals of the 1-year follow-up (HR 0.91, 95% CI: 0.66–1.26) but showed a higher risk when "intent-to-treat" was specified (HR 1.07, 95% CI: 1.02–1.13).

Researchers found no significant differences in 1-year all-cause mortality risks with use in the first 90 days. Moreover, after accounting for treatment selection bias and various confounders, antidepressant use was associated with no excess harm.

For more information visit journals.lww.com.

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