Patients taking SSRIs more prone to post-operative complications
Millions of Americans struggle with chronic depression. Those with depression often experience prolonged periods of extreme sadness which impacts nearly every aspect of their lives. Today, many individuals who suffer from depression have been prescribed drugs known as SSRIs to treat chronic depression. Marketed under brand names like Zoloft, Prozac and Lexapro, for a growing number of Americans these drugs provide much-needed relief from the cripling symptoms commonly associated with depression.
There are many known adverse side effects associated with SSRIs including headache, nausea, decreased sex drive, diarrhea and weight gain. Results of a new study also indicate that patients taking SSRIs who undergo surgery may experience more serious complications including death.
For the study, which appears in this month’s issue of JAMA, researchers looked at more than 530,000 adults who underwent major surgical procedures. Researchers found that adults taking SSRIs prior to surgery were 22 percent more likely to experience post-operative complications that required readmission. Additionally, individuals taking SSRIs were 20 percent more likely to die from post-operative complications.
The results of the study are noteworthy and may prompt medical providers to perform additional diagnostic tests on SSRI patients prior to surgery. Some doctors may even advise patients taking SSRI antidepressants cease taking such drugs prior to certain surgical procedures.
Patients who have experienced adverse side-effects as a result of taking an SSRI antidepressant such as Zoloft, Paxil or Lexapro may want to consult with an attorney. A legal professional who handles matters related to pharmaceutical litigation can provide advise and help determine appropriate next steps.
Source: The Washington Post, “Antidepressants linked to increased risk of complications after surgery,” Linda Searling, May 6, 2013