Study notes higher death rates among ICU patients on antidepressant drugs


Study notes higher death rates among ICU patients on antidepressant drugsA new study has added another danger to the safety profile of antidepressant drugs.

According to a report at, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found an increased mortality rate among people admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) who were taking antidepressant drugs when compared to patients not on any form of the drugs. That rate stayed markedly higher a year after they were admitted to the ICU.

This is just the latest in a recent series of studies highlighting the dangers of antidepressant drugs. In others studies, the drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drugs have been associated with a wide range of dangerous side effects, including their link to birth defects when taken by pregnant women. There have also been recent reports on their overall efficacy, with more research questioning the need for most antidepressant drug prescriptions.

For this recent study, researchers examined hospital and death records of more than 10,000 patients. Among those, people taking antidepressants – both SSRI and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors – at the time of their admission to the hospital were 75 percent more likely to die during their stay or within a year of being admitted. Patients admitted to the ICU after cardiac surgery or suffering from acute coronary syndrome face the highest mortality risk within a year if they’re taking these antidepressants.

As more studies are questioning the need for many prescriptions for antidepressants, patients and doctors should begin questioning whether or not they’re seeing any clinical benefit from the drug. Studies have shown they’re mostly ineffective at treating minor depression and have been prescribed for patients suffering from dementia even though they’re not approved for that indication.