What We’re Reading: Antidepressants and Diabetes Risk

People who use a specific combination of antidepressants have been found to be at increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, according to a study by researchers at the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

As reported at MedPage Today, the study found that people who took both a tricyclic antidepressant and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) were almost twice as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as those who took only a tricyclic antidepressant. The study was based on medical records in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan and examined 2,391 adults who had been treated for depression.

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Since the study was not a randomized experiment, it cannot show that the tricyclic/SSRI drug combination is responsible for increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, only that the two are related. It is possible that people who were prescribed both types of antidepressants already had a greater diabetes risk (which may be related to having more severe depression). So while these results cannot suggest any changes to the treatment of depression, they do indicate the need for diabetes screening among people who take these drugs.

A summary of the study is available at ScienceDirect.

This blog entry was written by Editorial Assistant Quinn Phillips.