Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Antidepressants Linked To Thickening of Arteries

"(NaturalNews) Millions of Americans take antidepressant drugs -- most are Prozac and related antidepressant medications in the class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). A gigantic money maker for the drug giants, the SSRIs bring in billions to Big Pharma a year. They are promoted and prescribed as safe treatments for depression, anxiety and even premenstrual tension -- despite a long list of possible side effects ranging from sexual dysfunction and headaches to dizziness and suicide.

Now you can add another reason to think twice before agreeing to take antidepressants. At the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans, Emory University School of Medicine scientists have just announced they`ve discovered that the drugs are linked to thicker arteries. The significance? The findings strongly suggest Prozac and similar meds could raise the risk of heart disease and stroke."


"In the new study, the scientists documented higher carotid IMT in research subjects who used SSRIs (60 percent of those who took antidepressants) as well as those who used other kinds of antidepressants. Curiously, higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with thicker arteries only in those taking antidepressants -- so the Big Pharma meds themselves seem to be the key to this disturbing change in the cardiovascular system.

'One of the strongest and best-studied factors that thickens someone`s arteries is age, and that happens at around 10 microns per year,' Dr. Shah stated. 'In our study, users of antidepressants see an average 40 micron increase in IMT, so their carotid arteries are in effect four years older.'

How could antidepressants have an effect on blood vessels? The Emory scientists think it may result from changes in serotonin. The SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and they are known to increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Other kinds of antidepressant drugs also impact serotonin levels. And, although serotonin is a chemical that helps some brain cells communicate, what is often ignored in the hyping of SSRIs is that serotonin functions outside the brain, too."

Article in its entirety: http://www.naturalnews.com/031973_Prozac_arteries.html#ixzz1S2eOB95I

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