May 2, 2013 |
About 11% of Americans over age 12 take an antidepressant, making the drugs the most widely used medication in the United States. And with more than 51 million in-patient surgeries performed annually in the United States, a substantial overlap between the two patient populations -- those on antidepressants and those facing surgery -- is a certainty. What's not so certain is how antidepressants -- and specifically the most widely used class of depression medication, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs -- may affect the outcomes of surgical patients.
December 8, 2009 |
Antidepressant medications taken by roughly 7% of American adults cause profound personality changes in many patients with depression, far beyond simply lifting the veil of sadness, a study has found. Researchers saw strong drops in neuroticism and increases in extroversion in patients taking antidepressants, two of five traits thought to define personality and shape a person's day-to-day thoughts and behavior. The findings are striking, researchers said, because psychologists have long thought that such fundamental traits are moorings of an adult's personality that shift very little over a lifetime.
May 10, 2008
Re "Long, strange trip to Ecstasy," Opinion, May 3 Meghan Daum suggests that modern antidepressants are successful because they prevent the mind from "expanding into uncomfortable places." Uncomfortable? This completely belittles the terribly real (and terribly common) phenomenon of clinical depression. That antidepressants are somehow happy pills that prevent one from feeling negatively, and that they are primarily taken by people who don't need them, is an old trope. Modern antidepressants are remarkably good at treating depression -- the kind of depression that causes real suffering in real people.
August 4, 2011 |
Antidepressants, now the third-most commonly prescribed class of drugs in the United States, are routinely offered to patients with vague complaints of fatigue, pain and malaise but who are not classified as suffering from a mental disorder by the physician who recommends the treatment, says a new study. And among primary care provider as well as specialists who are not psychiatrists, the practice of prescribing these medications without diagnosing depression is rising steeply, the study finds.
April 2, 2011 |
Taking antidepressants may raise the risk of heart disease in men by producing a thickening of artery walls, researchers said Saturday. Although a potential mechanism for the action is not obvious, the drugs appear to accelerate atherosclerosis by increasing the thickness of what is known as the intima media, the inner and middle layers of the arteries, particularly the carotid arteries that feed blood to the brain, researchers from Emory University in...
February 23, 2011 |
People suffering from depression usually can find an antidepressant that works for them -- even if they have to try more than one. But how long will the drug continue to work? Here's an online discussion about the long-term effects and other aspects of these drugs. A panel at a live Web chat Thursday (noon EST, 11 a.m. CST, 9 a.m. PST) is to include Dr. John Goethe, director of the IOL Research and Depression Initiative at Hartford Hospital; Dr. Surita Rao, department head for behavioral health at St. Francis Hospital; and Andrew Winokur, director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Treatment, Research and Training Center at the University of Connecticut.