AntiDepressants and NSAIDs
Both the use of anti-depressants and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) have risen sharply in the US in the last several decades. Up until now there haven’t been any studies about the interactions of these drugs when they are taken by the same person.
A retrospective study (a study looking back over data already accumulated) was conducted using information from the Korean nationwide health insurance database of 4,145, 226 people who were treated with anti-depressants with or without NSAIDs. The findings are startling in that the researchers found a significantly higher risk of intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding that occurs within the skull which is potentially lethal) during the 30 day period among patients being treated with antidepressants and NSAIDs compared with those patients treated with antidepressants without NSAIDs.
The study also revealed that there were no significant differences in the increased intracranial hemorrhage risk between classes of antidepressants. The risk remained the same whether a person was taking a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs) (eg; Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg; Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil) or a tricyclic antidepressant (eg: Eleval, Tofranil, Elavil).
The researchers noted that the findings are of particular significance because of the large number of people who are frequently using both type of drugs. They write “Most worryingly, conditions requiring NSAIDs and antidepressants commonly coexist; 65% of adults with major depression also have chronic pain, with both morbidities sharing common psychological risk factors and neurobiological processes,”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that 11% of Americans are taking antidepressants. Furthermore this number is on a steep incline with the rate of antidepressant use in the US going up 400% from 1988 to 2008! More than 70 million prescriptions for NSAIDs are written each year in the US. Combine this with the over the counter sales of NSAIDs and the total comes to over 30 billion doses of NSAIDs being consumed annually in the US.
As these numbers are surely going to increase the likelihood of interaction between these two classes of drugs is only going to increase as well. The risk then of potentially fatal intracranial hemorrhage will increase right along with the increased usage of these two classes of drugs.
These statistics about increasing drug use for both depression and pain and the risk of drug interactions only indicated the need for more research being done on less potentially harmful natural remedies for these conditions.
The answer to depression, pain and many other conditions does not lie in searching for new and better drugs but rather in trying to find out what is at the cause, the root of the problems causing symptoms of pain and depression. Finding natural methods of relieving stress, detoxifying the body and creating balance in body, mind and spirit will yield results in my opinion that are more satisfying and less toxic than our current drug approach.
Yours in infinite wellness,
Dr. Garry D’Brant