Antidepressants rank among the most prescribed drugs in the world. However, they may be contributing to Alzheimer’s and other brain-destroying dementias, according to U of S-led research.
Recent research published in the journal Depression and Anxiety examines selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and their tendency to be prescribed for other uses, said senior author Darrell Mousseau from the College of Medicine.
“They’re being prescribed ‘off label,’ meaning for non-depression related situations. They’re being prescribed to very young children and to the very old,” he told the National Post.
However, SSRIs are associated with a twofold increase in the odds of developing some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. The association is higher for those 65 and older.
“They’re almost becoming the antibiotic of this century: ‘If you’ve got a disease, take an SSRI. It’s going to help you in one way, shape or form.’”