SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) antidepressant drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and Paxil may raise the stroke risk of brain hemorrhage. Canadian researchers reported in the journal Neurology that “SSRI antidepressant drug users had a 40% to 50% higher chance of suffering from bleeding either around or in the brain.”
SSRI drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Lexapro work by blocking the reuptake of a brain chemical called serotonin. This method is used to hopefully control the mood and emotional responses of the SSRI antidepressant user. The SSRI drugs have been considered safer than older antidepressants, which can cause a variety of side effects.
The risk is considered higher for those who have just started using SSRIs. If you have been on them for years, it is considered less likely you will have problems. It is known that SSRIs make it harder for platelets to form blood clots. During first several weeks after starting taking SSRI antidepressants, there may be a significant reduction in a person’s ability to stop bleeding. Thus, it is hypothesized that this side effect from SSRIs is what is causing the increase in risk for brain strokes.
Despite these studies, the writers insist that SSRIs ares still safe to use. A SSRI antidepressant drug user consuming the SSRIs for over one year has a 1 in 10,000 chance of developing a brain hemorrhage.
As a comparison to SSRIs, the odds of a royal flush in poker is 1 in 649,740. Is this the type of lottery you are willing to play with your health?