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The Use of Antidepressant Drugs in Patients With Heart Disease

Alexander H. Glassman, M.D.; Ana I. Rodriguez, M.D.; and Peter A. Shapiro, M.D.

Published: May 1, 1998

Article Abstract

Both depression and cardiovascular disease are common as people age and are, therefore, likely tocoexist. It has become evident recently that the rate of this comorbidity exceeds substantially what isexpected by chance. A major problem arises in that there is increasing evidence that the tricyclic antidepressants(TCAs) carry more risk than originally thought in patients with ischemic heart disease.This risk increases the importance of understanding both the safety and efficacy of the serotonin selectivereuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in this population. Three recent studies on safety data in patientswith overt heart disease are now available: although the total of 94 patients limits the ability to makegeneralizations, the data that are available give little evidence of harm and even suggest that SSRIsmay have beneficial effects in ischemic heart disease.

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Volume: 59

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