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October 22, 1999 - Antidepressants Up Intestinal Bleeding Risk-Study

October 22, 1999 - Antidepressants Up Intestinal Bleeding Risk-Study

Antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could lead to intestinal bleeding if they are taken with.phpirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to a study conducted by Spanish doctors.

In a telephone interview, Dr Francisco Jose de Abajo, practicing medicine at the Agencia Espanola del Medicamento in Madrid, said that ``This is the finding that is most worrisome. When these drugs are combined there is a risk that is beyond the independent effect of the sum of these drugs. We think this is a finding that may have public health importance.''

Eli Lilly Co., which produces the antidepressant drug Prozac, said that its product is perfectly safe. ``We're not familiar with the study but we don't really feel this is an issue for Prozac which has a well-established safety record,'' said Lilly spokeswoman Jill Schaeser.

The study is based on a survey of more than 1,600 people who had suffered upper gastrointestinal bleeding and 10,000 people who did not. Researchers concluded that out of those who exhibited internal bleeding, 3.1 percent had been taking SSRIs compared to only one percent of healthy people in the control group.

Another study published in the British Medical Journal had also determined that ``The risk is similar with all the inhibitors showing that it is a class effect," however, scientists agree more research is needed.

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