These side effects emerge at a higher rate for patients who take both of the medications, as opposed to the lower chance for acquiring one of these symptoms when taking just one drug, the study found.
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal studied how some heart attack patients have depression symptoms and are prescribed antidepressants, something that may increase the risk of bleeding.
"We're always concerned about how other medicines might interact with the medicines we know are essential to heart health and recovery after heart attack," Dr. Kirk Garratt, clinical director of interventional cardiovascular research at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said in the study. "Although SSRIs are used in only a few cardiac patients, learning that SSRIs can increase [the] risk of bleeding complications could have important implications for how we care for patients after stents and other heart procedures."
According to data from the Canadian study, the researchers looked at more than 27,000 heart attack patients that were at least 50 years old, and found that individuals who took aspirin or Plavix alone had a similar risk for bleeding. However, those who took these drugs while also using an SSRI were 42 percent more likely to bleed, reported HealthDay.
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According to the news source, the associated risks were lower for women and patients who had angioplasty after their heart attack.
SSRI's are prescribed to treat depression, and work by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that works to maintain mental balance, according to PubMed Health. Certain side effects have been noted for SSRIs, including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, excessive tiredness, dry mouth and excessive sweating.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, physicians should monitor the effects that the drug has on their patients, and should weigh the benefits versus the risks of prescribing the medication.