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SSRI: Antidepressants Linked to Diabetes Risk

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Baltimore, MDCould diabetes be added to the list of potential SSRI side effects? It is too soon to tell, but two new studies have found a connection between antidepressants and diabetes. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) already carry a warning about the risk of SSRI birth defects. Those birth defects include persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, also called PPHN. Although the recent studies do not prove that antidepressants cause type 2 diabetes, they do suggest a link.

One study, published in Diabetes Care (09/07/10), examined data from 150,000 adults in Finland. During the five-year period included in the study, 851 were diagnosed with diabetes and 9,197 were on continuing antidepressant medication. Researchers found that patients who took antidepressants were at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, as length of use increased, so did the likelihood of developing diabetes. A separate study of SSRIs produced similar results.

A second study, conducted at Johns Hopkins University, found that patients who consistently took antidepressants were approximately twice a likely to develop diabetes over 10 years than people who did not take antidepressants.

Despite the association, however, the studies do not prove that use of antidepressants causes the development of type 2 diabetes. There could be other factors involved in the patients' development or diagnosis of diabetes that were not included in the study.

These recent studies might not make it any easier for pregnant women to determine whether or not the risks associated with taking antidepressants while pregnant outweigh the benefits. Although SSRI antidepressants carry a warning about the risk of SSRI birth defects when babies are exposed to the medications prior to birth, for many women the issue is not clear-cut.

Lawsuits against the maker of certain SSRI medications, including Paxil, however, argue that the antidepressants caused serious, life-threatening birth defects after mothers took the medications while pregnant.

Specifically, GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Paxil, reportedly paid more than $1 billion to settle approximately 800 lawsuits that alleged the antidepressant caused birth defects. Although GlaxoSmithKline acknowledged the settlements, it has not disclosed financial details of the agreement.

In a separate lawsuit, a woman who alleged her son died 58 days after birth from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn settled her lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline for an undisclosed amount.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I was on Paxil for 4 years at 10 mg. I gained 25 lbs and my triglycerides level was over 500. Just researched Paxil again because I have tried 100 different anxiety treatments and have not been able to get back to work in a over a year. I have hyperhidrosis that did not exist prior to taking Paxil it came 3 months after weaning off. Paxil blocks muscaneric acetylcholine receptors M1-M-5. In short it stops sweating but also M3 is well known to cause insulin problems hence diabetes. So be careful trusting your doctor as they are not required to tell you that you risk long term complications and diseases from Paxil. If you want to risk getting hyperhidrosis,diabetes and dementia think twice before you take. You gain some but lose much more.

Posted by

on
I also was diagnosed with bi-polar in 2000 and have been treated with 40 mg Paxil ,1000 mg of Depakote , 100 mg of trazodone and it has worked well for 15 years , but now I have diabetes , no family history of diabetes?

Posted by

on
I've been on Paxil since 1997 and was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2005. I'm overweight, but not grossly so. I remember asking my primary care doctor about this YEARS ago when I read about the risk and he assured me it was only drugs like Abilify and Seroquel that cause Type II Diabetes (no family history here either). If there were some way I could prove that Paxil contributed to my developing Type II diabetes, I sure would file a legal claim because this disease causes a myriad of medical complications that result in a shorter life span.

Posted by

on
I have been on Paxil for about 8 years of so. 10 mg was the highest dose I was taking. This past year I weaned myself down to half a tablet, 5mg. I was just diagnosed with pre diabetes. No family history other than my grandfather having old age onset diabetes. I am going to try to wean myself off of the paxil, deal with the aniexty in other ways and see if my blood sugar will return to normal.

Posted by

on
I have taken antidepressants for years. The last 10 years Paxil and I too am diabetic now. No family history and I have always been active. Doctors did not tell me it could increase my blood sugar and it wasn't until my blood sugar was past 400 and I couldn't figure out why my eyes were blurry that I was diagnosed. Then he never took me off Paxil but put me on insulin. I now am off Paxil, having gone Cold Turkey, and wonder if my blood sugar will ever be normal again? There isn't enough monitoring of Paxil and I'm so glad I found out about it's bad side even if it may be too late for me, other need to be made aware.

Posted by

on
Prior to starting Paxil my blood sugars were normal, there is no history of Diabetes in my family at all. After starting Paxil for depression I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and have been Diabetic ever since, even after getting off Paxil. While on Paxil I gained weight and have not ever recovered from that. I know that I would not be diabetic today if it were not for Paxil. Something has to be done about this poison!

Posted by

on
Interesting theory about the relationship between Paxil and Diabetes. I started taking Paxil in 1993. It seemed to do me good....tried several times to get off it but the withdrawl was a little hard to deal with. Four years ago I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. I'm not exactly overweight and nobody in my family history that we know of has ever had Diabetes.....Just saying.

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