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.
READ MORE SSRI LEGAL NEWS
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.