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New Research Signals Concern Over Long-Term Antidepressant Use, But Risks Aren’t Necessarily Clear

Studies Link Anti-Depressants To Problematic Long-Term Consequences
Studies Link Anti-Depressants To Problematic Long-Term Consequences
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Is it safe to use antidepressants for the long-term? It’s not clear. 

According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal, there’s growing concern in the healthcare industry that people who are taking antidepressants for years shouldn’t be, increasing the possibility of dangerous side effects. Some studies have suggested potentially significant risks, including higher risks of stroke, heart attacks and even death. But other studies have found that depression alone increases those risks, so some say long-term antidepressant use could be the most beneficial option for some patients.

There’s also risks when stopping antidepressants, including relapsing into another episode of depression. The big issue: most of the rigorous studies conducted only followed patients for up to a couple years. Health professionals say there’s no controlled data looking at decades of antidepressant use. Larry sits down with experts to weigh the pros and cons of long-term antidepressant use.

Do you use antidepressants? How has the medication impacted you?


Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Steven Siegel, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Keck School of Medicine of USC