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Zoloft (sertraline) increases risk of diabetes 25%
Tuesday, April 05, 2011 6:25 am Email this article
The antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) increases the risk of diabetes 25% -- or 1.3-fold -- according to an analysis by researchers from Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, Germany.
The dose was 50 mg per day or above that increased the risk.
Note: This was not statistically significant, but it was close enough that I consider it irrelevant. Based on the numbers, it appears that there was perhaps a 7-8% chance of this difference being due to random chance, which means that there was probably a 92-93% chance that the increased risk of diabetes was due to the drug. Therefore, I consider it irrelevant. To me, statistical significance is often misused to try and convince both doctors and the public that a link does not exist, but it is overwhelming likely that this increased risk of diabetes was due to the drug and not due to random chance.Those who had taken the drug for 2 years or more
Those who had taken the drug for 2 years or more versus those who had not taken an antidepressant in the previous two years
The study compared the risk of diabetes in people who had taken antidepressants for 2 years or more compared to those had not taken an antidepressants during the previous two years.
Subjects: 165,958 patients
The analysis looked at “165,958 patients with depression who received at least one new prescription for an antidepressant between January 1, 1990, and June 30, 2005”.
Conclusion: Long-term use of antidepressants increases risk of diabetes
“Long-term use of antidepressants in at least moderate daily doses was associated with an increased risk of diabetes. This association was observed for both tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors,” the researchers concluded.
“Some other observational studies suggest an association between antidepressants and diabetes. Brown et al.  reported an increased risk of diabetes in concurrent users of tricyclic antidepressants and SSRIs as compared with those taking tricyclics alone,” the paper notes.
“... In a Norwegian cross-sectional health survey, SSRIs were found to be associated with abdominal obesity and hypercholesterinemia, and a trend toward an association with diabetes was observed (22).
“An analysis of spon- taneous reports of adverse drug reactions recorded in the World Health Organization’s Adverse Drug Reaction Data- base showed increased reporting odds ratios of hypergly- cemia and hypoglycemia associated with the use of antidepressants [Raeder et al, 2006].
“The association of hyperglycemia was most pronounced after more than 1 year of antidepressant use. We similarly observed an increase in the risk of diabetes only with long-term use of antidepressants,” the concluded.
Andersohn F, Schade R, Suissa S, Garbe E. Long-term use of antidepressants for depressive disorders and the risk of diabetes mellitus. Am J Psychiatry. 2009 May, 166(5):591-98.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Frank Andersohn, MD
Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine
Epidemiology, and Health Economics
Charité University Medical Center
10098 Berlin, Germany
Brown LC, Majumdar SR, Johnson JA: Type of antidepressant therapy and risk of type 2 diabetes in people with depression. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2008; 79:61–67.
Raeder MB, Bjelland I, Emil VS, Steen VM: Obesity, dyslipi- demia, and diabetes with selective serotonin reuptake inhibi- tors: the Hordaland Health Study. J Clin Psychiatry 2006; 67: 1974–1982.
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