The association between antidepressant (AD) drugs and the risk of hospitalisation for cardiovascular (CV) events in older people with previous CV diseases has been assessed in a recent nested case-control study, which included were 344,747 patients aged 65 years and over who were discharged for CV disease between 2008-2010: 28% were hospitalised for CV events such as myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, stroke or heart failure during follow-up until 2014. ADs investigated were categorised as tricyclic ADs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and atypical ADs (AAs). An increased risk of CV events was associated with SSRIs (odds ratio [OR] 1.25, 95% CI 1.21–1.29) and AAs (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.25–1.37). Current use of SSRIs and AAs was additionally linked to increased risk of arrhythmia and stroke, while increased risk of heart failure was identified with use of any ADs. These results indicate that careful consideration is required when prescribing AD therapy for older patients affected by CV disease. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, can be viewed here.

Contributed by Australian Medication Safety Services Associate – Isabella Singh