World Bulletin / News Desk
People using a common class of antidepressants may have slightly increased odds of suffering bleeding in the brain - though the risk is still very small, according to a Canadian study looking at more than 500,000 people.
The antidepressants are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and include widely used drugs like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and paroxetine (Paxil.)
The SSRIs have been linked to a risk of stomach bleeding, but studies have come to conflicting findings on whether SSRI users have any higher risk of hemorrhagic strokes, which happen when there is bleeding in or around the brain.
For the study, which appeared in the journal Neurology, researchers pooled the findings from 16 past studies involving more than 500,000 people who were on SSRIs or not.
Overall, antidepressant users were about 40 to 50 percent more likely to suffer bleeding in or around the brain.
But while those numbers might sound big, the risks to any one person would be "extremely low," said lead researcher Daniel Hackam, an associate professor of medicine at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.
Based on these figures, he said, there would be one brain hemorrhage for every 10,000 people using an SSRI over one year.
What's more, the findings do not prove that the antidepressants directly cause brain bleeds. It's possible, Hackham said, that SSRI users are "sicker" than non-users or have habits that put them at greater stroke risk.
The researchers tried to account for those factors in their calculations, but some of the studies they analyzed lacked key information, such as peoples's smoking and drinking habits, and whether they had diabetes.
"We can't infer cause and effect from this," Hackam said.
On the other hand, there are reasons to believe it's the medications themselves. For one, the hemorrhage risk seemed greatest in the first months after people started using an SSRI.
There's also a biological argument. SSRIs seem to make it harder for blood cells called platelets to clump together and form clots - and there can be a big drop in a person's platelet functions in the first weeks after starting an SSRI, he said.
Still, he stressed that people on the antidepressants should not be alarmed.
"I think that overall, these medications are quite safe," he added.
But people who are already at increased risk of a brain hemorrhage may need to be careful. That includes people who have had a brain bleed in the past, or are on medications that reduce blood clotting.
On a pro-forma 2016 basis, the merged group would have combined sales of approximately $13.2 billion (11.8 billion euros) and underlying or operating profit of $2.3 billion.
The seed vault that protects the worlds' seed crops, also protects European and South American varieties of aubergine, lettuce, barley and potatoes.
Early polls indicated broad support for the plan, but the most recent survey, published on May 10, showed the "yes" side slipping to 56 percent -- a drop of five points from late March.
Authorities declare quarantine against movement of chicken and ducks
Cholera cases in country could reach 300,000 within six months, WHO Yemen representative says
In recent years rangers have tried to clean up Khao Sam Roi Yot national park and this year were rewarded with a sea of pink flowers.
Over 17,200 suspected cases of cholera were reported in Yemen
Cholera has hit 13 of 18 Somalia’s provinces, in biggest outbreak in the country in 5 years, according to WHO
The fate of the superhighway remains on hold pending the final decision of the Abuja authorities, expected in the coming weeks.
The new policy would also help guarantee the labor and human rights of the six million small farmers and 30 million workers who harvest rubber in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil.
Turkey makes strides in developing its medical tourism sector by implementing policies that facilitate foreign visitors
A prolonged drought descended on the region last year, shriveling two rivers that feed into Lake Atescatempa, and with it the flow of tourists to the area and the livelihood of residents.
The WHO says that pre-term birth complications in Indonesia are the leading cause of death among children under five.
The WHO said the outbreak affects an equatorial forest region in Bas-Uele province, bordering Central African Republic.
Findings released days before talks with EU officials on legality of timber exports from Vietnam
Some fear a US withdrawal from the agreement would dampen enthusiasm for ramping up national emissions-cutting targets, required to bring them in line with the 2C target.