Posted on Jun 07, 2013, 6 a.m.
People taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) around the time of having surgery are found to have an increased risk of bleeding, transfusion, hospital readmission, and death.
Preoperative use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antidepressant medications, has been found to increase the risk of adverse outcomes after surgery. Andrew D Auerbach, MD, MPH, a UC San Francisco professor of medicine, and colleagues examined medical records of more than 530,000 patients who underwent surgery at 375 US hospitals between 2006 and 2008. Results showed that patients taking SSRIs around the time of surgery were at increased risk of bleeding, transfusion, hospital readmission, and death. The increased risk was still present even after controlling for variables such as age, gender, medical conditions, and depression. “We feel confident in saying that SSRIs are associated with about a 10% increased risk for these adverse outcomes," said Professor Auerbach. The authors say that patients scheduled for surgery should not stop taking SSRIs, but should discuss the matter with their surgeon or primary care physician. SSRIs are known to interfere with platelet function.
Andrew D Auerbach, Eric Vittinghoff, Judith Maselli, Penelope S Pekow, John Q Young, Peter K Lindenauer. Perioperative use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and risks for adverse outcomes of surgery. JAMA Intern Med. April 29, 2013 [Epub ahead of print]