Antidepressants May Improve Stroke Survival15 years, 9 months ago
Posted on Jan 28, 2004, 12 p.m.
By Bill Freeman
Taking antidepressant drugs in the weeks after a stroke may improve your chances of survival
Taking antidepressant drugs in the weeks after a stroke may improve your chances of survival &endash; even in those not suffering from depression. Dr Robert G Robinson and colleagues from the University of Iowa College of Medicine studied 104 stroke patients. The patients were treated with either one of two antidepressants &endash; fluoxetine (Prozac) or nortriptyline (Pamelor) &endash; or an inactive placebo pill for 12 weeks during the first 6 months after their stroke. The researchers then followed the patients for 9 years. Results showed that 68% of patients treated with antidepressants were still alive at the end of the study, compared with just 36% of patients given a placebo. Thus, suggesting that antidepressant therapy nearly doubles a patient’s chance of survival. Both antidepressants were equally effective in boosting survival, and the beneficial effect of the drugs was significant in patients who were depressed and in those who were non-depressed.
SOURCE/REFERENCE: Am J Psychiatry 2003;160:1823-1829.