Influence of antidepressants on hemostasis

Demian Halperin, Guido Reber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations

Abstract

Antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are widely used for the treatment of depression and anxious disorders. The observation that depression is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in patients with ischemic heart disease, the assessment of the central role of serotonin in pathophysiological mechanisms of depression, and reports of cases of abnormal bleeding associated with antidepressant therapy have led to investigations of the influence of antidepressants on hemostasis markers. In this review, we summarize data regarding modifications of these markers, drawn from clinical studies and case reports. We observed an association between the type of antidepressant drug and the number of abnormal bleeding case reports, with or without modifications of hemostasis markers. Drugs with the highest degree of serotonin reuptake inhibition - fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline - are more frequently associated with abnormal bleeding and modifications of hemostasis markers. The most frequent hemostatic abnormalities are decreased platelet aggregability and activity, and prolongation of bleeding time. Patients with a history of coagulation disorders, especially suspected or documented thrombocytopenia or platelet disorder, should be monitored in case of prescription of any serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI). Platelet dysfunction, coagulation disorder, and von Willebrand disease should be sought in any case of abnormal bleeding occurring during treatment with an SRI. Also, a non-SSRI antidepressant should be favored over an SSRI or an SRI in such a context. Considering the difficulty in performing platelet aggregation tests, which are the most sensitive in SRI-associated bleeding, and the low sensitivity of hemostasis tests when performed in case of uncomplicated bleeding in the general population, establishing guidelines for the assessment of SRI-associated bleeding complications remains a challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalDialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 24 Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antidepressant
  • Bleeding
  • Hemostasis
  • Hemostasis test
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
  • Serotonin

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