SSRIs Increase Post-Surgical Complications


A study of 530,000 patients who underwent surgery at 375 U.S. hospitals found a 10% increased risk of post-operative complications including bleeding, transfusion, hospital readmission and death. However, the authors note that patients on SSRIs are also more likely to have conditions that increase surgical risk such as obesity, chronic pulmonary disease and depression. Results appear in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Abstract →

Of further interest:
Auerbach, A., Vittinghoff, E., Maselli, J., et al; Perioperative Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Risks for Adverse Outcomes of Surgery. JAMA Internal Medicine Online April 29, 2013 doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.714.

Antidepressants: A help or hindrance to those facing surgery? (Los Angeles Times)
Taking SSRI Antidepressants Increases Post-op Surgery Risks (PsychCentral)
SSRIs Linked to Bleeding Risk, Death in Surgical Patients (Medscape)
SSRIs Linked to Odds of Surgery Survival (Medpage)
Some Antidepressants Linked to Bleeding Risk With Surgery (US News)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].