Antidepressants Increase Brain Bleed Risk


A study published in this month’s issue of Stroke found that antidepressants may increase the risk of microbleeds in the brain. Both SSRI and SNRI antidepressants can disrupt natural clotting mechanisms and lead to increased adverse bleeding incidents and prolonged bleeding times.

brain in personPrevious studies have linked serotonin reuptake inhibitors with abnormal bleeding, especially when used with anticoagulants or anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The most recent study, led by researchers at the University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is based on a large prospective population-based cohort of nearly fifteen thousand participants. Using the pharmacy records of 3,054 participants, the researchers identified patients with low, intermediate, and high degrees of exposure to antidepressants and used brain MRIs to locate microbleeds in the brain.

After performing a statistical analysis, every level of antidepressant use was associated with an increased risk for first-ever microbleeds four years after follow-up. This correlation persisted after controlling for depressive symptoms and individual cardiovascular risks.

“The increased risk of developing microbleeds in antidepressant users might be a direct consequence of the inhibiting effects on the serotonin transporter by antidepressants,” the researchers write. “In conclusion, antidepressant use was associated with an increased risk of developing microbleeds. Our results support findings from previous clinical studies about bleeding risk in antidepressants, and suggest that these risks may also apply to subclinical bleeding manifestations.”



Akoudad, S., Aarts, N., Noordam, R., Ikram, M. A., Tiemeier, H., Hofman, A., … & Visser, L. E. (2016). Antidepressant Use Is Associated With an Increased Risk of Developing Microbleeds. Stroke47(1), 251-254.(Abstract)

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Justin Karter
MIA Research News Editor: Justin M. Karter is the lead research news editor for Mad in America. He completed his doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He also holds graduate degrees in both Journalism and Community Psychology from Point Park University. He brings a particular interest in examining and decoding cultural narratives of mental health and reimagining the institutions built on these assumptions.


  1. Great article, but there’s bad news on the horizon. We are about to be in a blood bath. Now they want ALL adult persons screened for depression. Is anyone aware of just how horrifying this is? Of course everyone’s going to qualify, first the diagnosis followed by antidepressants, and they’ll add a benzo, a neuroleptic, or something else. Tragic, that’s what this is. This is going to have devastating consequences to millions of individuals out there who do NOT need antidepressants what so ever. What is our world coming to?
    Lauren Biscaldi, Assistant Editor
    January 26, 2016
    USPSTF Presents Updated Guidelines For
    In an update of their 2009 guidelines, the US Preventive Services Task Force has provided updated recommendations for screening for depression in adults.

    After completing a medical literature review, the US Preventive Services Task Force has concluded that all members of the general adult population should be screened for depression, according to a recommendation statement released in JAMA.

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    • The link was removed.

      If this is true, however, and “Now they want ALL adult persons screened for depression. Is anyone aware of just how horrifying this is? Of course everyone’s going to qualify, first the diagnosis followed by antidepressants, and they’ll add a benzo, a neuroleptic, or something else.”

      I’ll let you know, as a person whose so called “bipolar” was the result of a DSM-IV-TR misdiagnosis of the common symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, and the antidepressant mandated for smoking cessation, not depression. That combining the antidepressants, neuroleptics, and benzos is already medically known to make people “mad as a hatter,” via anticholinergic toxidrome. A known iatrogenic illness, but not a DSM “mental illness.”

      Here are the central symptoms of anticholinergic intoxication syndrome, symptoms doctors are unable to distinguish from the symptoms of “bipolar” or “schizophrenia”:

      “Central symptoms may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

      And “Substances that may cause this toxidrome include the four ‘anti’s of antihistamines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antiparkinsonian drugs[3] as well as atropine, benztropine, datura, and scopolamine.”

      I will mention if you calmly medically explain this to an ethical doctor, he will take the DSM misdiagnosis off your medical records, and embarrassedly call you “one in a million.” A slice of wisdom, from a woman who hopes to help protect the other 999,999,999.

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        • And it does state, “The recommendation, which applies to adults 18 years and older and includes pregnant and postpartum women, emphasizes that screeners should have adequate systems in place to ensure an accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.” Which we here all know the current psychiatric system does not have, and they themselves repeatedly claim they do not have the appropriate follow up finances for declaring most US adults “depressed.”

          And it is confessed, “the optimal depression screening timing and interval remains unknown,” “Clinicians treating pregnant or breastfeeding women should keep in mind the potential harms to the fetus or newborn child that may result from the use of certain SSRIs,” and “second-generation antidepressants–primarily selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)– may be associated with some harms, including an increase in suicidal behaviors in adults between ages 18 and 29,” which implies these “professionals” believe the drugs know the age of those they harm, which is a ridiculous notion.

          And, “The USPSTF concludes with at least moderate certainty that there is a moderate net benefit to screening for depression in adults 18 years and older.”

          Personally, I think they undermined this theory with their prior warnings. But apparently their blind to the harm they are doing to humanity with today’s antidepressants.

          I will say my family dentist was wise enough to know not to perform oral surgery on my mother, until after she got off the antidepressant she was on, since the antidepressants are known to cause bleeding problems. But it does seem, the only medical professionals today who know of the dangers of the psychiatric drugs are the dentists and oral surgeons.

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  2. The ‘All’ they are referring to is also specifically targeting pregnant and postpartum women.

    ‘Primary Care Screening for and Treatment of Depression in Pregnant and Postpartum Women Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Prevention Services Task Force’ This massive study included only – 1 pharmacological study and then that included CBT – “1997 – 87 subjects – Fluoxetine and CBT’. Zero studies included that used only drugs. “Data on the harms of antidepressant use in postpartum women (the majority used were postpartum) were insufficient, with only a single small 12-week trial of fluoxetine.”

    Yet, this was just promoted on the Nightly News a few minutes ago stating, again, that “ALL pregnant and postpartum women should be screened for depression”. When science isn’t even sure of the exact dangers antidepressants are doing now , although what I’m already learning is pretty horrific. More from this article under antidepressant harms: increased preeclamsia, post partum hemorrhage, miscarriage, postneonal death, preterm birth, serotonin withdrawal syndrome, ect, the list is too long.

    And check out the References. #73 – 84. Mind boggling.

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