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Painkillers and Antidepressants May Increase Stroke Risk

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stroke risk factors A recent study out of South Korea found there’s a greater stroke risk for individuals that take painkillers while they are already on antidepressants.  The combination was found to pose health risks that could ultimately lead to death.

Stroke Risk Factors

Medication comes with its general warnings and side effects; most people should be aware by now that combining any type of drugs has the potential to  produce undesirable effects.  This was reinforced during a supervised study held by a team of researchers in South Korea when they found that people who were taking painkillers while on antidepressant medication were four times as likely to have to deal with an intracranial hemorrhage in comparison to individuals on antidepressants alone.  An intracranial hemorrhage is serious because it means the brain is bleeding inside the skull, which can be fatal.

Painkillers Commonly Taken by Depressed

A troublesome reality that researchers uncovered was that out of four million people on antidepressants for treatment of their depression, a vast majority were taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, to help ease physical pain.  These types of over the counter painkillers are already known for being associated with hemorrhage and other internal body problems when taken excessively and in comparison to other alternative painkillers.

People who suffer from depression typically experience symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, distress, discomfort, arthritis, weakness, and body aches.  Persistent pain is a popular symptom for depressed patients, so it’s not out of the ordinary that these individuals would take over-the-counter painkillers with the intent to treat their physical discomfort.  It would be a smart move for psychiatrists, pharmacists, and general practitioners to inform patients that if they are on antidepressants, then they should not be mixing them with certain painkillers, especially aspirin and ibuprofen, due to the increased stroke risk.

Depression is one of the most severe of all mental illnesses because it prevents individuals who are struggling with the illness from being able to think clearly.  The disease can cause sufferers to have clouded judgement that prevents them from receiving the treatment they should be getting, tending to normal obligations, and taking proper care of themselves.  This is why keeping your mental health in check is important.  If you feel you are struggling with depression, ask your general practitioner about a referral for a psychiatrist and/or psychologist.  All in all, doctors who are prescribing any type of antidepressants to their patients should make them aware that there is an increased stroke risk if they take painkillers while on the medication.

It’s not unusual for people suffering from depression to have a problem with drinking alcohol and/or abusing drugs.  Depression often co-occurs with other issues like addiction.  If you’re struggling, just know that recovery is possible and you can live a sober life.  Call The Watershed and find out how today.

The Watershed 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-861-1768




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