Tuesday, March 09, 2010

SSRIs and cataracts

A study of more than 200,000 people in Quebec by researchers at the University of British Columbia has found that there is a statistical - though not necessarily a cause and effect - relationship between the use of SSRI (serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants and the development of cataracts. The study found that people taking SSRIs were 15% more likely to be diagnosed with cataracts or to have had cataract surgery. The drug fluvoxamine was associated with a 51% higher risk while venlafaxine carried a 34% higher risk but there was no connection between fluoxetine, citalopram and sertraline and an increased chance of cataract surgery. But the study did not take into account the effects of smoking which is more common among depressed people and can cause cataracts. It is also important to remember that depression can be a very serious condition while cataracts are fairly easily treated.

You can find out more about this research at


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