Monday, December 20, 2010

Seniors, side effects and chemical cocktails

Older people who start taking antidepressants may already be taking other drugs for different problems. These drugs can interact with the antidepressants to create a number of side effects which can put people off taking antidepressants. Researchers from Thomson Reuters, the University of Southern California and Sanofi-Aventis studied 39,000 older people who started taking antidepressants between 2001 and 2006. More than 25% were prescribed antidepressants and another drug that could cause a major interaction and another 36% were at risk of less-severe drug interactions. The most common side effects caused by drug interactions were insomnia, somnolence and drowsiness which occurred in 2.6% of people with the next most common being dizziness (1.1%). Only 45% of people who had documented side effects refilled their prescription for the same antidepressant and a quarter stopped taking antidepressants altogether.

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