tricyclic antidepressants

  1. Some bad meds just won't go away

    Tricyclic antidepressants are so awful they're not even used for depression anymore--but millions of people still take them anyway, because they're commonly used off-label to treat chronic pain.

    Now, a new study finds that the meds themselves can put you in a world of hurt: They can increase your heart risk by more than a third.

    Researchers examined data on nearly 15,000 participants in the Scottish Health Survey who were at least 35 years old, had no history of heart disease and were tracked for an average of 8 years.

    They found those who used tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and clomipramine were 35 percent more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease than patients not on the meds, according to the study in the European Heart Journal.

    The study doesn't show why tricyclic users are more prone to heart disease, but it's not too hard to figure out: These meds are already linked to increased blood pressure, weight gain and diabetes.

    It's like metabolic syndrome in a pill--and once you put it all together, you've got heart disease.

    The researchers say the risk didn't apply to the newer SSRI antidepressants, but that doesn't make them a better choice for depression. SSRIs have been liked to personality changes, bleeding problems, sexual disorders, headaches, nausea, diarrhea and even suicide.

    Like the tricyclics, they're not very good for depression either--SSRIs are routinely beaten in studies by exercise, talk therapy, St. John's wort and more.

    And just like you don't need SSRIs for depression, you don't need tricyclics for any of the other conditions they're used to treat, including insomnia, headaches and back pain.

    There are safe and natural alternatives for all of these problems--and I've told you about many of them.

    If you're looking for a way to sleep better or beat the pain, you can start your search for answers on my Web site.

    And for even more great natural health tips, visit the free online library at the Health Sciences Institute. Just enter your condition in the "Find a Cure" box, and you're on your way to a drug-free solution.

  2. Antidepressants up stroke risk

    Antidepressants are bad enough for most people -- but a new study shows that they're even worse than we thought for older women.

    Researchers found that post-menopausal women who take those popular SSRIs -- drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Lexapro -- have a 45 percent increased risk of stroke, and a 32 percent increased risk of death from all other causes.

    The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, used data on 136,293 women between the ages of 50 and 79, who were followed for an average of six years. Women on tricyclic antidepressants faced similar risks.

    Not exactly comforting... especially when you consider the large numbers of women who are given these meds off-label to deal with the symptoms of menopause in addition to the millions who take it to beat the blues.

    "Women should not stop taking the medications based on this one study," Dr. Jordan W. Smoller, one of the authors, told Reuters.

    I agree. They shouldn't stop taking the medications based on this one study -- they should stop taking them based on the massive and overwhelming body of research that shows how dangerous and ineffective they really are.

    These meds have also been linked to sudden cardiac death in women, an increased risk of suicide in teens, and nausea, insomnia, diarrhea and sexual side effects and men and women alike. Some of these meds are even addictive -- which means withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop taking them.

    Still, despite all that, the researchers seemed almost determined to apologize for their study... lest they anger their Big Pharma friends. They were also quick to point out that a woman on antidepressants has only a 1 in 200 chance of a stroke in any given year.

    Those aren't exactly remote odds. And when you consider that many people take these meds year after year, it adds up to a few too many rolls of the dice for comfort.

    The right natural treatment for your depression will depend on the cause, but nutritional imbalances are often at the heart of the condition. Deficiencies in amino acids (especially tryptophan), B vitamins and essential fatty acids can all lead to depression. A physician experienced in natural healing methods can customize your supplements to your needs.

    In addition, numerous studies have found that everything from exercise to simple talk therapy can match or beat antidepressants -- with none of the side effects. You might also find some immediate relief from a proven herbal remedy such as St. John's wort.

2 Item(s)