A study originating from the U.K., published in the journal Diabetes Care, has categorically linked anti-depressants to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In the U.K. alone 46.7 million prescriptions have been issued in 2011. The study consisted of a review of 22 studies and 3 reviews that examined the link between anti-depressants and diabetic risk.
Dr Katharine Barnard, Health Psychologist from the University of Southampton, comments: “Antidepressants are used widely in the UK, with a significant increase in their use recently. Our research shows that when you take away all the classic risk factors of type 2 diabetes; weight gain, lifestyle etc, there is something about antidepressants that appears to be an independent risk factor. With 46 million prescriptions a year, this potential increased risk is worrying. Heightened alertness to the possibility of diabetes in people taking antidepressants is necessary until further research is conducted.”
Richard Holt, Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the University of Southampton, adds: “While depression is an important clinical problem and antidepressants are effective treatments for this debilitating condition, clinicians need to be aware of the potential risk of diabetes, particularly when using antidepressants in higher doses or for longer duration. When prescribing antidepressants, doctors should be aware of this risk and take steps to monitor for diabetes and reduce that risk of diabetes through lifestyle modification.”
K. Barnard, R. C. Peveler, R. I. G. Holt. Antidepressant Medication as a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes and Impaired Glucose Regulation: Systematic review. Diabetes Care, 2013; 36 (10): 3337 DOI: 10.2337/dc13-0560