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Antidepressants affect blood pressure

Having depression can lower your blood pressure, but taking certain antidepressants can increase your blood pressure, according to a new study.

The study suggests people who take antidepressants should monitor their blood pressure closely.

The antidepressant study

The study was part of the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety, an ongoing analysis of 2981 adults aged 18 to 65 years.

The adults were divided into three groups:

  • a control group with no anxiety or depression
  • patients with a depressive or anxiety disorder who did not take antidepressants
  • patients with a depressive or anxiety disorder who were on antidepressant medication

Researchers assessed their blood pressure and heart rate throughout the study.

What the study found …

Researchers found that higher blood pressure was found among those who had anxiety disorders. However, those who were depressed, but not on antidepressants, had a lower systolic blood pressure and were significantly less likely to have hypertension.

Those who were depressed, but taking antidepressants had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures and were more likely to have hypertension. Those patients taking noradrenergic and serotonergic working antidepressants were more likely to have hypertension.

The researchers conclusion

The researchers wrote in conclusion, “This study shows that depressive disorder is associated with low systolic blood pressure and less hypertension, whereas the use of certain antidepressants is associated with both high diastolic and systolic blood pressures and hypertension.”

The study was published online in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

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