Anti depressants continue to be prescribed at an alarming rate. Once widely used only for depression, this is no longer true today. The newer class of anti depressants are being used to treat a variety of mood disorders including neuropathic pain, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, sleeping difficulties and even panic attacks. While the drugs have been shown to be safe, the long term complications have not always been well studied.
The latest study in the October issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism indicates that a few of serotonin (5HT2) anti-depressants may increase risk of developing a variety of joint problems. Says Dr Anders King from the university hospital in Umea, Sweden, "From published case reports and cases series, it has been suggested that 5-HT2A-blocking antidepressant drugs may cause joint disorders. These reports could be a signal of a true adverse drug reaction (ADR), but could also simply be a result of coincidence because arthritis and arthralgia, even without established rheumatic disease, are common in general populations."
Looking back at prior studies, researchers examined the use of the antidepressants Mianserin, mirtazapine and nefazodone in individuals with joint disorders. The study analysis was limited to reports made to the Swedish Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) Committee and the World Health Organization (WHO) Adverse Reactions Database between 1990 and 2006. The researchers also looked at other older serotonin reuptake inhibitors for comparison.