Antidepressants and breast cancer recurrence

Please take note of this not-so-good news about some antidepressants and breast cancer recurrence rates:

As reported in the Wall Street Journal in an articled titled “Some Antidepressants Cut Tamoxifen’s Effectiveness – Study” by Jennifer Corbett Dooren, the use of some antidepressants can double the breast cancer recurrence rate.

Apparently some antidepressants, which are prescribed for depression and also prescribed for hot flashes (which can be a side effect of the drug Tamoxifen), are considered to be CYP2D6 inhibitors which means they can chemically interfere with active ingredient in Tamoxifen.

Here are some excerpts:

“Some antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft are considered moderate-to-potent CYP2D6 inhibitors while antidepressants like Celexa, Lexapro and Luvox are considered weaker inhibitors.”

“We’ve known that these CYP2D6 inhibitor drugs block the activation of tamoxifen chemically, but this is the first time there’s evidence that these drugs are putting women at much higher risk for recurrent breast cancer,” said Robert Epstein, Medco’s chief medical officer and one of the study researchers.”

“Researchers then did a separate analysis of women on antidepressants and found those taking Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft had a breast cancer recurrence rate of 16%, or more than double the rate of women on tamoxifen only.”

“Women taking antidepressants considered to be low CYP2D6 inhibitors like Celexa, Lexapro and luvox and tamoxifen had an 8% breast cancer recurrence rate, which researchers said didn’t translate into an increased breast cancer recurrence rate.”

Click here for article.

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