An Overlooked Risk Factor for Venous Thromboembolism?

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH


August 22, 2018

Hello. I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a practicing internist, Medscape advisor, and senior medical director for WebMD. Welcome to Medscape Morning Report, our 1-minute news story for primary care.

A new meta-analysis looks at the association between depression, antidepressant use, and a higher risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The data were pooled from eight observational studies involving almost 1 million participants and more than 9000 patients with VTE.

They found that each antidepressant drug class studied was associated with an elevated risk. These included tricyclics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and other antidepressants.

They couldn't determine whether the link was driven mainly by depression or antidepressants or both. We'll need further research to isolate the etiology of these effects.

In the meantime, you may want to assess your patient's risk for blood clots when treating depression. A few medications that can also increase VTE risk include hormonal contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, and testosterone.

Follow Dr Cassoobhoy on Twitter at @ArefaMD


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