Do you know anyone who is using antidepressants? If so, then here's a word of caution: according to study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, using anti-depressants may lead to several health problems and even premature death.
Studying previous studies on the subject, researchers found that antidepressant users may find themselves having problems with sexual stimulation and digestion. Their kids may be prone to developing behavioral problems, and the elderly may experience uncharacteristic bleeding and stroke as two of the the primary consequences.
While millions of people worldwide are prescribed antidepressants, it's important for patients and their families to weigh the benefits against the cost. Designed to help patients deal with depression, antidepressants work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. Naturally produced serotonin, however, is not just limited to controlling moods. It’s also responsible for digestion, blood clots, reproduction, and development.
"Serotonin is an ancient chemical," explains lead author and evolutionary biologist at McMaster University Paul Andrews. "It's intimately regulating many different processes, and when you interfere with these things you can expect, from an evolutionary perspective, that it's going to cause some harm."
Interestingly, the fact that using antidepressants can have side effects has been around for some time. It’s not a recent discovery and yet many people don’t seem to be aware of it. Still, it's clear that when it comes to antidepressants, as with all other medication, patients should make sure they ask their doctors about possible side effects and factor in any preexisting conditions that may make the medication problematic. Plus, it's a good idea to seek a second opinion as well as an exploration of treatment alternatives.
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