New Study Reviles Antidepressants Linked To Cataracts

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A new study from Vancouver, BC, Canada suggests that older people taking antidepressant medications may be at an increased risk of developing cataracts. The study, published in the journal Ophthalmology, discovered that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants appears to increase cataract risk 15 percent.

Mahyar Etminan of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and researcher for this project assessed data from 19,000 people age 65 or older, all with cardiovascular disease and compared it to about 190,000 controls.

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The study showed that certain antidepressants such as Luvox, or fluvoxamine, increased cataract risk by 39 percent, Effexor, or venlafaxine, by 33 percent and Paxil, or paroxetine, by 23 percent.

"The eye's lens has serotonin receptors, and animal studies have shown that excess serotonin can make the lens opaque and lead to cataract formation," Etminan said.

It appears that Americans are increasingly interested in using pharmaceuticals to address depression or anxiety, according to a new survey by Consumer Reports and Canadian researchers continue to research the long term side effects in some of these harmful antidepressants.

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