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February 2017

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Intracranial Hemorrhage: Deriving Clinical Relevance From an Epidemiologic Association

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(2):148-149. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.5031

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. A recent study using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database estimated that in 2012, 8.5% (95% CI, 6.9%-10.4%) of adults 20 years and older were prescribed SSRIs compared with a prevalence of 1.3% (95% CI, 1.0%-1.8%) for tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).1 Although most of these prescriptions were likely for depression, SSRIs are being used for other indications; of particular interest to neurologists, SSRIs are being investigated and sometimes used to promote motor recovery after stroke.2,3 Therefore, understanding the potential neurologic risks and possible interactions with other commonly used stroke prevention medications, such as antithrombotics, is of clinical relevance.