A combination of relatively common medicine can be fatal.
A researched published in the British Medical Journal has revealed that antidepressants interact badly with pain killers. The researchers from the Seul University of Medicine have found that taking both medicines at the same time highly increases the risk of internal bleeding within the skull.
The study was conducted on hospital patients who suffered from such bleedings after a month of taking antidepressants and pain relievers at the same time. Compared to those who did not combined the drugs, those who did had more a higher than 50% increased chance of hemorrhage.
Pain killers such as ibuprofen have always been used to treat the most typical of symptoms, from headaches to colds. Over the past few years, depression has also established itself as one of the more common diseases and as such antidepressants are also become widely available, even if in many countries they require prescriptions.
Doctor Stewart Mercer from the University of Glasgow believes doctors should now take extra care when prescribing either of these medicines to their patients in light of this new finding. Patients who take this combination of drugs should contact their doctors and discuss their treatment at length.
The two type of drugs may interfere with the way platelets (cells in our blood that specialize in stopping bleedings) work within our bodies. The risk of hemorrhage appears to be higher in men than in women.
As the study was carried out in South Korea the findings may not necessarily apply in the same way to other ethnic groups, due to differences in drug absorption. The research was also exclusively carried on more powerful, prescription acquired pain killers rather than over the counter pill.
Nevertheless, this raises many concerns, especially since the study has also shown there might be a connection between taking pain killers or antidepressants on their own and gastrointestinal bleeding. Doctor Rupert Payne from the Health Services Research at the Cambridge Centre also states that depression and symptoms that require powerful pain killers often appear together (one may be caused by the other) and as such, this combo of drugs may be hard to avoid for some people.
He stresses that there is dire need for additional research in this area, as more and more people find themselves in the situation requiring multiple, different types of drugs, and the interactions between these drugs is very difficult to anticipate.
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