Antidepressants in Youth Associated With Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Interview with:
Mehmet Burcu, PhD, MS
Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
University of Maryland, Baltimore What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Antidepressants are one of the most commonly used psychotropic medication classes in U.S. youth, with serotonin reuptake inhibitors representing a large majority of total antidepressant use in youth.

The most interesting finding was that the current use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors in youth was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, and this increased risk intensified further with the increasing duration of use and with the increasing dose. A secondary analysis also revealed that the risk of incident type 2 diabetes was most apparent in youth who used serotonin reuptake inhibitors for longer durations AND in greater daily doses. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Causality cannot be inferred from observational studies, and thus, the study findings should be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, the study employed rigorous design and statistical approaches to minimize bias owing to lack of randomization and provides new information on the risk of a rare, but serious, adverse outcome that is often difficult to assess in randomized clinical trials due to limited sample size and inadequate follow-up. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Therefore, the study findings provide an impetus
1) For further research to better understand underlying mechanism(s) of antidepressant treatment-emergent risk of type 2 diabetes; and
2) For policy development to improve monitoring for benefit-risk of antidepressant use in pediatric care models—specifically for SSRI/SNRIs for their long-term use in high doses.

Disclosures:  Our disclaimers are also stated in the original paper. This study was initiated, conducted, and completed at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Opinions/viewed expressed do not represent the views/opinions of any private or public entity, e.g., organization, government, institution, university, department, or company. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: Burcu M, Zito JM, Safer DJ, Magder LS, dosReis S, Shaya FT, Rosenthal GL. Association of Antidepressant Medications With Incident Type 2 Diabetes Among Medicaid-Insured Youths. JAMA Pediatr. Published online October 16, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.2896

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.


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Last Updated on October 17, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD