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SSRIs increase risk of glaucoma

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Patients receiving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) experience a greater risk of developing glaucoma, a new study reports.

Data from the 2005 Longitudinal Health Insurance Database of the National Health Research Institute of Taiwan were used for the study. Records of 15,865 glaucoma cases were compared to 77,014 age-, sex- insurance premium- and residence-matched controls.

Glaucoma diagnoses included primary angle-closure glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma and glaucoma state, among other specific forms. Those whose glaucoma was caused by corticosteroids, congenital defects, lens disorders or other ocular disorders were excluded. The primary outcome was the incidence of glaucoma.

Participants receiving SSRIs had a greater risk of glaucoma incidence (odds ratio [OR], 1.39; 95 percent CI, 1.29 to 1.50). This relationship remained but was less pronounced after adjusting for possible confounders (aOR, 1.09; 1.00 to 1.18).

Moreover, those who received ≥1 defined daily dose and had received the treatment for more than 365 days showed greater risks of glaucoma (aOR, 1.36; 1.08 to 1.71).

Subgroup analysis showed that only participants without diabetes (aOR, 1.39; 1.27 to 1.52), below the age of 65 (aOR, 1.37; 1.25 to 1.50), without hypercholesterolemia (aOR, 1.35; 1.23 to 1.48) or without hypertension (aOR, 1.46; 1.31 to 1.63) showed increased risks of glaucoma as a result of SSRI treatment.

While future studies are required to determine causality and mechanisms of action, clinicians should make their patients aware of such risks when taking SSRIs and of the signs and symptoms of glaucoma to ensure early detection, researchers said.

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01 Aug 2016
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