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Am J Med. 2007 Jun;120(6):525-30. Epub 2007 Apr 30.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use by patients with acute coronary syndromes.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Md 21224-2780, USA.



Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are commonly used to treat anxiety, depression, and other conditions that commonly affect patients with coronary artery disease. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors inhibit platelet activation and may, therefore, affect outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndromes.


A retrospective study was performed of 1254 patients with acute coronary syndromes comparing in-hospital bleeding and cardiac event rates in 158 patients who received a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and a propensity score-matched group of patients who did not. All patients were treated with a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor and almost all also received aspirin, clopidogrel, and heparin.


Patients who received a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor were significantly more likely to experience any bleeding (37.3% vs 26.6%, OR 1.65, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-2.66, P =.04) and significantly less likely to experience recurrent myocardial ischemia, heart failure, or asymptomatic cardiac enzyme elevation while in the hospital (7.0% vs 13.9%, OR 0.46, 95% CI, 0.22-0.99, P =.04). No differences were observed in death, myocardial infarction during the hospitalization, urgent revascularization, or major bleeding. Bleeding and cardiac events were not affected by antidepressants other than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use during a hospitalization for an acute coronary syndrome is associated with reduced rates of recurrent ischemia, heart failure, or cardiac enzyme elevation at the expense of increased bleeding in patients receiving maximal conventional antiplatelet medications and heparin. Clinicians should be aware of this association when treating patients with an acute coronary syndrome.

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