Send to

Choose Destination
Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2006 Jul;5(4):523-37.

The effect of antidepressants on lipid homeostasis: a cardiac safety concern?

Author information

University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry, Toronto, ON, Canada.



The authors sought to summarise and synthesise results from investigations which report on the effect of antidepressants on serum lipid homeostasis.


The authors conducted a MedLine search of all English-language articles from 1966 to March 2006 using the search terms: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, lipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, and the non-proprietary names of conventional antidepressants indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder in North America as of March 2006. The search was supplemented with a manual review of retrieved articles for any further citations reporting the effects of antidepressants on lipid homeostasis.


Despite the paucity of well-characterised investigations, the unfavourable effect of weight gain promoting antidepressants (e.g., tricyclics, mirtazapine) on serum lipid parameters (i.e., triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) is a consistent finding. Weight-neutral antidepressants (e.g., bupropion, venlafaxine, duloxetine), however, are less likely to disrupt the lipid milieu. A weight-independent effect on lipid homeostasis is less consistently reported.


Some antidepressants unfavourably influence the lipid milieu; mediating factors other than weight gain are not well-established. Pivotal studies evaluating the therapeutic index of antidepressants need to systematically collect and report data on the lipid effects of antidepressants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center