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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2012 Feb;13(3):441-4. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2012.647684. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

Association between antidepressants and breast/ovarian cancer.

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The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, Department of Psychiatry , 2 Sosa-Dong, Wonmi-Gu, Pucheon, Kyounggi-Do 420-717 , Republic of Korea.



Women are more vulnerable to the development of major depressive disorder (MDD) than men. Although several epidemiological studies have investigated the association between antidepressants and the risk of developing cancer, different methodologies were applied and as a result most of the results were inconsistent. A recent study by Cosgrove and colleagues at Harvard University investigated the relationship between prescriptions for antidepressants and breast/ovarian cancer, to determine whether such medications are associated with the development of cancer.


This paper discusses the relationship between the use of antidepressants and breast/ovarian cancer risk in the context of the potential limitations and significance of this recent research.


Clinicians might need to be vigilant when treating female patients who require antidepressants, particularly those with other clinical risk factors in relation to breast/ovarian cancer; although more data will be necessary to evaluate the exact association between antidepressants and the development of such cancers.

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