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J Clin Epidemiol. 1995 Nov;48(11):1407-12.

Do antidepressants cause, promote, or inhibit cancers?

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Baycrest Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Do antidepressants cause, promote, or inhibit cancers?

OBJECTIVE:

To review all human and experimental studies that examined the association of antidepressants with cancer or the effect of antidepressants on neoplastic growth.

METHODS:

A search was conducted of MEDLINE for relevant articles published in English between 1976 and 1993.

RESULTS:

Four human studies and nine experimental models were found. The human studies showed a transiently statistically significant positive association between amitriptyline and liver cancer and a negative association with pancreatic cancer; and that the antidepressants amitriptyline, nortriptyline, desipramine, and phenelzine may increase risk of breast cancer. Results of the experimental studies differed depending on which antidepressants were examined and which model was used. Amitriptyline was found to promote tumour growth, fluoxetine and clomipramine were reported to be both tumour promoters and antineoplastic agents, and imipramine and citalopram both demonstrated antineoplastic properties.

CONCLUSIONS:

Further epidemiologic studies in humans are needed to determine which antidepressants cause, promote, or inhibit cancers.

PMID:
7490604
DOI:
10.1016/0895-4356(95)00545-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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