6/28/2000 – Antidepressant medication use and breast cancer risk

As most of you have already read in my book, Dr. Lorne Brandes linked
antidepressants to cancer in a 1992 study. Now we have additional evidence
that this is happening with one of the leading cancer killers in women –
breast cancer. This study indicates that long term use is the biggest culprit
in breast cancer with 2 years of use of the older tricyclic antidepressants ev
en doubling the rate of cancers and Paxil showing a substantial increase as
well. “Use of tricyclic medications for greater than 2 years, however, may be
associated with a twofold elevation, and use of paroxetine [Paxil] may be
associated with a substantial increase in breast cancer risk.”

We are always grateful to have any of you update us on important issues such
as this so that we can notify others. A special thank you goes out to our
Norwegian director, Svein Reseland, for updating us on this study and for the
assistance he has contributed over the years. It is a pleasure to work with
him.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
___________________________

Am J Epidemiol 2000 May 15;151(10):951-7 Related Articles, Books

Antidepressant medication use and breast cancer risk.

Cotterchio M, Kreiger N, Darlington G, Steingart A

Division of Preventive Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, Canada.

[Medline record in process]

Experimental and epidemiologic studies suggest that antidepressant medication
use may be associated with breast cancer risk. This hypothesis was
investigated using a population-based case-control study; cases diagnosed in
1995-1996 were identified using the Ontario Cancer Registry, and controls
were randomly sampled from an Ontario Ministry of Finance database. Data were
collected using a self-administered questionnaire, and multivariate logistic
regression was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.
Adjusted odds ratio estimates ranged from 0.7 to 0.8 and were not
statistically significant for “ever” use of antidepressants, tricyclics, and
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Compared with no antidepressant use,
use of tricyclic antidepressants for greater than 2 years’ duration was
associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 2.1, 95%
confidence interval (CI): 0.9, 5.0). Of the six most commonly reported
antidepressant medications, only paroxetine use was associated with an
increase in breast cancer risk (OR = 7.2, 95% CI: 0.9, 58.3). Results from
this study do not support the hypothesis that “ever” use of any
antidepressant medications is associated with breast cancer risk. Use of
tricyclic medications for greater than 2 years, however, may be associated
with a twofold elevation, and use of paroxetine may be associated with a
substantial increase in breast cancer risk.

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