Antidepressants

Is It Safe During Pregnancy? There’s An App for That

  January was Birth Defects Prevention Month, and MotherToBaby launched a free app  designed to provide evidence-based information to pregnant and breastfeeding women. There is Information on a broad range of medications, some herbal remedies, [...]

Choice of Antidepressant May Affect Survival in Women on Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer

Tamoxifen is a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator) used in women with breast cancer; it reduces the risk of relapse and improves overall survival.  Tamoxifen may also be used to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk for the disease. In order to be fully effective, tamoxifen must be metabolized to an active metabolite, endoxifen, by the liver enzyme CYP2D6. Consequently, any co-administered agent that inhibits this enzyme will reduce the conversion of tamoxifen to endoxifen, thereby potentially reducing the efficacy of tamoxifen as a breast cancer therapy.

Interactions Between Antidepressants and Tamoxifen

Women receiving tamoxifen for the treatment or prevention of breast cancer should be aware of possible drug-drug interactions with specific antidepressant medications (e.g., SSRI). These antidepressants are used widely to treat depression and anxiety disorders. In addition, multiple studies have shown that these antidepressants are an effective non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes; over 25% of women who are experiencing hot flashes related to tamoxifen therapy are now prescribed antidepressants to manage their symptoms.