Antidepressants Cut Bowel and Brain Cancer Risk
Taking some antidepressants can cut your risk of developing bowel and brain cancer, a new study says. According to the Press Association, the kind of tricyclic drug used in a third of antidepressants cuts the risk of bowel cancer between 16 and 21 percent. It also helps reduce the risk of developing glioma--a tumor found in the spine and brain--by between 41 and 64 percent.
The study was done by experts at the universities of Nottingham, Warwick and Lincoln, and found that the longer a person is on antidepressants, the lower their risk for cancer became. Higher doses of the drugs also helped lower risk.
The team used almost 32,000 records of cancer cases for the study, and analyzed patients’ use of tricyclic antidepressants. They found that those on the drugs had a much lower risk of glioma and a lower risk of bowel cancer. Other forms of cancer, like lung, breast or prostate cancer, remained unaffected by antidepressant use, the Press Association said.
However, the side-effects of tricyclic drugs mean they should not be used by everyone, warned study author Tim Bates.
The team does hope to be able to identify risk for the specific cancers through DNA screening and then possibly prescribe the antidepressants.