Washington: Researchers have warned that clinicians should be extra vigilant when prescribing antidepressants as they could pose a risk of type 2 diabetes.
A systematic review, carried out by the University of Southampton, showed that people taking antidepressants are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes; however it is not certain whether the medication is responsible.
The use of antidepressant medication has risen sharply over recent years reaching 46.7 million prescriptions issued in the UK in 2011.
A number of studies have been carried out to establish whether antidepressants are linked with diabetes but results have varied depending on the methods used, type of medication and the number of participants.
University of Southampton researchers assessed 22 studies and three previous systematic reviews that looked into the effects of antidepressants on diabetes risk.
Overall, people taking antidepressants were more likely to have diabetes.
However, the researchers warned that different types of antidepressants may carry different risks and long-term prospective randomized control trials are needed to look at the effects of individual tablets.
The team said that there are "several plausible" reasons why antidepressants are associated with an increased risk of diabetes.
For example, several antidepressants are associated with significant weight gain which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
However, they also say that several studies which explored this association still observed an increased risk of diabetes after adjustment for changes in body weight, implying other factors could be involved.
The study is published in the journal Diabetes Care.
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