Antidepressants are the most commonly and widely used medication for its effectiveness in the treatment of anxiety and depression. A few epidemiological studies have documented that antidepressant is associated with increased risk of dementia so far. Here, our aim is to assess the association between antidepressant use and risk of dementia in elderly patients. We searched articles through MEDLINE, EMBASE, Google, and Google Scholar from inception to December 1, 2017, that reported on the association between antidepressant use and dementia risk. Data were collected from each study independently, and study duplication was checked by at least three senior researchers based on a standardized protocol. Summary relative risk (RR) with 95% CI was calculated by using a random-effects model. We selected 9 out of 754 unique abstracts for full-text review using our predetermined selection criteria, and 5 out of these 9 studies, comprising 53,955 participants, met all of our inclusion criteria. The overall pooled RR of dementia was 1.75 (95% CI: 1.033-2.964) for SSRIs whereas the overall pooled RR of dementia was 2.131 (95% CI: 1.427-3.184) for tricyclic use. Also, MAOIs showed a high rate of increase with significant heterogeneity. Our findings indicate that antidepressant use is significantly associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. Therefore, we suggest physicians to carefully prescribe antidepressants, especially in elder patients. Additionally, treatment should be stopped if any symptoms related to dementia are to be noticed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas