Background: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have been commonly prescribed for depression treatment. However, their effects on blood pressure are unclear.
Materials and methods: Effects on blood pressure of depressive patients in two groups (SSRIs versus placebo and SSRIs versus SNRIs) were evaluated. A search was conducted for double-blind, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in PubMed, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, PsycNET, CCRCT, and DARE (up to March 2017). The outcomes were systolic blood pressure (SBP) changes and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) changes from baseline to endpoint or to a certain period of treatment duration. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% CIs were calculated and pooled using random effects models. The χ2 test and I2 statistics were used to assess heterogeneity. Funnel plots, Begg's test, and Egger's test were used to estimate publication bias.
Results: A total of 23 RCTs involving 13,285 participants were included. Patients on SSRIs showed no significant differences in blood pressure changes compared with placebo. In the group of SSRIs versus SNRIs, overall SBP changes and DBP changes revealed statistical significances (WMD 1.5 mmHg, 95% CI -2.15, -0.84, Z=4.46, P<0.00001 and WMD 1.34 mmHg, 95% CI -1.92, -0.75, Z=6.18, P<0.00001). Subgroup analyses on treatment duration and age further evidenced these findings.
Conclusion: It was established that SSRIs did not affect blood pressure, while SNRIs led to a modest increase in SBP and DBP with statistical significance compared with SSRIs.
Keywords: antidepressant; blood pressure change; depression; depression treatment; diastolic blood pressure; meta-analysis; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors; systolic blood pressure.
Conflict of interest statement
Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.
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