Background and Purpose- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a well-established association with bleeding complications and conflicting reports on outcome after stroke. We sought to evaluate whether pre-intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) SSRI use increased ICH risk and post-ICH SSRI use improved ICH outcome. Methods- Through post hoc analysis of the ERICH study (Ethnic/Racial Variations of Intracerebral Hemorrhage), SSRI use was categorized into no use, pre-ICH only, pre- and post-ICH use (termed "continuous"), and post-ICH only (termed "new"). Using multivariable modeling, associations were sought between pre-ICH SSRI use and ICH risk in the case-control set, and associations between post-ICH SSRI use and 3-month outcome were analyzed in the ICH case set. Exploratory analyses sought to assess influence of race/ethnicity in models. Results- The final study cohort consisted of 2287 ICH cases and 2895 controls. Pre-ICH SSRI use was not associated with ICH risk (odds ratio, 0.824 [95% CI, 0.632-1.074]) nor potentiation of ICH risk with anticoagulant or antiplatelet use. New post-ICH SSRI use was associated with unfavorable modified Rankin Scale score at 3 months after ICH (odds ratio, 1.673 [95% CI, 1.162-2.408]; P=0.006) in multivariable analyses. Additional propensity score analysis indicated a similar trend but did not reach statistical significance (P=0.107). When stratified by race/ethnicity, multivariable modeling demonstrated reduced ICH risk with pre-ICH SSRI use in Hispanics (odds ratio, 0.513 [95% CI, 0.301-0.875]; P=0.014), but not non-Hispanic whites or blacks, and no associations between post-ICH SSRI use and 3-month outcome in any racial/ethnic group. Conclusions- In a large multiethnic cohort, pre-ICH SSRI use was not associated with increased ICH risk, but post-ICH SSRI use was associated with unfavorable 3-month neurological outcome after ICH. Registration- URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT01202864.
Keywords: cerebral hemorrhage; hemorrhage; outcomes assessment; risk; serotonin reuptake inhibitors.