SSRIs in Perioperative Period Associated with Higher Risk for Adverse Events

A study by Andrew D. Auerbach, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, suggests that receiving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the perioperative period was associated with a higher risk for adverse events. (Online First)

The study included 530,416 patients aged 18 or older who underwent major surgery from January 2006 through December 2008 at 375 U.S. hospitals. The main outcomes researchers studied were in-hospital mortality, length of stay, readmission at 30 days, bleeding events, transfusions and incidence of ventricular arrhythmias.

According to the results, patients receiving SSRIs were more likely to have obesity, chronic pulmonary disease or hypothyroidism and more likely to have depression. Patients receiving SSRIs had higher odds of in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 1.20), bleeding (1.09) and readmission at 30 days (1.22).

“Receiving SSRIs in the perioperative period is associated with a higher risk for adverse events. Determining whether patient factors or SSRIs themselves are responsible for elevated risks requires prospective study,” the study concludes.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 29, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.714.