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The effect of antidepressant medications in the management of heart failure on outcomes: mortality, cardiovascular function and depression - a systematic review.

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Published:26th Nov 2017
Author: Rajeswaran T, Plymen CM, Doherty AM.
Availability: Pay for access, or by subscription
Ref.:Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2017:1-6.
DOI:10.1080/13651501.2017.1401085
The effect of antidepressant medications in the management of heart failure on outcomes: mortality, cardiovascular function and depression - a systematic review


Objective:
Depression is associated with increased morbidity, mortality and hospital readmission in patients with heart failure (HF). This systematic review aimed to compile studies examining whether the use of antidepressants could improve outcome in patients with HF and concomitant depression.

Methods: The electronic libraries Embase, OVID MEDLINE(R) and PsychInfo were used to search the following terms 'heart failure' AND 'anti-depressants'; 'heart failure' AND 'TCA' OR 'SSRI' OR 'SNRI'. The result of this database search was analysed to select papers that satisfied our inclusion criteria.

Results: Of the 180 papers found in the original database search, only three met the inclusion criteria. A further two papers were added from hand-searching through the references. Three of these papers are randomised controlled trials (RCT); the other two, cohort studies. All studies show that antidepressants are well tolerated in this group. There was no significant difference in depressive symptoms between the test and placebo. The cardiac outcomes of patients with HF are not improved by the use of antidepressants relative to placebo.

Conclusions: Antidepressants are not associated with increased mortality rate as established in previous papers. However, there is inadequate evidence that the use of antidepressants effects significant improvement in depression or cardiac outcomes.

 

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