SSRI's and Cancer Risk

Posted by fotula @fotula, Feb 16 11:08am

Has anyone seen any studies on the link between SSRI use and the increase in breast cancer cases? In some cases I have read that SSRI use actually decreases the risk of brain cancers. Just what is the link between SSRI use and cancers?

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I don't know anything about cancer risk with SSRI's. For me, I am hesitant to take antidepressants for other reasons. They are often difficult to quit. On top of that, doctors are woefully unaware, in many cases, of how difficult it is to come off of these medications. How would they know, after all? They have never taken them, in all likelihood. (Sometimes using a search engine to type in the name of a specific drug along with the word withdrawal and the words personal experience will bring up some interesting results. Personal experiences and individual patient stories will give more detailed accounts in many cases than the sanitized 'official' professionally endorsed articles.) We don't entirely understand how they work or what the long term effects are (like with many other medications). The side effects can be identical to the symptoms they are designed to treat, like anxiety and insomnia.

They can interact with otc medications. For example, sudafed increases adrenaline. There is an official warning about taking sudafed with MAO inhibitors, but in my observation/experience, taking sudafed with any antidepressant can lead to a condition known as 'akathisia', which basically means you can't sit still.

Doctors can sometimes be eager to prescribe antidepressants for pain and other conditions, outside of what they were originally intended for. Too often, they fail to mention to the patient that they are being prescribed a psychoactive medication!

Before I would consider any medication, psychoactive or otherwise, I would want to go on sites like askapatient, webmd, and and look at patient reviews. On some of these sites, you have the option of seeing the lowest-rating reviews come up first. I like to have the bad news ahead of time, so I know what to look for.

If I have any options outside of prescribed medications, I will always try those first. Prescriptions are very strong substances, and in my opinion a last resort.


I have been on very high doses of SSRI's for over 15 years. I am coming off of them now, long story.

I have not seen any credible research connecting them to cancer. Keep in mind these are relatively (in medical terms) new drugs. I tested the first heavily market drug Prozac for a week about 30 years ago. It made me suicidal.

In my opinion and experience, SSRI's are are a roll of the dice, crap shot in other words. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't. They always have side effects and after a period of time (different for everyone) are difficult to get off of.

No one really understands the mechanics of mental illness. I believe neurotransmitters and how they function in the brain is only a symptom of a bigger metabolic issue. There are as many electrical impulses in the brain as there are stairs in the sky; hitting the right one at the right time is a challenge.

I do believe there are emergencies that call for the use of whatever is in the tool kit. However, as long term solutions SSRI's can create more problems than they solve.

This is my opinion only. It is based on years of personal experience and ongoing research. Ultimately we all have to decide if the potential relief is worth the risks.

If I could wave a magic wand and change mental health care I would have all patients do three things first; exercise, clean up their diet and reduce the stress in their life a much as possible.

Every credible source of information regarding mental health treatment list these as the first and most effective treatments for mental health disorders, health in general for that matter!

They are simple (not easy), in most case cost very little to nothing and the side effects are almost universally positive. Unfortunately, in forty years of seeing doctors, not one has every "prescribed" these a treatments for my mental health issues.

Be well.

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