If you take older depression drugs, you have an increased risk of developing heart disease, a new study involving 15,000 people in Scotland suggests.



The study, found that older so-called tricyclic anti-depressants, were linked with a 35 percent increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Norpramin, which is made by Sanofi-Aventis, is included as tricyclic anti-depressant.


According to the study, the risk is not increased with newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Eli Lilly's Prozac or GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil.


Mark Hamer of the University College London, who led the study, told Reuters:

"Given that anti-depressants, such as SSRIs, are now prescribed not only for depression but for a wide range of conditions such as back pain, headache, anxiety and sleeping problems, the risks associated with anti-depressants have increasing relevance to the general population."

Hamer said that the older class of drugs had largely been overtaken in treating depression by newer SSRI’s.

He added that tricyclics are still commonly used to treat conditions such as insomnia, back pain and severe headaches.

The generic drugs amitriptyline, sold under the brand names Elavil, Tryptizol, Laroxyl, and clomipramine, known under the brand name as Anafranil, are also commonly used tricyclics.