(NaturalNews) Women who take an SSRI - selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor - antidepressant have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, according to a meta-analysis of 61 separate studies indicated.
"Reviewing the evidence is a critical public health issue in light of the increasing prevalence of antidepressant use, especially among women, and in light of the fact that one in eight women will be diagnosed with cancer of the breast during their lifetime," said the study, according to a report from the Alliance for Human Research Protection.
An astounding 27 million Americans regularly use antidepressants - most of whom are women, the report said. In fact, women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with MDD - Major Depressive Disorder - and three times as likely to be diagnosed with other Dysthymic Disorder, a chronic type of depression in which a person's moods are regularly low.
Worse, antidepressants are increasingly being prescribed for a host of other conditions including hot flashes, neuropathy, headaches, back pain and eating disorders. In fact, the report said, antidepressants are now the third-most prescribed medications, behind cholesterol-lowering drugs and painkillers.
That's bad news for women, based on the meta-analysis findings regarding the higher incidence of breast cancer. But it's also disturbing for women - and, more often, children as well - because of the increased risk to them posed by the dangerous effects of SSRI's.
That class of drugs, "which disturb the brain's chemistry, raising levels of serotonin, increase suicide and have been implicated in homicide cases," said the AHRP report. "They are also linked to birth defects."
And yet, it's difficult to get the word out, mostly because of the medical establishment's ties to Big Pharma and other beholden interests - a phenomenon the AHRP report acknowledges.
The study's authors "report the difficulty of uncovering the serious risks posed by SSRIs from the journal reports that fail to disclose serious negative findings. The tainted reports are often ghostwritten, but signed by prominent psychiatrists who have financial ties to drug manufacturers. The reports serve as industry promotional marketing vehicles--thus, any findings that might interfere with marketing goals are buried."
SSRI-related problems are especially growing in the United States, because doctors here prescribe them freely.
Antidepressant use in the U.S. alone doubled in a 10-year period, between 1996 and 2005. At the same time, research has shown that SSRI use is linked to a number of illnesses and conditions, including increased risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as - oddly enough - psychological problems, many of which have led to suicide.