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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-53

Upper gastrointestinal bleeding in a patient with depression receiving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor therapy

Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Dilshad Garden, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepak Kumar
Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Dilshad Garden, Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.48881

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Background: Serotonin plays an important role in the normal clotting phenomenon and is released by platelets. Platelets are dependent on a serotonin transporter for the uptake of serotonin, as they cannot synthesize it themselves. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) block the uptake of serotonin into platelets and can cause problems with clotting leading to bleeding. Aim: This case report highlights the occurrence of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in the index case on initiating SSRI therapy for depression and the prompt resolution of the same on its discontinuation on two separate occasions. Conclusion: SSRIs may cause upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Physicians should be aware of the same and should try to rule out previous episodes of upper GI bleed or the presence of other risk factors which might predispose to it before prescribing SSRIs; they should also warn the patients about this potential side effect. Also, the presence of thalassemia trait in the index patient deserves special attention and needs to be explored to see if it might in any way contribute in potentiating this side effect of SSRIs.


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