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New Study: Antidepressants Commonly Prescribed with Tamoxifen Put Women at Much Higher Risk for Recurrent Breast Cancer
Date:5/30/2009

macy and medical records were analyzed to determine the medications used and the incidence of a breast cancer recurrence. Comparisons were made between the cohorts using a CYP2D6 inhibitor and the group on tamoxifen only. The study found that women taking a moderate to strong CYP2D6 inhibitor had a two-year breast cancer recurrence rate of 13.9 percent, 1.9 times higher than the 7.5 percent recurrence rate of those only using tamoxifen.

Given that 60 percent of the women in the study on a CYP2D6 inhibitor were using an SSRI, the researchers examined a subset that included only those patients taking an SSRI and divided it into two cohorts, one that included 213 women on a moderate to potent CYPD2D6 inhibitor SSRI, and one made up of 137 women using a weak CYP2D6 inhibitor SSRI.

Results showed an even greater increase in the risk of a recurrence among those taking a moderate to potent CYP2D6 inhibitor SSRI as compared to the initial analysis. These women had a rate of breast cancer recurrence of 16 percent, 2.2 times higher than women only taking tamoxifen. Patients using SSRIs that are weak CYP2D6 inhibitors had a disease recurrence rate of 8.8 percent and were not at any increased risk for the disease.

"Since the majority of women using a CYP2D6 inhibitor were taking an SSRI, we felt it was incumbent upon us to look specifically at that drug class," said Epstein. "What we found is that the choice of which SSRI is prescribed could make a huge difference in whether there's a recurrence of the disease. That's very important information for breast cancer patients and their physicians."

Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen is one of the oldest and most widely used treatments for reducing the risk of breast cancer recurrence among women with estrogen-dependent tumors. The drug works by blocking the estrogen receptors in the breast cells and can reduce the risk of a breast cancer re
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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