Review: ß-blocker therapy not associated with depression

HealthDay News – According to a study published online March 15 in Hypertension, there appears to be no association between beta-blocker therapy and depression.

Thomas G. Riemer, MD, Ph.D., of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and colleagues performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of data from double-blind, randomized controlled trials to assess the risk of psychiatric adverse events (PAEs) . or discontinuation of therapy for PAEs related to the use of beta-blockers. The odds ratios were calculated for individual PAEs and the withdrawal rates for ß-blockers versus placebo or other active treatment. Data were included for 285 eligible studies involving 53,533 patients.

A high risk of bias was found in 79 percent of the studies. The researchers found that depression was the most commonly reported PAE, with a total of 1,600 cases, but did not occur more frequently during treatment with β-blockers compared to placebo (odds ratio 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval 0.83 up to 1.25). No association was found between the use of ß-blockers and withdrawal from depression (odds ratio: 0.97; 95 percent confidence interval: 0.51 to 1.84). For comparisons with active ingredients, the results were similar. Only unusual dreams, insomnia, and insomnia were possibly associated with beta-blocker therapy among other PAEs.

“The possible psychological side effects of beta-blockers have been the subject of discussion in the scientific community for many decades,” a co-author said in a statement. “Our results, which show that beta-blockers are not the cause of so many of these negative side effects, are quite momentous.”

One author announced financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Depression Neurobehavioral Disorders Treatments

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