Influence of antidepressants on glycaemic control in patients with diabetes mellitus†

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Anecdotal evidence suggests that antidepressants (ADs) may complicate glycaemic control. The objective of this longitudinal study was to investigate the influence of ADs on glycaemic control within diabetes patients.


From the pharmacy registry database PHARMO, we selected insulin users who did not use oral antidiabetics. The study population comprised: 133 patients with at least 12 months insulin use before and 6 months during an AD episode, including 56 patients with an additional 6 months of insulin use after the AD episode; 180 patients with 24 months insulin use without an AD episode. Glycaemic control was measured as the amount of insulin used, which was calculated intra-individually in 3-month periods. We stratified for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).


Mean age (s.d.) of the subjects was 53.9 (19) years; 46.9% were men. Overall, the amount of insulin used did not change during or after AD use. No-AD users showed an increase of 16% in amount of insulin used over a period of 2 years (p<0.001). SSRI users showed a decrease of 13% in amount of insulin used during the AD episode (p=0.029), while no change was seen in TCA users. Notable was the large intra- and interindividual variation in amount of insulin used across all groups.


Overall, AD use did not influence glycaemic control in diabetes patients. The tendency for a difference between SSRIs and TCAs is suggestive for a pharmacologic effect of ADs rather than a general effect of depression on glycaemic control. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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