Angiotensin Receptor Blockers As A Med For High Blood Pressure, Increases Suicide Risk By 63 Percent
A new study conducted by the Applied Health Research Center at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto has made a disturbing revelation that a common type of high blood pressure
medication used by many is associated with an increased risk of suicide
as it alters the moods of patients.
Individuals taking angiotensin receptor blockers
) appear to be more likely to die by suicide, compared to those who take another type of high blood pressure drug
called ACE inhibitors, researchers found.
Individuals using angiotensin receptor blockers
) had a 63% increased risk of death by suicide
over people on ACE inhibitors, the findings showed.
Examples of angiotenson receptor blockers
) include: Atacand (candesartan), Avapro (irbesartan), Benicar (olmesartan), Cozaar (losartan), Diovan (valsartan), Micardis (telmisartan) and Teveten (eprosartan)
Professor Dr Muhammad Mamdani, director of the Applied Health Research Center of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital, in Toronto commented in a phone interview with Thailand Medical
News, "There is reason for concern. Now would I be going en masse and change everybody's prescriptions? No, not just yet. We should have more work done in this area. But certainly if I had a choice as a patient, I would be choosing the ACE inhibitor
over the angiotensin receptor blockers
Angiotensin receptor blockers
and ACE inhibitors both work by interfering with the action of angiotensin II, a hormone in the body that causes blood vessels to constrict.
Angiotensin receptor blockers
) work by blocking the ability of angiotensin II to bind with receptors and command blood vessels to narrow, while ACE inhibitors actually lower the amount of the hormone produced within the body.
Both drugs are widely used to treat high blood pressure
, chronic kidney disease, heart failure and diabetes. Mamdani and his colleagues pursued their new research based on earlier studies suggesting angiotensin receptor blockers
) might be linked to suicide
Utilizing Canadian health databases, the investigators identified 964 people who died by suicide
within 100 days of being prescribed either angotensin receptor blockers
or ACE inhibitors. They then compared those people to a control group of just over 3,000 people also taking either type of high blood pressure
The findings showed that people taking angiotensin receptor blockers
had a statistically significant higher risk of suicide
than those on an ACE inhibitor.
Dr Mamdani further commented, "It is a fairly commonly used set of drugs, and lots of people would be affected by it. Certain people, especially if you're susceptible to mood disorders, may be even more at risk,"
Dr Mamdani and his research team noted that angiotensin receptor blockers
) might cause levels of angiotensin II to increase in the brain. "That could be related to mood disorders, and that could trigger suicidal-type behavior," Mamdani suggested.
Patients taking angiotensin receptor blockers
) for High Blood Pressure
or other diseases are advised to consult their physicians and also to consider switching to ACE inhibitors.
The study was published in the Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA) on Oct. 16.
Reference: Association Between Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors, Angiotensin Receptor Blockers, and Suicide
Muhammad Mamdani, PharmD, MA, MPH; Tara Gomes, MHSc, PhD; Simon Greaves, MSc; et alSelina Manji, PharmD; David N. Juurlink, MD, PhD; Mina Tadrous, PharmD, PhD; Sidney H. Kennedy, MD; Tony Antoniou, PharmD, PhD JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(10):e1913304. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.13304