Antidepressants don’t help heart failure patients

One minute, it feels as though your heart might beat out of your chest. And the next, it feels so weak that you wonder if it’s still beating at all.

And when your heart isn’t pumping enough blood out to the rest of your body, you can feel as though you’ve run a marathon – even if you’ve barely been able to get up off the couch. You never get used to that chest tightening and pain that can strike at any moment.

It’s no wonder that roughly 10 to 40 per cent of all heart failure patients are also depressed!

But there’s a difference between having brain chemicals that make you feel depressed… and having a painful and life-threatening ailment that’s downright depressing.

That’s why a new study has found that you should think twice before taking a prescribed anti-depressant if you’re feeling down-and-out with a case of heart failure – because these drugs will do absolutely nothing to improve your depression.

They won’t save your life – and previous research shows that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Lexapro, Zoloft, and Celexa are known to actually CAUSE heart issues.

In 2011, medical authorities warned against these drugs for heart patients because they were linked to abnormal changes in the electrical activity in your heart, which can mess with your cardiac rhythm and even cause a heart attack.

And depending on the dose taken, these SSRIs have also been shown to cause arrhythmias.

That doesn’t mean hope is lost, because the researchers also discovered something else: When the symptoms of heart failure worsened, so did the depression.

And likewise, if they could ease the heart failure symptoms, the depression eased as well.

Natural supplements like vitamin D, carnitine, CoQ10, and hawthorne berry can give failing hearts a much-needed boost… and even lift your spirits.

You can also:

  • Take your dog for a walk, since having a dog and staying active have been shown to reduce heart failure (and increase your chances of survival if you’ve already got it). A little time outside will also get you more of that sunshine vitamin, vitamin D.
  • Salt your food, since too little salt has been linked to heart problems and death.
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, which have been linked to heart failure.
  • Check your prescription drugs, because there are over 100 of them that can cause heart failure, according to the American Heart Association.

A previous study found that you can reduce your risk of heart failure by a third – just by consuming three to five alcoholic drinks per week.

And if you’re feeling blue about heart failure or any other health problem, find somebody to talk to. You don’t need a shrink and you don’t need drugs, but having someone lend an ear can do the world of good.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing

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Antidepressants: No Help to Heart Failure Patients: Study,

FDA Drug Safety Communication: Revised recommendations for Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) related to a potential risk of abnormal heart rhythms with high doses,

CardioBrief: Salt Restriction Harmful in HF?

Common Heart Failure Drugs May Harm More Than Help,

Exercise is essential for heart failure patients,

Over 100 Drugs Pose Risk to Heart Failure Patients,

High prevalence of preclinical heart failure in the population,

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