– Researchers say the risk is for all antidepressants, not just some types
– The pills could put hundreds of thousands at risk of type 2 diabetes
– The increased risk could be because people on antidepressants are more likely to be overweight and this is a risk factor for diabetes
– Scientists think the pills may also be an independent risk factor
Antidepressants taken by hundreds of thousands of people may increase the chances of developing diabetes, researchers warn.
A major study involving more than a million patients has shown that those taking all antidepressant pills are at far higher risk from the condition.
Academics from Southampton University think this may be because antidepressants cause weight gain which in turn leads to type 2 diabetes.
But despite the strong link, they cannot be sure that the pills are definitely causing the condition.
Patients on antidepressants are more likely to be overweight so have a higher risk of developing diabetes in the first place than healthy individuals.
The numbers of Britons taking antidepressants has soared in the last decade and more than 50 million prescriptions were handed out by GPs last year compared to just 20 million in 1999.
But experts say doctors are handing out the pills too freely without considering the possible long-term side effects.
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