Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Atherosclerosis Prevention Research Center AND School of Medicine, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Imam Reza Hospital, Student Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


BACKGROUND: Major depression or deterioration of previous mood disorders is a common adverse consequence of coronary heart disease, heart failure, and cardiac revascularization procedures. Therefore, treatment of depression is expected to result in improvement of mood condition in these patients. Despite demonstrated effects of anti-depressive treatment in heart disease patients, the use of some antidepressants have shown to be associated with some adverse cardiac and non-cardiac events. In this narrative review, the authors aimed to first assess the findings of published studies on beneficial and also harmful effects of different types of antidepressants used in patients with heart diseases. Finally, a new categorization for selecting antidepressants according to their cardiovascular effects was described. METHODS: Using PubMed, Web of Science, SCOPUS, Index Copernicus, CINAHL, and Cochrane Database, we identified studies designed to evaluate the effects of depression and also using antidepressants on cardiovascular outcome. A 40 studies were finally assessed systematically. Among those eligible studies, 14 were cohort or historical cohort studies, 15 were randomized clinical trial, 4 were retrospective were case-control studies, 3 were meta-analyses and 2 animal studies, and 2 case studies. RESULTS: According to the current review, we recommend to divide antidepressants into three categories based on the severity of cardiovascular adverse consequences including (1) the safest drugs including those drugs with cardio-protective effects on ventricular function, as well as cardiac conductive system including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, (2) neutralized drugs with no evidenced effects on cardiovascular system including serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and (3) harmful drugs with adverse effects on cardiac function, hemodynamic stability, and heart rate variability including tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitors, and noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants. CONCLUSION: The presented categorization of antidepressants can be clinically helpful to have the best selection for antidepressants to minimizing their cardiovascular harmful effects.