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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants are widely prescribed for depression and other disorders. SSRIs have become one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States, particularly by women. Acute effects on body composition and carbohydrate metabolism have been reported, but little is known regarding the effects of chronic SSRI use. We evaluated the effects of chronic administration of a commonly prescribed SSRI, sertraline HCl, on body weight and composition, fat distribution, carbohydrate metabolism, as well as activity, in adult female depressed and nondepressed cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis; n=42) using a placebo-controlled, longitudinal, randomized study design. Phenotypes were evaluated prior to and after 18 months of oral sertraline (20mg/kg) or placebo. Over the 18 month treatment period, the placebo group experienced increases in body weight, body fat (visceral and subcutaneous) fasting insulin concentrations, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance scores (HOMA-IR). Sertraline treatment prevented increases in body weight, fat, insulin, and HOMA-IR (all p<0.05), without significantly altering activity levels. Sertraline treatment altered adiponectin in an unusual way - reducing circulating adiponectin in depressed monkeys without affecting fat mass or body weight. Deleterious effects on adiponectin, a potentially insulin-sensitizing and atheroprotective protein, may result in adverse effects on cardiovascular health despite otherwise beneficial effects on body composition and carbohydrate metabolism.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.