Women who take antidepressants or tranquilizers may have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer , but researchers are not sure , whether it is the drugs or the mental condition for which they are taken that may be responsible .
Over all , women who reported any use of tranquilizers or anti depressants had twice the risk of developing ovarian cancer , compared to women of the same age who did not take the drugs , the study found .
Women who appeared to be at highest risk were those who started taking the medication before age 50
These women had about 3 times the normal risk , anxiety adversely affect women’s hormone levels said Dr. Bernard Harlow of Brigham and women’s hospital in Borton .
Because these women developed ovarian cancer at least 10 years after they first started taking the medications , it is unlikely that they had the cancer before taking the drugs , Harlow said the tranquilizers studied were benzodiazepines , the most commonly used drugs .
The antidepressants studied were from a group known as tricylics and also are commonly used drugs . the antidepressants studied were from a group known as tricyclics and also are commonly used .
After further study the medications are found to be related to ovarian cancer , could be because they affect metabolism of estrogen and gonadotropin , two hormones involved in regulating the menstrual cycle
The medications may cause the premature degradation of estrogen which would lead to higher levels of gonodotropin , this has been associated with ovarian cancer in animal studies . efforts are under way to study whether the apparent risk of ovarian cancer is related to the medications or the mental conditions , such as severe depression or anxiety for which they are prescribed
An estimated 26000 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the united states this year , according to the American cancer society , ovarian cancer accounts for about 5 percent of all cancers amongst women[ courtesy – medinews , February 2996 ]