Antidepressant medications (AMs) are frequently used in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Many AMs enhance serotonin (5-HT) availability, but this phenomenon may actually worsen IBD. We hypothesized that use of 5-HT-enhancing AMs would be associated with poor clinical outcomes in these disorders. We performed a retrospective cohort study using the Merative Health Marketscan® commercial claims database between 1/1/05 and 12/31/14. Participants (18–63 years) were either controls or had ≥ 2 ICD-9 diagnoses for IBD with ≥ 1 year of continuous insurance enrollment before index diagnosis and 2 years after. We identified new AM prescriptions using the medication possession ratio. Primary outcomes were corticosteroid use (IBD-only), IBD-related complication (IBD-only), IBD-related surgery (IBD-only), hospitalization, and emergency department (ED) visit(s) within 2 years of diagnosis or starting AM. We calculated adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) in IBD AM users (for each outcome). We also performed subgroup analyses considering IBD and AM subtype. In the IBD cohort (n = 29,393, 41.4% female; 42.2%CD), 5.2% used AMs. In IBD, AM use was independently associated with corticosteroid use, ED visits, and hospitalizations, but not IBD-related complications. AM use was associated with a decreased risk of surgery. In the control cohort (n = 29,393, 41.4% female), AM use was also independently associated with ED visits and hospitalizations, and there was an increased likelihood of these two outcomes compared to the IBD cohort. In conclusion, while AM use was independently associated with an increased risk of ED visits and hospitalization in IBD, these risks were statistically more common in a matched control cohort. Additionally, AM use was associated with reduced risk of surgery in IBD, demonstrating a potential protective role in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1060
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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