Popular Science

Antidepressants might contribute to antibiotic resistance

But even if they do, they're not our biggest concern.
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Antibiotic resistance is on the rise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 13 percent of all Americans report taking antidepressants, a stark increase from three decades ago when barely one in 50 Americans took such medications. At the same time, antibiotic resistance in infectious bacteria is on the rise, causing about 700,000 deaths around the world every year. That number is expected to scorch up to 10 million deaths a year by 2050 if current models hold true.

While correlation never automatically equals causation, a new study show that the key ingredient of some common antidepressants can induce genetic mutations in that increase antibiotic resistance, fueling worries that increased and unregulated use of antidepressants could exacerbate the rise of superbugs.

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