SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • mirtazapine;
  • depression;
  • cancer;
  • nested case-control study;
  • pharmacoepidemiology

ABSTRACT

Purpose

We conducted a nested case-control study to evaluate the association between risk of cancer and mirtazapine use in depression patients in Taiwan.

Methods

We obtained data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database to conduct a population-based nested case-control study. The study cohort included 16 897 patients diagnosed with depression between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2008. We identified 530 cancer patients as the study group and matched 4 non-cancer subjects with each cancer patient by incident density, age, and sex. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using multivariate conditional logistic regression analysis.

Results

Use of mirtazapine for depression did not have significant effect on overall cancer incidence (odds ratio: 1.03, 95% confidence interval: 0.72–1.48). Further analysis of annual mirtazapine dosages and the duration of mirtazapine use revealed no significant effect on cancer risk.

Conclusion

The findings of this population-based nested case-control study suggest that mirtazapine use may not provide a tumor suppression effect in humans such as that seen in the animal model. Future large-scale and in-depth investigations in this area are warranted. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.