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MALIBU, Calif., April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cliffside Malibu, one of America's leading drug and alcohol treatment centers, is strongly urging its patients who are currently taking antidepressants not to stop, despite a new study and subsequent media reports that such drugs could raise the risk of heart attack or stroke in middle-age men taking the medications.  Cliffside is using e-mail, phone calls and face-to-face therapy sessions to encourage its patients who rely on those medications to continue doing so under close supervision by their psychiatrists.

"While the findings of this very preliminary study are interesting and should be taken seriously, we are strongly urging our patients to continue using antidepressants as prescribed," said Cliffside Malibu CEO Richard Taite.  "The immediate, serious risks to our patients were they to abruptly halt the use of antidepressants far outweigh potential adverse health effects."

A presentation at a cardiology conference earlier this week suggested antidepressants could lead to as much as a five percent increase in the thickness of the carotid artery.  The study's author, Dr. Amit Shah, has reportedly cautioned that the findings of the 513-person study are not enough to warrant taking patients off of antidepressants, and noted that depression elevates risk for heart disease.

"The symptoms of depression in our patients, many of whom suffer from mood and other disorders, are often acute and even life-threatening.  We are reaching out to every current and former patient to educate them and to ensure they make wise decisions in partnership with their physicians," added Taite.

About Cliffside Malibu

Cliffside Malibu is a full-service residential drug rehab and alcohol addiction treatment center in the Los Angeles area.  At C

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