Anti-inflammatory agents may improve anti-depressant effects

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anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant, depression and inflammation, inflammation and moodSome anti-inflammatory drugs seem to improve antidepressant treatment effects and depression symptoms, according to a large evidence review in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica.

Data from 36 trials was included. Anti‐inflammatory agents (NSAIDs, cytokine inhibitors, statins, glucocorticoids and minocycline) improved depressive symptoms compared to placebo as add‐on in people with major depressive disorder and when taken alone.

In the trials that did report on adverse effects, researchers found no increased risks for gastrointestinal symptoms, pain/muscle aching or cardiovascular events in people on anti-inflammatory agents compared with those on placebo. But there was an increased risk for infections.

“Anti‐inflammatory agents improved antidepressant treatment effects,” the group concludes. “Future randomised clinical trials need to include longer follow‐up, identify optimal doses and subgroups of patients that can benefit from anti‐inflammatory intervention. This definitely bolsters our chances of being able to provide personalized treatment for individual patients in the longer term. Of course, we always have to weigh the effects against the potential side-effects of the anti-inflammatory drugs.”

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