Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Lower Antidepressant Efficacy

In mice, humans, anti-inflammatories attenuate effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

WEDNESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, appear to reduce the effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), according to a study published online April 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jennifer L. Warner-Schmidt, Ph.D., of The Rockefeller University in New York City, and colleagues evaluated the possible interaction between antidepressant agents and anti-inflammatory agents on antidepressant-induced behaviors and on p11, a biochemical marker of depressive-like states and antidepressant responses, in mice and humans.

The investigators found that behavioral responses to SSRIs were inhibited by anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatments in mice, which the investigators then confirmed in humans. Compared to depressed individuals who reported no anti-inflammatory drug use, the investigators found that depressed individuals who reported use of anti-inflammatory drugs were much less likely to have their symptoms relieved by an SSRI. Specifically, 54 percent of patients responded to the antidepressant in the absence of any anti-inflammatory or analgesic drug use, while the success rate decreased to about 40 percent among those who reported using anti-inflammatory agents.

"Our data indicate that clinicians should carefully balance the therapeutic benefits of anti-inflammatory agents versus the potentially negative consequences of antagonizing the therapeutic efficacy of antidepressant agents in patients suffering from depression," the authors write.

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