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Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 in Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Pharma

Mouse Study: NSAIDs May Interfere With SSRI Activity

Mouse Study: NSAIDs May Interfere With SSRI Activity


Antiinflammatory drugs, specifically aspirin and NSAIDs, may interfere with the antidepressant effect of SSRIs, according to a mouse study published online today in PNAS (subscription required). The speculative reason: These COX-2 inhibitors reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines, like TNF alpha and interferon gamma, which may otherwise figure importantly in the antidepressant effect of SSRIs.

In NSAID-treated mice, investigators at New York’s Rockefeller University and Inter-Cellular Therapies found depressed brain* levels of TNF alpha and interferon gamma, which are otherwise increased with SSRI therapy. A human correlate is suggested by a post-hoc analysis of a subpopulation from the first round of the landmark STAR*D Study. Overall the SSRI citalopram (Celexa) was effective for about 55% of enrollees; among those taking NSAIDs, the efficacy rate was about 45%.

As expected, quoted scientific pundits say that more study, with confirmation of the results, is needed

COX = cyclooxygenase; NSAID = nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug; PNAS = Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; SSRI = selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor; STAR*D = Sequenced Treatment Alternative to Relieve Depression; TNF = tumor necrosis factor.

* Specifically in the murine frontal cortex.

Photo of generic ibuprofen tablets from Wikipedia.

bmartin (1127 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.