Anti-inflammatories May Help Ease Depression

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Oct. 22, 2014 — Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help ease depressive symptoms along with antidepressants, new research suggests.

The results link this additional use of NSAIDs — in particular, Celebrex (celecoxib) — to people having better responses to antidepressants without a higher risk of side effects. The study was published online Oct. 15 in JAMA Psychiatry.

There may be a connection between depression and inflammation, evidence suggests. Several studies have looked into whether anti-inflammatory drugs might have antidepressant effects, with conflicting results, say the study authors, led by Ole Kohler, MD, of Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark.

The researchers reviewed 14 trials that looked at the effects of anti-inflammatory drug treatment in a total of 6,262 adults with depressive symptoms or depression.

The researchers say most studies were small and lasted a short time. The studies also “tended to exaggerate treatment effects.”

Still, specific anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly celecoxib, showed promise, and research should continue, they write. 

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