Can This Painkiller Improve Symptoms of Depression?

Can This Painkiller Improve Symptoms of Depression?

Can This Painkiller Improve Symptoms of Depression?

It is not unusual for researchers, doctors or even a member of the general public to discover that medication prescribed for one ailment is useful in another.

A popular example of this is the use of Aspirin, generally sold as a mild painkiller it is increasingly being used in small doses to protect against high blood pressure that may ultimately prevent more serious conditions.

But researchers from the Brown University recently published a review in the Psychopharmacology Update journal examining if a widely used anti-inflammatory medication was useful for treating depression:

Anti-inflammatory medications included NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors, proinflammatory cytokine inhibitors, and minocycline.

The review examined 14 randomised clinical trials that included 6,262 participants and after analysis was able to draw clear conclusions:

Anti-inflammatory medications used alone or as adjunctive therapy to treat depression or depressive symptoms resulted in symptom improvement without increasing the risk of adverse effects

The researchers identified one particular medication that appeared to offer the greatest benefit:

Celecoxib (Celebrex) was included in all of the NSAID studies, and it was associated with a trend toward superiority, researchers reported. Celecoxib as adjunctive treatment resulted in significant improvement compared with placebo, and it improved both remission and response.

The authors stated that this is the first study to analyse this particular medication for use in depression treatment:

“To our knowledge, the present study is the first to analyze the overall effect and emphasize the potential antidepressant treatment effects of celecoxib, with and without concomitant antidepressant medication. The effect is considered large and thus clinically relevant.”

While more research may be needed to identify exactly why this result was found it offers incentive to further investigate if celecoxib and similar medications may be of use as an antidepressant.