The report was published in the April 25 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For their study, the researchers gave mice SSRIs with and without NSAIDs. By looking at how the mice behaved in tasks sensitive to antidepressants, the researchers found those behaviors inhibited in the mice given NSAIDs.
Warner-Schmidt's team confirmed these findings using data from a previous human study. In that trial, people taking NSAIDs were less likely to have their depressive symptoms relieved by SSRIs than those not taking NSAIDs.
In fact, 54 percent those not taking these anti-inflammatory painkillers said SSRIs relieved their depressive symptoms, compared with 40 percent of those taking both NSAIDs and SSRIs, Warner-Schmidt said.
In addition to their implications for treating depression, these findings may also be important to Alzheimer's patients, according to lead researcher Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard, the Vincent Astor Professor of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at The Rockefeller University.
"Many elderly individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease also have arthritic or related diseases and as a consequence are taking both antidepressant and anti-inflammatory medications. Our results suggest that physicians should carefully balance the advantages and disadvantages of continuing anti-inflammatory therapy in patients being treated with antidepressant medications," he said in university news release.
"This is an important observation that needs to be followed up," said Dr. Charles Nemeroff, the Leonard M. Miller Professor and chairman of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
"If it is possible that drugs that treat pain in any way antagonize the effects of antidepressants, it's really i
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