Navigation Links
Newer Antidepressants May Be Safe for Parkinson's Patients

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Some of the newer antidepressants can help treat depression in people with Parkinson's disease without aggravating other disease symptoms such as tremor or rigidity, researchers have found.

Nearly 1 million people in the United States are living with Parkinson's disease, a progressive movement disorder marked by tremor, slowness and/or rigidity. Parkinson's disease and depression tend to travel together, and there has been concern that some of the medications used to treat depression may worsen motor symptoms.

A new study published online April 11 and in the April 17 print issue of Neurology shows that this is not the case, at least when it comes to the antidepressants Paxil (paroxetine) and Effexor (venlafaxine).

Paxil is in the class of drugs known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) while Effexor is an SNRI (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor).

In the new study of 115 people with Parkinson's disease, participants received Paxil, Effexor or an inactive "placebo" pill. The researchers followed-up with patients for 12 weeks and found that both antidepressants improved symptoms of depression without worsening some of the motor symptoms associated with the disease.

On average, those people who took Paxil had a 59 percent improvement and those receiving Effexor had a 52 percent improvement in scores on a standardized tool measuring depression. People who received the placebo had a 32 percent improvement. Three other depression-rating scales showed similar results.

The drugs did not lead to any worsening in motor symptoms, the investigators noted. Use of antidepressants did not improve anxiety levels, thought processes or overall health-related quality of life among the study participants.

Sleep problems were among the most commonly reported side effects. Weight gain was seen with Paxil and at the final study visit, an increase in sitting blood pressure was seen with Effexor, according to the report.

"Depression is the number-one factor negatively affecting the quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease," study author Dr. Irene Hegeman Richard, a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., said in a university news release. "It causes a great deal of suffering among patients. The great news here is that it's treatable. And when the depression is treated adequately, many of the other symptoms become much more manageable for patients."

Depression in Parkinson's disease is caused by the underlying disease process, not the stress of dealing with a chronic disease, she said.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Joe Verghese, a neurologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, said the study provides good news for people with Parkinson's disease and depression. "There is always a concern that we may upset the applecart in Parkinson's by adding a new medication."

Dr. Roy Alcalay, an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, agreed that treating depression in Parkinson's disease can be a delicate balance. "The new study validates what we have been doing," he said. "The medications used to treat depression in the general population work as well for Parkinson's disease, and there is no evidence that they have bad side effects on motor symptoms."

While the new study only looked at two antidepressants, "this doesn't mean that others don't work," Alcalay said. As to the robust placebo effect seen in the new study, he said that "just thinking that they are getting treated often helps people with depression."

Treating depression in Parkinson's is important, Alcalay said, and "the study helps us do so in a more educated way."

The U.S. National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine funded the study. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals provided Effexor XR and the placebo, while GlaxoSmithKline provided Paxil.

More information

Learn more about Parkinson's disease at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Roy Alcalay, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Joe Verghese, M.D., neurologist, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, New York City; University of Rochester, news release, April 9, 2012; April 11, 2012, Neurology, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Research finds newer radiation therapy technology improves patients quality of life
2. Buildup of Newer Flame Retardants Concerns Scientists
3. FDA Advisers: Newer Forms of the Pill Need Revised Warning Labels
4. FDA Panels to Weigh Safety of Newer Forms of the Pill
5. Newer Blood Thinner May Pose Danger to Trauma Patients
6. Newer Drug Seems Better at Controlling Lupus Kidney Complication
7. Newer Not Necessarily Better for Football Helmet Design
8. More Evidence Shows Newer Forms of Pill Raise Clot Risk, FDA Says
9. Newer Pill May Raise Blood Clot Risk
10. Newer Contraceptive Pills Could Raise Clot Risk, FDA Warns
11. Are Newer MS Drugs Worth Their High Price Tag?
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Newer Antidepressants May Be Safe for Parkinson's Patients
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity ... have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are ... the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD and ... diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians can ... from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient entry ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery Institute today ... dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first of these is ... together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, at Milton ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery ... 19, 2015, our surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What ... up every day excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have served ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... new set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ... These classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... Ein neuer Kombinationsansatz vereint ... --> Ein neuer Kombinationsansatz vereint Immuntherapie ... --> Ein neuer Kombinationsansatz vereint Immuntherapie ... Clinical Cancer Research vom 6. November ... vom 6. November 2015 berichtet. --> ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Global Tumor Marker ... Volume and Sales Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, ... report to their offering. --> ... the "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Carolina , 26 november 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (AAIPharma/CML) kondigt de geplande investering aan van ... van de laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor ... De uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte ... voldaan aan de groeiende behoeften van de ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: