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Anti-inflammatory drugs may interfere with certain antidepressants

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June 21st, 2011

Scientists at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer s Disease Research at The Rockefeller University have shown that anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen reduce the effectiveness of the most widely used class of antidepressant medications the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The researchers treated mice with antidepressants in the presence or absence of anti-inflammatory drugs. The mice s responses to antidepressants were inhibited by anti-inflammatory treatments. These results were confirmed in humans people with depression who reported taking anti-inflammatory drugs were much less likely to have their symptoms relieved by an antidepressant than those who reported no anti-inflammatory drug use. The study may be especially significant in people with Alzheimer s disease, who commonly suffer from depression. Unless depression is treated successfully, the course of the illness is likely to become more severe. Depression is also a risk factor for developing Alzheimer s disease; researchers have suggested that treating depression in older adults might reduce the risk of developing the disease.

New treatment for shingles?

Researchers at the University of Georgia and Yale University have discovered a compound that may be effective in treating shingles a condition that affects up to 30% of Americans and for which no specific treatment exists. Shingles occurs when the chickenpox virus hides in the nerves. Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for the disease, but it emerges most frequently in adults over the age of 60. Typical symptoms are a painful, blistering rash on one side of the body, and the associated nerve pain can persist for months or years after an attack. The new anti-shingles agent is called L-BHDA, and has been tested in the laboratory and on mice. Preliminary investigations of the compound for human use are being conducted by the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., and Yale University.

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