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Depressing news about popular painkillers...
phylisfeinerjohnson posted:
If you thought you were depressed before, wait till you finish this paragraph. Researchers say popular painkillers could block the effects of antidepressants like Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac or Lexapro?

This means YOU or a loved one. Do you take Advil or Motrin or Aleve? Well, the researchers found that people taking these NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) were significantly less likely to get results from their SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) antidepressants.

The key word here is "significantly." It's not like Advil turned Prozac totally off. Plus, a lot more research is needed. But, if I get a pounding headache, I'm personally going to pop an NSAID, because Tylenol is a whole lot scarier.

However, if I had major arthritis plus depression, I'd take this research seriously?

According to a new report published April 25, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the effectiveness of SSRI antidepressants is reduced by 15% when taken alongside anti-inflammatory drugs.

Since inflammation is thought to worsen or cause depression in some people, researchers were justifiably surprised. Because, logically, they expected that combining an anti-inflammatory with an antidepressant would improve, not reduce, depressive symptoms.
Makes sense, don't you think?

But, researcher and co-author of the study Dr. Jennifer Warner-Schmidt said: "It appears there's a very strong antagonistic relationship between NSAIDs and SSRIs. This may be one reason why the response rate (in patients of SSRIs) is so low."

What seems to be at work here, is a matter of imbalance. (You know, what works for some doesn't work for all.)

SSRI antidepressants work by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin in our brains. And by balancing these natural chemicals, they affect our moods and emotions. But it appears that if this delicate balance is upset by a foreign agent — like an anti-inflammatory — all bets are off. Especially if someone is in chronic pain and uses an anti-inflammatory regularly for relief.

But the resolution remains in question. And more clinical trials will be needed to assess the strength and quality of the anti-inflammatory, together with the treatment and chemical imbalances being addressed by the antidepressant.

Meanwhile, Paul Greengard, the study's senior author and Vincent Astor Professor of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at Rockefeller University, advises, "physicians should consider the advantages and disadvantages of giving an anti-inflammatory with the antidepressant depending on how severe the pain is and how depressed they are."

That isn't to say: "Throw away your pain killers!" But it might make you (and me) think twice before popping some more ibuprofen?

At least, it's certainly worth checking out with your doctor.

Phylis Feiner Johnson
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
Thank you for sharing - that is depressing. I hope there is research going on to help counter this!


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