NSAIDs may block antidepressants

COMMON anti-inflammatory drugs may antagonise the effects of antidepressants, scientists have found.

US researchers analysed the effects of ibuprofen and other NSAIDs on citalopram in an animal model of depression and in a human population.

They showed that in 1500 patients with depression who took citalopram over a 12-week period, 55% of those who had taken an NSAID at least once were treatment-resistant to citalopram, compared with 45% who had not taken an NSAID.

The clinical data was supported in a mouse model, where all the NSAIDs and analgesics tested blocked the antidepressant effect of citalopram.

In vitro studies showed the anti-inflammatories antagonised p11, a biochemical marker for depression. This protein was regulated by frontal cortical levels of the cytokines tumour necrosis factor alpha and interferon gamma, which were also abolished by ibuprofen. 

Clinical pharmacologist Professor  Ric Day, from St