Arthritis drug improves efficacy of antidepressant medication

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Arthritis drug improves efficacy of antidepressant medication

A recent study from Loyola University in Chicago has revealed that arthritis drug Celecoxib boosted the effectiveness of antidepressant medication in severely depressed patients. However,  it does not treat depression on its own. Over a span of eight weeks, researchers studied 55 bipolar adults aged between 18 and 65 years. All participants were experiencing the disease’s depressive phase and had not benefited from an antidepressant drug. Patients were randomized to receive either escitalopram+celecoxib (n=31) or escitalopram+placebo (n=24).

As compared to the placebo group, 78% of patients in the celecoxib group experienced at least 50% reduction in their depression scores. In addition, 63% of the celecoxib group reported to have their depression resolved completely versus 10% of the placebo group. Patients in the celecoxib group also reported a beneficial effect within a week of starting the combination therapy.

Celecoxib treats pain, redness, swelling and inflammation from arthritis and can also manage acute pain and menstrual cramps. These findings support the hypothesis that inflammation plays a critical role in depression.

Reducing inflammation with a drug such as celecoxib reverses treatment resistance and enhances overall antidepressant response. Such an intervention, if implemented relatively early in the course of the disease, may arrest the neuroprogressive course of bipolar disorder.


Loyola University Health System

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Arthritis drug boosts effectiveness of antidepressant medication


Dr. Angelo Halaris

Loyola University Health System
Therapeutic, Celecoxib, Escitalopram, Anti arthritis, Anti depressant, Research article, Efficacy
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