Weird Medicine

Can Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Battle Depression?

Throughout the last few decades and especially in this generation, depression has become a growing problem that’s affecting everyone aged 18 to 30 years old, becoming ever more disillusioned in a society that’s supposed to be more connected due to the rise of modern technology. Yet, the problem just kept on spreading, affecting more and more people with each passing year. Well, according to a new research, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen might just help curb the problem, and even be a safer alternative to antidepressants.

According to statistics, around 7.3 million people, who roughly translate to one in six British adults, take antidepressants for their mental health conditions. However, 30 percent of the time, the drugs do not work, and usually just cause side effects like weight gain, insomnia, and nausea, sometimes even increasing their suicidal thoughts.

However, a newly released analysis of 30 studies that involved around 1,610 people revealed that fighting major depression by use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) is more effective than using placebo or the usual antidepressants. Furthermore, the study also found that anti-inflammatories like omega-3 fatty acids and statins help boost the effectiveness of antidepressants.

A Different Approach

According to experts, the current treatments available for depression center on restoring the brain’s natural mood-boosting chemicals. However, experts are now beginning to think that the cause may be different, and is something as simple as an overactive immune system that’s spreading inflammation throughout the body. This then, provides feeling of hopelessness, fatigue and of course, unhappiness.

In fact, Prof. Alan Carson, from the Center for Clinical Brain Sciences in Scotland’s University of Edinburgh thinks that “depression may simply be the price we pay for having an immune system.” The professor also edited the study, and is the one who published it in the journal.

“This should encourage further consideration of ways in which we could use a range of anti-inflammatory interventions to help people with depression, perhaps especially people who are already taking a conventional antidepressant drug with limited benefit,” Prof. Ed Bullmore, Head of Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, said.

Depression Higher rates of depression diagnoses were observed among women compared to men. Jasper Graetsch/Unsplash