Study Says: Aspirin and Ibuprofen are Safer and More Effective in Battling Major Depression Than Antidepressants

Aspirin may not avert strokes for people with irregular heart rhythm. Photo: Reuters

Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin can battle major depression effectively and could be a safer alternative than antidepressants, a major new study suggests.

More than one in six British adults – around 7.3 million people – take antidepressants but the drugs do not work for around 30 per cent, and can bring side-effects such as nausea, insomnia, weight gain and even suicidal thoughts.

Now an analysis of 30 studies involving 1,610 people has concluded that NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) were 79 per cent more effective at fighting major depression than a placebo.

Researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, who carried out the analysis concluded that ‘anti-inflammatory agents show promising effects’ and called for long-term follow ups.

The study also found that other anti-inflammatories such as statins and omega-3 fatty acids also fight depression, and that the drugs boost the effectiveness of antidepressants when taken together.

Current treatment for depression is largely centred around restoring mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, but experts now think the cause may be an overactive immune system triggering inflammation throughout the entire body which sparks feelings of hopelessness, unhappiness and fatigue.

It is similar to the low mood and that people often experience when they are fighting a virus, such as flu, and some scientists believe it is an evolutionary adaptation that kept sick people away from their family and friends.

Doctors first noticed a link between inflammation and depression and finding that people who have vaccinations often feel glum as their immune system ramps up following a jab.

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SOURCE: Yahoo! News