By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are amid the most broadly prescribed medication for the treatment of depression. They consist of drugs like Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).

“We observed that patients using SSRIs ended up (on typical) 8% much less very likely to die from COVID-19 than matched controls,” explained examine creator Marina Sirota. She’s an associate professor with the Bakar Computational Overall health Sciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco.

Even much more encouraging was the increased survival level between those people taking two specific SSRIs — Prozac (fluoxetine) and Luvox (fluvoxamine). The 481 clients taking possibly Prozac or Luvox by itself — with no any other antidepressant — had been 26% to 28% considerably less probable to die from COVID-19, the study group located.

With more than 5 million deaths globally currently attributed to the lethal coronavirus, the study offers welcome information, with one particular skilled calling Luvox, in specific, a “substantial activity-changer.”

The acquiring follows a critique of the experiences of more than 10,000 COVID-19 patients. All were being dealt with at a single of 87 amenities across the United States between January and September 2020.

All also shared equivalent clinical and socioeconomic backgrounds pre-prognosis, but there was 1 crucial variance: about just one-3rd were being getting an SSRI.

Reporting Nov. 15 in JAMA Community Open up, Sirota and her colleagues pointed out that about 500 sufferers (practically 15%) who experienced been having an SSRI died from COVID-19, when compared with a very little a lot more than 1,100 (almost 17%) of individuals not on an SSRI.

And the evident protecting effect of SSRIs greater considerably when concentrating on Prozac and Luvox. Just 48 of the 481 clients (10%) on Prozac or Luvox died.

Comparable encouraging results had been a short while ago documented for Luvox in the journal The Lancet Worldwide Wellness.

So what’s likely on? Sirota stated it can be way too soon to say for absolutely sure.

“Our research,” she pressured, “simply just displays an association between SSRIs and COVID-19 results, and won’t investigate the mechanism of action of why the medicines could possibly operate. Additional reports want to be carried out to investigate this dilemma, as very well as why certain SSRIs could possibly be much more protecting than other people.”

In a very similar vein, Sirota explained it is really premature to advocate working with SSRIs as a treatment method for COVID-19. “Extra scientific trials will need to be carried out before these medications can be used in sufferers heading ahead,” she cautioned.

Continue to, many theories have been presented by Dr. Nicolas Hoertel, an associate professor of psychiatry with Paris University and Corentin-Celton Clinic in France.

“Initial, various antidepressants have known anti-inflammatory homes focusing on particularly the irritation markers noticed in extreme COVID-19,” famous Hoertel, who authored an editorial accompanying the review in JAMA Community Open up.

Hoertel also pointed to the latest German exploration that identified the impact that SSRIs have on a distinct variety of cellular excess fat (lipid), which the COVID-19 virus relies on to achieve obtain to a patient’s cells. SSRIs ended up discovered to bring about a drop in this kind of lipids, he stated, with Prozac and Luvox exhibiting the strongest lipid-lowering affect.

“This system could direct to equally anti-viral and anti-inflammatory outcomes dependent on the dose approved,” he observed.

This could turn out to be excellent information for the world wide effort to rein in COVID-19, notably in poorer locations exactly where vaccination costs keep on being very low and accessibility to therapy is constrained, mentioned Hoertel.

“Many revealed scientific trials have proven that fluvoxamine (Luvox) constitutes an powerful, safe, cheap ($4 for every 10-day program), simple-to-use, and properly-tolerated selection for the administration of ambulatory clients with COVID-19,” he mentioned. This could also enable hospitals stay away from high priced and at times dangerous treatments, Hoertel added.

Also, “it could represent a strong added weapon to vaccines towards the virus,” he included, “and a large video game-changer to community well being, supplied its broad availability, long-expression regarded tolerability and very low price tag, if wellbeing and political authorities seize this prospect.”

As for Prozac, Hoertel noted that this “important medication” (so considered by the Earth Overall health Organization) seems to exhibit the strongest lipid-decreasing energy among all SSRIs, “and probably the best outcome in this research.” But he cautioned that much more analysis will be desired to validate any anti-COVID benefit.

Resources: Marina Sirota, PhD, associate professor, Bakar Computational Well being Sciences Institute, College of California, San Francisco Nicolas Hoertel, MD, MPH, PhD, associate professor, psychiatry, Paris College and Corentin-Celton Hospital, Paris, France JAMA Community Open, Nov. 15, 2021, on the net

Copyright © 2021 HealthDay. All legal rights reserved.