Tag Archives: anti-inflammatory

Small study showed colchicine improved outcomes in COVID-19 patients

A small randomized, double-blind clinical trial published in RMD Open showed colchicine to be safe and effective in treating moderate to severe COVID-19 infections in hospitalized patients. In the study, patients who took the inexpensive drug required supplemental oxygen and hospitalization for less time. This is the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) on colchicine for COVID-19.

Colchicine is most commonly used to prevent attacks of gout or pseudogout arthritis, which are types of arthritis caused by a buildup of crystals in the joints. Blood cells travel to these areas of inflammation, causing pain and swelling. Colchicine prevents white blood cells from traveling into these areas and therefore helps to reduce pain and tenderness.

Colchicine can also be used to treat acute attacks when nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen or ibuprofen cannot be used for safety reasons or have been ineffective. Colchicine is an alkaloid naturally occurring in Colchicum autumnale a plant of Liliaceae family.

Now, it has also been shown to be effective against COVID-19.

From April 11 to August 30, 2020, 72 Brazilian patients received either a placebo or 0.5 milligrams of colchicine three times a day for 5 days followed by the same dose twice a day for 5 days in addition to a standard COVID-19 treatment of azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, heparin, and (after the RECOVERY Collaborative Group results were announced) glucocorticoid. Methylprednisolone was given if supplemental oxygen was 6 liters per minute or higher.

The most common side effect was diarrhea (16.7%), and colchicine doses were adapted if the patient weighed at least 176 pounds (80 kilograms) or had chronic kidney disease. Those on colchicine needed oxygen for an average of 4 days and stayed in the hospital for an average of 7 days; whereas, the control group needed oxygen for 6.5 days and stayed 9 days. The drug’s effect on ICU admission or mortality rate was not quantified, although the researchers note that 1 patient in the colchicine group went to the ICU compared with 3 in the placebo group. Two patients died in the study, both in the placebo group.

While the researchers acknowledge these results are not yet generalizable (34 of 35 patients receiving colchicine were overweight or obese), they concluded colchicine’s ability to slow systemic inflammation is promising. Systemic inflammation is the hallmark of hospitalized patients due to COVID-19. There is no specific treatment but supportive care and attempts to control the immune activation improve the clinical picture. By diminishing the activation of leucocytes, colchicine may be an intervention worthy of being tested further in more patients.

Antidepressants Prozac

Painkillers counteract antidepressants effect, study shows

Antidepressants ProzacResearchers at the The Rockefeller University in New York City, have recently published a study which suggests painkillers such as the simple aspirin or ibuprofen could decrease the effectiveness of certain antidepressant medications.

Their research was conducted on mice, who were administrated with an anti-inflammatory drug (also called an NSAID, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI, a type of antidepressant). After further tests, results showed that these mice scored lowered  when measuring antidepressant effectiveness than mice given only the SSRI, researchers found.

In the SSRI is the most widely spread antidepressant category, which includes the popular Prozac, which however aren’t always effective. Researchers believe this latest study might offer further insights as to why antidepressants don’t always work on certain people, for example those taking anti-inflamatory drugs.

And there’s this long therapeutic delay — you may need to take them for weeks or months, and even then some people don’t respond to them,” said the study’s lead author, Jennifer Warner-Schmidt. “What our data suggest is anti-inflammatory drugs may be one possible preventable reason for that treatment resistance.”

Scientists still don’t know how much anti-inflammatory drugs a person needs to take to counteract the antidepressants, especially since it would vary from person to person; and while it’s probably safe for a person on SSRIs to pop an Advil for a headache, more advanced use of anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen, pretty commonly seen in someone who suffers from chronic pain or arthritis, could counteract the effectiveness of the SSRI, researchers say.

Regarding the mice antidepressive tests some of you might be wondering how exactly do you screen results; I mean you can’t actually have a chat with a mouse about how he’s feeling and how his view upon life has been affected. What scientists did is they evaluated their performance on mobility tests, such as swimming, to see how their mood varied.

On the antidepressant alone, mice experience a 50 to 60 percent increase in mobility, while the anti-inflammatory drugs counteracted the antidepressants to the point where there was no longer a statistically significant improved result on the mobility tests.

“So you could basically say that there was no effect of the SSRI at all with the ibuprofen,” Warner-Schmidt said.

The data gathered in the mice experiments was correlated with past data from 1,546 people on antidepressants who participated in the 12-week STAR*D study, in which participants where asked to report their anti-inflammatory drug use, though it did not ask them to specify how frequently or how long they used those drugs.

As such, researchers have found that SSRI antidepressants were about 55 percent effective among people who did not take anti-inflammatory drugs, as opposed to only 40 percent effective among those who did.

More researchers is needed, but so far scientists have gathered enough statistical data that indeed point to the conclusion that anti-inflamatory drugs affect antidepressant use. From a reactionary point of view, it seems anti-inflammatory medications could counteract the antidepressants by inhibiting the production of a particular signaling protein, called p11.

In the next similar study, Warner-Schmidt said she hopes to do a placebo-controlled study in humans to see if the same effect observed in the mice also occurs in humans.