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Diabetes medication promotes effectiveness of antidepressants
Pioglitazone, a drug currently used to treat type 2 diabetes, may increase the efficacy of antidepressants, even in the absence of diabetes, reports a preliminary study published online this week in Neuropsychopharmacology. Though the study will need to be replicated with a larger group of patients, it has implications for how diabetes drugs with similar modes of action as pioglitazone could be used to boost the effectiveness of currently available antidepressant drugs.
Depression severely impacts quality of life and is a major risk factor for premature death from suicide and associated medical conditions including heart disease. Unfortunately, a large proportion of patients treated with available antidepressant drugs fail to respond to medication.
Shahin Akhondzadeh and colleagues treated 40 patients with moderate to severe depression with a common antidepressant, citalopram, either by itself or in conjunction with pioglitazone. Over six weeks of treatment, patients who were also given pioglitazone reported lower symptoms of depression at all times.
Shahin Akhondzadeh (Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
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Natalie Marler (Neuropsychopharmacology, Brentwood, TN, USA)
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