Depression in Covid-19 survivors may be ‘highly’ treatable, new study finds

Persistent depression in Covid-19 survivors can be highly treatable, suggests a small Italian study. Doctors treated 58 patients who had developed post-Covid depression with a widely used class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.

These include sertraline, sold by Pfizer under the brand name Zoloft, Paxil (paroxetine) from GlaxoSmithKline, Prozac (fluoxetine) from Eli Lilly and Co and Celexa (citalopram) from AbbVie’s Allergan unit. .

Usually, around 66% of patients see improvement with SSRIs, but among those with post-COVID-19 depression, 91% responded to treatment within four weeks, researchers reported this week at the European College meeting. of neuropsychopharmacology in Lisbon.

They speculate that depression after COVID-19 is linked to inflammation caused by the coronavirus, and note that SSRIs have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Dr Livia De Picker of the University of Antwerp in Belgium, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement that the results are particularly important for survivors with the persistent symptom syndrome known as of Long COVID, which often includes depression.

A separate study presented at the meeting found that while SSRIs relieved depression in COVID-19 survivors, the drugs had less of an effect on their anxiety levels.

Learn more about the Covid vaccine: the response of chemo patients to the vaccine improves with the booster
A new study quantifies the improvement in protection against COVID-19 obtained with a third booster dose of the vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. “Chemotherapy can weaken the ability of cancer patients to fight infection and respond appropriately to vaccines,” said Deepta Bhattacharya of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, co-author of the study published in
Natural medicine.

His team studied 53 patients receiving chemotherapy for solid tumor cancers who received two injections of the vaccine. Almost all of the subjects had an immune response after vaccination. But “the magnitude of those responses was worse than in people without cancer in almost every measure we measured,” Bhattacharya said.

“In all likelihood, this leaves cancer patients more susceptible to infection and COVID-19 than healthy vaccinated people. The researchers were able to bring 20 of the study participants back for a third dose of the vaccine, to see if immune responses would improve. “Antibody levels have improved in about 80% of cancer patients,” Bhattacharya said. “Our data on cancer patients support the CDC’s broad guidelines that immunocompromised people should receive a third dose of Pfizer vaccine.”

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