Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hepatitis C drug can cause depression

02.05.2012
There's a high rate of depression among patients with hepatitis C, but a standard treatment for the disease includes a drug, interferon, that can cause depression.

In a review article, researchers tackle the complexities of diagnosing and managing depression before and after initiating treatment with interferon.

Dr. Murali S. Rao of Loyola University Medical Center is a co-author of the study, published in the International Journal of Interferon, Cytokine and Mediator Research.

"Depression is a relatively frequent and potentially serious complication of interferon therapy for hepatitis C virus infection," the researchers write. "However, other etiologies [causes] of depression may coexist and have to be carefully excluded."

Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States. At least 4 million people have been exposed and 3.2 million are chronic carriers.

The drugs ribavirin and pegylated interferon are mainstay treatments. Pegylated interferon can help relieve muscle and joint pain and reduce the disabling fatigue. But a well-established side effect of interferon is depression of variable severity -- including suicidal thoughts. The prevalence of depression among hepatitis C patients receiving interferon has been reported to be between 10 percent and 40 percent, depending on the screening method used.

One of the main concerns in treating hepatitis C patients is the risk of suicide, especially since many patients already are depressed before beginning therapy. Patients who have a personal or family history of a serious mood disorder, depression, suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts "should be carefully interviewed and referred to a specialist for assessment of suicide risk and treatment of the underlying disorder before treatment with interferon can be considered," the authors write.

The SSRI class of antidepressants, such as citalopram (brand name, Celexa), have been shown to be effective in treating depression in hepatitis patients treated with interferon. The related SNRI class of antidepressants, such as milnacipran (Savella), also can reduce depressive symptoms in patients taking interferon. But there have been conflicting results in studies on whether giving antidepressants before starting interferon can prevent depression, the authors write.

Interferon can affect the level of serotonin, a compound that is responsible in part for regulating mood and other brain functions. This may be the reason why antidepressants don't always work in patients who take interferon, the authors write.

Rao, an expert on depression, is chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Other authors are Dr. Haris Papafragkakis (first author) and Dr. Paul Martin of the University of Miami, Dr. Martin Moehlen of Tulane University and Dr. Sonu Dhillon of St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Ill.

Jim Ritter | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lumc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>