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When people are taking medications for a certain condition they have to be aware that taking additional drugs can impact how the medicine works. Many times when people take over-the-counter or very common drugs, they don’t think that they will have negative interactions with prescribed medications.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of drugs that fall into the category of medications that people typically do not think will negatively impact their prescribed medications. NSAIDs are a group of drugs that are usually sold to help relieve pain. They work by reducing prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins increase inflammation and pain. Some of the most common examples of NSAIDs are Motrin, aspirin, Celebrex, Toradol, Aleve, Naprosyn, Voltaren, Lodine, Indocin, and Daypro. NSAIDs are used from anything from headaches to arthritis.
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it was found that when NSAIDs were combined with antidepressant medications, the NSAIDS reduced the effectiveness of the antidepressant. Specifically, people who were taking SSRI antidepressants did not have their medication work as well when they also took NSAIDs. Examples of SSRI antidepressants include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, or Symbyax.
In a National Institutes of Mental Health (NIHM) Depression Study called the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D), there was conferring evidence about the interaction between NSAIDs and SSRI antidepressants. The STAR*D study was the largest of its kind about depression with the purpose being to understand the effectiveness of different types of drug treatments for depression. The key point of these two studies is that people taking SSRI antidepressants who have aches and pains need to consider other alternatives to treat those pains. There are many effective naturopathic and alternative treatments to pain that could allow patients to continue to effectively take their antidepressants and treat their pain. In the next article we will look at alternative treatments to pain that might help.