Acetylsalicylic acid accelerates the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine in the chronic escape deficit model of depression

Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2006 Jul;21(4):219-25. doi: 10.1097/00004850-200607000-00004.


Evidence has accumulated suggesting that major depression is associated with dysfunction of inflammatory mediators. Moreover, antidepressants show an anti-inflammatory action possibly related to their clinical efficacy. An improvement in psychiatric symptoms has been recently reported in patients treated with anti-inflammatory drugs for other indications. These data imply that inflammation may be involved in the pathogenesis of depression and that anti-inflammatory drugs may be used as an adjunctive therapy. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the behavioural effect of the co-administration of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, 45 mg/kg or 22.5 mg/kg) and fluoxetine (FLX, 5 mg/kg) in the chronic escape deficit model of depression. The chronic escape deficit model is based on the modified reactivity of rats to external stimuli induced by exposure to unavoidable stress and allows evaluation of the capacity of a treatment to revert the condition of escape deficit. In this model, FLX alone needs to be administered for at least 3 weeks to revert this condition. Our results show that combined treatment of fluoxetine and ASA completely reverted the condition of escape deficit by as early as 7 days, the effect being already partially present after 4 days. The effect was maintained after 14 and 21 days of treatment. ASA alone was ineffective at any time tested and the effect of fluoxetine was significant only at 21 days. These results, together with clinical data from preliminary results, suggest that ASA might accelerate the onset of action of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Aspirin / pharmacology
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Escape Reaction / drug effects*
  • Fluoxetine / administration & dosage
  • Fluoxetine / pharmacology
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine
  • Aspirin