Glucocorticosteroids associated with a decreased risk of psychosis

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009 Jun;29(3):288-90. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e3181a44575.


The hypothesis that chronic inflammation may play a role in psychosis receives increasing attention. In this study, we aim to investigate whether the use of steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is associated with a decreased risk of psychosis.A longitudinal nested case-control study was performed investigating the association of glucocorticosteroid (GCS) consumption with a new diagnosis of a psychotic disorder. Significantly reduced odds ratios of 0.52 (95% confidence interval, 0.36-0.75) were found for GCS in men only (odds ratio in women, 0.84 [95% confidence interval, 0.590-1.20]). Similar risk reductions were present for the inhaled and systemic GCSs. A dose-response relationship was present. Our finding of an inverse relation between GCS consumption and new psychotic episodes may promote further research into inflammation in schizophrenia.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Databases, Factual
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Psychotic Disorders / etiology
  • Psychotic Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Sex Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids