Objective: To provide a systematic review of the literature regarding the efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs in three major mental disorders [major depressive disorder (MDD), schizophrenia and bipolar disorders].
Method: Four databases were explored, without any year or language restrictions. The baseline search paradigm was limited to open-labelled clinical and randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Results: Four major classes of anti-inflammatory drugs were identified, namely polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors, anti-TNFalpha and minocycline. Effectiveness and benefit/risk ratio of each class in MDD, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia was detailed when data were available. Several meta-analyses indicated effectiveness of PUFAs in MDD with a good tolerance profile. One meta-analysis indicated that COX-2 specific inhibitors showed effectiveness in schizophrenia. Anti-TNFalpha showed important effectiveness in resistant MDD with blood inflammatory abnormalities. Minocycline showed effectiveness in schizophrenia.
Conclusion: Polyunsaturated fatty acids seem to have the best benefit/risk ratio profile but proved their effectiveness only in MDD. A number of anti-inflammatory drugs are available as adjunct treatment for treatment-resistant patients with MDD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. If used with caution regarding their possible side-effects, they may be reasonable therapeutic alternatives for resistant symptomatology.
Keywords: anti-inflammatory; bipolar disorders; celecoxib; cyclooxygenase-1; cyclooxygenase-2; depression; infliximab; minocycline; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; salicylate; schizophrenia; tumor necrosis factor.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.