The possible immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in coronavirus disease patients

Med Hypotheses. 2020 Nov:144:110140. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110140. Epub 2020 Jul 26.

Abstract

While researchers are struggling to develop a vaccine for coronavirus disease, it is important to evolve effective therapeutic strategies to save lives. The majority of coronavirus disease deaths are due to pneumonia. Mostly, stress and depression are associated with coronavirus disease infection and thus, resulting in weakening of patients' immune response and hence, more severe respiratory symptoms or even death. We propose using a class of antidepressants named selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for their reported potential antiviral effect, modulatory effect of respiratory symptoms, antioxidant properties and immunoregulatory effects beside their main action as antidepressant. In addition, the low cost of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors might add a benefit for coronavirus disease patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cytokines; Depression; Pneumonia; SSRIs.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Inflammation
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Risk
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Sertraline / pharmacology
  • Stress, Psychological

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Serotonin
  • Sertraline