Antidepressants for COVID-19: A systematic review

Link to article at PubMed

J Affect Disord. 2022 Mar 23:S0165-0327(22)00306-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.03.059. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To systematically examine the efficacy and safety of antidepressants for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

METHODS: A systematic search was performed independently by two researchers based on Chinese Journal Net, WanFang, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, PubMed, and EMBASE.

RESULTS: Seven studies (n = 92,947) including three retrospective studies (n = 91,083), two randomized clinical trials (RCTs, n = 1649), two prospective cohort study (n = 215) involving (n = 92,947) patients with COVID-19 were examined. For RCTs, fluvoxamine outperformed placebo in reducing clinical deterioration and hospitalisation for COVID-19 patients. For retrospective studies, antidepressants (2 studies) and fluoxetine (1 study) possibly reduced the risk of mortality in patients with COVID-19. Results from two remaining studies supported the superiority of fluvoxamine in reducing risk of mortality in COVID-19 patients. The two RCTs that examined the safety of fluvoxamine for COVID-19 patients found inconsistent results but no significant group differences in the dropout rate.

CONCLUSION: This systematic review found emerging evidence for fluvoxamine in reducing the risk of mortality and hospitalisation in COVID-19 patients, but inconsistent evidence for the safety of fluvoxamine in COVID-19 patients. More studies are needed to determine the efficacy and safety of antidepressants for the treatment of COVID-19.

PMID:35339571 | DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2022.03.059

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