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antidepressants: effect on immune system and possible cause of false negative ELISA?

Feb 10, 2004

I read an article suggesting that antidepressants and corticosteroids are immunosuppressive - may therefore prevent or slow down the production of HIV antibodies and result in a false negative ELISA test. This would especially be the case for people on two antidepressants such as Remeron and Lexapro.

Any validity to this? Which psychiatric meds could effect antibody production and/or viral load? (Clonazepan and Risperdal?).

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Horwath

I don't know of any evidence that antidepressants have a significant effect on the immune response involved in the ELISA test. In fact, there is growing evidence that depression has deleterious effects on the immune system. This suggests that treating depression would have beneficial effects on immune responses. Unfortunately, there is little systematic evidence as yet, but this is a growth area of research.

Panic related to HIV exposure
Antidepressants and HIV tests

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