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Medical News

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors May Reduce Treatment-Associated Depression in HCV Patients

November 13, 2013

This article was reported by Healio.

An article in Healio presents a study on the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat depression resulting from the use of pegylated interferon alfa-2a or -2b (Peg-IFN a-2a or a-2b) with ribavirin combination treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Peg-IFN a-2a or a-2b with ribavirin treatment is considered a very effective HCV treatment. However, this treatment is associated with a 70-percent incidence of mild to moderate depression and a 20- to 40-percent incidence of major depression in chronic HCV patients.

Researchers, including Yan-Yan Yu, MD, of the department of infectious diseases at China's Peking University, performed a meta-analysis of six randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials with 522 chronic HCV patients who had received Peg-IFN a-2a or a-2b with ribavirin. Those participants who were treated with SSRIs received escitalopram, citalopram, or paroxetine.

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