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Antidepressants have Anti-inflammatory Effects that may be Relevant to Dermatology: A Systematic Review

Shirin Eskeland, Jon Anders Halvorsen, Lars Tanum
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2702

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This article has been accepted for publication in Acta Dermato-Venereologica and is currently being edited and typeset. Readers should note that article shown below have been fully refereed, but have not been through the copy-editing and proof correction process. Only Abstract is possible to read. When this process is finalized the complete paper will be able to find.


There is increasing evidence of clinically relevant anti-inflammatory effects of monoaminergic antidepressants. PubMed and Ovid databases were searched systematically for the use and efficacy of antidepressants in association with 5 common inflammatory skin disorders: chronic urticaria, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, other eczema, and alopecia areata. From January 1984 to June 2016, publications included a total of 1,252 dermatological patients in 28 trials or case reports. These unambiguously reported a reduced burden of dermatological symptoms in relation to treatment with antidepressants. Several randomized controlled trials of first-generation antidepressants have been published, while studies of modern antidepressants are usually open-label, yet more informative, regarding patients’ characteristics and study procedures. These overall positive findings may indicate a rationale, beyond treating comorbid psychiatric disorders, for the use of antidepressants in dermatology. Further research into modern tolerable antidepressants, including selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, mirtazapine and bupropion, is required.

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