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1.
J Clin Psychopharmacol ; 42(3): 284-292, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788555

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE/BACKGROUND: Studies for repurposed drugs in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2-infected and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are ongoing. According to preclinical research, antidepressants (ADs) might be useful in the treatment of COVID-19. METHODS/PROCEDURES: We conducted a scoping review including clinical studies on AD effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. FINDING/RESULTS: As of January 2, 2022, we found 14 clinical studies, which could be included into this review. Among them, there were 2 randomized, placebo-controlled studies and 2 prospective parallel-group studies about the efficacy/effectiveness and tolerability of fluvoxamine. The remaining studies were mainly retrospective studies considering COVID-19 hospital populations predominantly exposed to fluoxetine (N = 3), other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), and trazodone. The vast majority were hospital studies and assessed COVID-19 severity (morbidity) and mortality as primary endpoints. The only outpatient study (fluvoxamine) investigated the COVID-19-related hospitalization rate, and 1 psychiatric hospital study (SSRI, SNRI, trazodone) focused on the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate. IMPLICATIONS/CONCLUSIONS: At present, the best evidence of an "anti-COVID-19" potential of ADs exists for fluvoxamine and, to a lesser extent, for fluoxetine. Preliminary evidence had found that patients exposed to SSRI or SNRI substance classes might have a reduced mortality risk and that trazodone might reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection rates. Three studies found no relevant influence of ADs on COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, and 1 study described increased mortality. The latter study, however, did not differentiate between psychotropic medication and ADs. Tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are still absolute "dark zones" in COVID-19 research. Further controlled studies testing the effectiveness/efficacy and tolerability/safety (as well as the treatment timing and duration) of different AD substance classes in COVID-19 and post/long-COVID patients of various populations are warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors , Trazodone , Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , Antidepressive Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Fluvoxamine/pharmacology , Fluvoxamine/therapeutic use , Humans , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/adverse effects
2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2133090, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516696

ABSTRACT

Importance: Antidepressant use may be associated with reduced levels of several proinflammatory cytokines suggested to be involved with the development of severe COVID-19. An association between the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)-specifically fluoxetine hydrochloride and fluvoxamine maleate-with decreased mortality among patients with COVID-19 has been reported in recent studies; however, these studies had limited power due to their small size. Objective: To investigate the association of SSRIs with outcomes in patients with COVID-19 by analyzing electronic health records (EHRs). Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used propensity score matching by demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and medication indication to compare SSRI-treated patients with matched control patients not treated with SSRIs within a large EHR database representing a diverse population of 83 584 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from January to September 2020 and with a duration of follow-up of as long as 8 months in 87 health care centers across the US. Exposures: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and specifically (1) fluoxetine, (2) fluoxetine or fluvoxamine, and (3) other SSRIs (ie, not fluoxetine or fluvoxamine). Main Outcomes and Measures: Death. Results: A total of 3401 adult patients with COVID-19 prescribed SSRIs (2033 women [59.8%]; mean [SD] age, 63.8 [18.1] years) were identified, with 470 receiving fluoxetine only (280 women [59.6%]; mean [SD] age, 58.5 [18.1] years), 481 receiving fluoxetine or fluvoxamine (285 women [59.3%]; mean [SD] age, 58.7 [18.0] years), and 2898 receiving other SSRIs (1733 women [59.8%]; mean [SD] age, 64.7 [18.0] years) within a defined time frame. When compared with matched untreated control patients, relative risk (RR) of mortality was reduced among patients prescribed any SSRI (497 of 3401 [14.6%] vs 1130 of 6802 [16.6%]; RR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.85-0.99]; adjusted P = .03); fluoxetine (46 of 470 [9.8%] vs 937 of 7050 [13.3%]; RR, 0.72 [95% CI, 0.54-0.97]; adjusted P = .03); and fluoxetine or fluvoxamine (48 of 481 [10.0%] vs 956 of 7215 [13.3%]; RR, 0.74 [95% CI, 0.55-0.99]; adjusted P = .04). The association between receiving any SSRI that is not fluoxetine or fluvoxamine and risk of death was not statistically significant (447 of 2898 [15.4%] vs 1474 of 8694 [17.0%]; RR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.84-1.00]; adjusted P = .06). Conclusions and Relevance: These results support evidence that SSRIs may be associated with reduced severity of COVID-19 reflected in the reduced RR of mortality. Further research and randomized clinical trials are needed to elucidate the effect of SSRIs generally, or more specifically of fluoxetine and fluvoxamine, on the severity of COVID-19 outcomes.


Subject(s)
Antidepressive Agents , COVID-19/mortality , Fluoxetine , Fluvoxamine , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , Citalopram/pharmacology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Fluvoxamine/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prescription Drugs , Retrospective Studies , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/pharmacology , Sertraline , United States
3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 5890, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387466

ABSTRACT

To circumvent time-consuming clinical trials, testing whether existing drugs are effective inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2, has led to the discovery of Remdesivir. We decided to follow this path and screened approved medications "off-label" against SARS-CoV-2. Fluoxetine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 at a concentration of 0.8 µg/ml significantly in these screenings, and the EC50 was determined with 387 ng/ml. Furthermore, Fluoxetine reduced viral infectivity in precision-cut human lung slices showing its activity in relevant human tissue targeted in severe infections. Fluoxetine treatment resulted in a decrease in viral protein expression. Fluoxetine is a racemate consisting of both stereoisomers, while the S-form is the dominant serotonin reuptake inhibitor. We found that both isomers show similar activity on the virus, indicating that the R-form might specifically be used for SARS-CoV-2 treatment. Fluoxetine inhibited neither Rabies virus, human respiratory syncytial virus replication nor the Human Herpesvirus 8 or Herpes simplex virus type 1 gene expression, indicating that it acts virus-specific. Moreover, since it is known that Fluoxetine inhibits cytokine release, we see the role of Fluoxetine in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients of risk groups.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Lung/drug effects , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Fluoxetine/therapeutic use , Humans , Lung/pathology , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Virus Replication/drug effects
4.
Pharmacopsychiatry ; 54(5): 215-223, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217715

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Depression is responsible for 800 000 deaths worldwide, a number that will rise significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Affordable novel drugs with less severe side effects are urgently required. We investigated the effect of withanone (WN) from Withania somnifera on the serotonin system of wild-type and knockout Caenorhabditis elegans strains using in silico, in vitro, and in vivo methods. METHODS: WN or fluoxetine (as positive control drug) was administered to wild-type (N2) and knockout C. elegans strains (AQ866, DA1814, DA2100, DA2109, and MT9772) to determine their effect on oxidative stress (Trolox, H2DCFDA, and juglone assays) on osmotic stress and heat stress and lifespan. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was applied to investigate the effect of WN or fluoxetine on the expression of serotonin receptors (ser-1, ser-4, ser-7) and serotonin transporter (mod-5). The binding affinity of WN to serotonin receptors and transporter was analyzed in silico using AutoDock 4.2.6. RESULTS: WN scavenged ROS in wild-type and knockout C. elegans and prolonged their lifespan. WN upregulated the expression of serotonin receptor and transporter genes. In silico analyses revealed high binding affinities of WN to Ser-1, Ser-4, Ser-7, and Mod-5. LIMITATIONS: Further studies are needed to prove whether the results from C. elegans are transferrable to mammals and human beings. CONCLUSION: WN ameliorated depressive-associated stress symptoms by activating the serotonin system. WN may serve as potential candidate in developing new drugs to treat depression.


Subject(s)
Depression , Receptors, Serotonin/metabolism , Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , Synaptic Transmission/drug effects , Withanolides/pharmacology , Animals , Animals, Genetically Modified , Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/psychology , Caenorhabditis elegans , Depression/drug therapy , Depression/metabolism , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Humans , Longevity/drug effects , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Br J Pharmacol ; 178(11): 2339-2350, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171214

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The SARS-COV-2 pandemic and the global spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) urgently call for efficient and safe antiviral treatment strategies. A straightforward approach to speed up drug development at lower costs is drug repurposing. Here, we investigated the therapeutic potential of targeting the interface of SARS CoV-2 with the host via repurposing of clinically licensed drugs and evaluated their use in combinatory treatments with virus- and host-directed drugs in vitro. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: We tested the antiviral potential of the antifungal itraconazole and the antidepressant fluoxetine on the production of infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles in the polarized Calu-3 cell culture model and evaluated the added benefit of a combinatory use of these host-directed drugs with the direct acting antiviral remdesivir, an inhibitor of viral RNA polymerase. KEY RESULTS: Drug treatments were well-tolerated and potently impaired viral replication. Importantly, both itraconazole-remdesivir and fluoxetine-remdesivir combinations inhibited the production of infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles > 90% and displayed synergistic effects, as determined in commonly used reference models for drug interaction. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Itraconazole-remdesivir and fluoxetine-remdesivir combinations are promising starting points for therapeutic options to control SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe progression of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Humans , Itraconazole/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 138: 111437, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101117

ABSTRACT

Hyperinflammatory response caused by infections such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) increases organ failure, intensive care unit admission, and mortality. Cytokine storm in patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) drives this pattern of poor clinical outcomes and is dependent upon the activity of the transcription factor complex nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kappaB) and its downstream target gene interleukin 6 (IL6) which interacts with IL6 receptor (IL6R) and the IL6 signal transduction protein (IL6ST or gp130) to regulate intracellular inflammatory pathways. In this study, we compare transcriptomic signatures from a variety of drug-treated or genetically suppressed (i.e. knockdown) cell lines in order to identify a mechanism by which antidepressants such as fluoxetine demonstrate non-serotonergic, anti-inflammatory effects. Our results demonstrate a critical role for IL6ST and NF-kappaB Subunit 1 (NFKB1) in fluoxetine's ability to act as a potential therapy for hyperinflammatory states such as asthma, sepsis, and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokine Receptor gp130/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Fluoxetine/therapeutic use , NF-kappa B p50 Subunit/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Humans
7.
Phytomedicine ; 84: 153482, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051912

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Approximately 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The COVID-19 crisis may dramatically increase these numbers. Severe side effects and resistance development limit the use of standard antidepressants. The steroidal lactone withanolide A (WA) from Withania somnifera may be a promising alternative. Caenorhabditis elegans was used as model to explore WA's anti-depressive and anti-stress potential. METHODS: C. elegans wildtype (N2) and deficient strains (AQ866, DA1814, DA2100, DA2109 and MT9772) were used to assess oxidative, osmotic or heat stress as measured by generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), determination of lifespan, and mRNA expression of serotonin receptor (ser-1, ser-4, ser-7) and serotonin transporter genes (mod-5). The protective effect of WA was compared to fluoxetine as clinically established antidepressant. Additionally, WA's effect on lifespan was determined. Furthermore, the binding affinities and pKi values of WA, fluoxetine and serotonin as natural ligand to Ser-1, Ser-4, Ser-7, Mod-5 and their human orthologues proteins were calculated by molecular docking. RESULTS: Baseline oxidative stress was higher in deficient than wildtype worms. WA and fluoxetine reduced ROS levels in all strains except MT9772. WA and fluoxetine prolonged survival times in wildtype and mutants under osmotic stress. WA but not fluoxetine increased lifespan of all heat-stressed C. elegans strains except DA2100. Furthermore, WA but not fluoxetine extended lifespan in all non-stressed C. elegans strains. WA also induced mRNA expression of serotonin receptors and transporters in wildtype and mutants. WA bound with higher affinity and lower pKi values to all C. elegans and human serotonin receptors and transporters than serotonin, indicating that WA may competitively displaced serotonin from the binding pockets of these proteins. CONCLUSION: WA reduced stress and increased lifespan by ROS scavenging and interference with the serotonin system. Hence, WA may serve as promising candidate to treat depression.


Subject(s)
Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics , Caenorhabditis elegans/drug effects , Longevity/drug effects , Receptors, Serotonin/genetics , Withanolides/pharmacology , Animals , Caenorhabditis elegans/physiology , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Molecular Docking Simulation , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Receptors, Serotonin/metabolism , Withania/chemistry
8.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2245-2255, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-795734

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Related Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global health emergency. As only very limited therapeutic options are clinically available, there is an urgent need for the rapid development of safe, effective, and globally available pharmaceuticals that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry and ameliorate COVID-19 severity. In this study, we explored the use of small compounds acting on the homeostasis of the endolysosomal host-pathogen interface, to fight SARS-CoV-2 infection. We find that fluoxetine, a widely used antidepressant and a functional inhibitor of acid sphingomyelinase (FIASMA), efficiently inhibited the entry and propagation of SARS-CoV-2 in the cell culture model without cytotoxic effects and also exerted potent antiviral activity against two currently circulating influenza A virus subtypes, an effect which was also observed upon treatment with the FIASMAs amiodarone and imipramine. Mechanistically, fluoxetine induced both impaired endolysosomal acidification and the accumulation of cholesterol within the endosomes. As the FIASMA group consists of a large number of small compounds that are well-tolerated and widely used for a broad range of clinical applications, exploring these licensed pharmaceuticals may offer a variety of promising antivirals for host-directed therapy to counteract enveloped viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Endosomes/virology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase/antagonists & inhibitors , Virus Replication/drug effects
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