Antidepressants are commonly used to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Recent studies suggest a link between IBD activity and an individual's emotional state which raises the possibility that antidepressants may potentially modify the disease course of IBD.
Dr Benjamin Macer and colleagues performed a systematic review to evaluate the efficacy of antidepressants on IBD activity, and secondarily, on anxiety and depression.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane (IBD Group), CINAHL, AMED, PsycINFO, and OpenGrey were searched from 1990 onward with no restrictions on study design.
The research team included 15 eligible studies in the review, and examined a range of antidepressants.
|12 studies suggested that antidepressants have a positive impact on IBD course|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
The team found that 12 studies suggested that antidepressants have a positive impact on IBD course.
The researchers noted that 9 studies reported anxiety and depression as an outcome, and of these, 8 reported beneficial effects of antidepressants.
Most of the studies were deemed to be at low risk of bias, apart from the case reports, which were at high risk of bias.
Dr Macer's team comments, "This research indicates that antidepressants may have a beneficial effect on IBD course."
"However, it is currently not possible to determine their efficacy for certain because of the lack of randomized trials."
"Further trials using objective measures of IBD activity, longer follow-up periods, and larger sample sizes are needed."