Compounds that rev up SSRI drugs

A researcher has identified a method for boosting the activity of antidepression drugs--an advance that could revolutionize the way these therapies work. Huge amounts of SSRI drugs are prescribed every year, even though they don't work about a third of the time and often take more than a month to begin having an effect.

Guillaume Lucas and a colleague, though, successfully tested their theory that the SSRI drugs could be revved up by activating a set of proteins that recognize their presence and play a key role in releasing the molecule responsible for lifting depression. They found two compounds that did just that; one from a chemical supply company and another that had been tested and abandoned in a study regarding irritable bowel syndrome. "We can expect therapeutic benefits to appear four to five times more rapidly," says Lucas.

- see this release
- read the article from Nature

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