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Are Persons Treated with Antidepressants and/or Antipsychotics Possibly Better Protected against Severe COVID 19?
The Corona Disease 2019 (COVID 19), manifesting as a rule as an acute and potentially critical respiratory syndrome related to the SARS-Cov-2 virus infection, has been running up to a global health emergency. Some patients infected by SARS-Cov-2 develop an unfavored clinical course mostly in the second week after infection. This “delayed course” can culminate to a critical illness and is deemed to be related to a hyperinflammatory response to the virus, which is called “cytokine-storm” and includes a substantial increase in the systemic activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines  . Dependent on the individual cellular resilience, this hyperinflammatory cytokine-attack can lead to organ or multi-organ damage resulting at least partly from excessive oxidative stress  .
At this juncture, dexamethasone and specific inhibitors of pro-inflammatory cytokine-pathways have been taken into consideration to combat severe COVID-19  . However, also antidepressants should be kept in mind as this substance class itself is well known to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokine-levels, particularly TNF-α, IL-1β and IL6 , all of which are involved in the SARS-Cov-2-induced hyperinflammatory response  . Thus, the question arises whether ADs, or probably also antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers (including lithium), which also have been supposed to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines to some extent  , might be protective against the development of unfavored/critical COVID-19 courses.
Received: 03 February 2021
Received: 05 February 2021
Accepted: 02 March 2021
17 March 2021 (online)
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