US Pharm. 2014;39(11):HS2.

Utrecht, the Netherlands—The efficacy of existing schizophrenia therapies can be enhanced by some anti-inflammatory agents, including aspirin. The immune system is involved in certain psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is linked to the human leukocyte antigen gene system, which controls many characteristics of the immune system. To explore the theory that helping the immune system might benefit schizophrenia treatment, researchers at the University of Utrecht conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of all robust studies on the effects of adding anti-inflammatories to antipsychotic medication. Aspirin, estrogens, and N-acetylcysteine, in particular, exhibited promising results, but other anti-inflammatories did not show significant effects. Schizophrenia treatment has changed little in the last 50 years, and researchers posit that cotreatment with selected anti-inflammatories will improve patients’ response.

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