US Pharm. 2013;38(3):7.

Los Angeles, CA—A longitudinal cohort study of 40 subjects aged 60 years and older with major depressive disorder and 52 age- and gender-matched healthy controls suggests a link between untreated depression in older adults and reduced shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine effectiveness. Immune response was measured before administration of zoster vaccine or placebo and at 6 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years afterward. Compared with nondepressed controls and depressed subjects treated with antidepressants, depressed subjects not being treated with antidepressants had lower cell-mediated immunity to the varicella zoster virus and had a poorer response to the shingles vaccine. Treatment of depression appeared to normalize subjects’ immune response to the vaccine.

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