What are anti-inflammatory medications?

Growing evidence suggests that inflammatory processes may contribute to the development of mental disorders. Pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL) 4, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R), IL-1b, IL-6, soluble receptor of TNF-a type 1 (STNFR1), and C-reactive protein (CRP) have been shown to be elevated in people with bipolar disorder compared to healthy controls. This suggests a potential role for anti-inflammatory agents in the treatment of bipolar disorder. These agents primarily include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (e.g., aspirin, celecoxib), but also omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, N-acetylcysteine (a glutemate modulator) and pioglitazone (an antidiabetic) have some anti-inflammatory properties.

What is the evidence for anti-inflammatory medications?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggest some benefit of adjunctive celecoxib over placebo for improving mania in people with bipolar disorder.

Moderate quality evidence also suggests a possible benefit of adjunctive anti-inflammatory medications in general for bipolar depression.

June 2020

Last updated at: 5:42 am, 30th June 2020
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