By: Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
COVID has caused quite a wave of destruction on all of us, both physically and for our mental health. At Bloom, we saw huge increases in clients needing help for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and even ADHD (school and work got way less structured!)
For now, it looks like COVID is taking a bit of a break as we head into spring. But chances are good that it (and perhaps another variant) will make another pass through, perhaps even later this summer if past trends hold up. As weary as we are, we need to be ready.
Amazingly, several studies (e.g. here, and here, and good commentary here) have shown that two generic, commonly used antidepressants (fluoxetine and fluvoxamine) might have COVID-fighting activity. The use of these antidepressants was associated with less severe illness, and potentially less chances of catching it in the first place. If this holds up on repeat studies, especially on larger Phase III clinical trials, this will be a major development in our war against this awful disease.
Treatments of depression and generalized anxiety can be complicated to select. Dozens of different antidepressant and mood stabilizing medications are available, and it can be difficult to choose from among them. But as we move through this next season and consider how to fight depression, anxiety, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other mental health conditions, it may be worth considering whether a particular medication may also have activity against COVID. This will be especially important to consider if another wave hits.
We want to caution that this is still an area of ongoing research, and cannot substitute for individual medical advice, and we definitely do not advocate changing or stopping treatments based on this! But it may be worth talking to your provider about how certain medications are stacking up against COVID, particularly if you have particular vulnerabilities to it.
about the authorS
Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
Owner, Bloom Mental Health
Disclaimer: this blog is NOT intended as medical advice and does not imply any kind of specific guidance or treatment recommendations, and should NOT be used to guide a treatment protocol. (read full disclaimer)