Tags: paxil | diabetes | depression

Can Antidepressant Combat Diabetes?

Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 11:10 AM

The commonly used antidepressant drug paroxetine — known best by its trade name Paxil — may have the capacity to pull double duty and also become a therapy for the vascular complications of diabetes, new research suggests.
Medical specialists with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have discovered that the drug protects the cells that line the inside walls of blood vessels from the destructive effects of the high sugar levels produced by diabetes.
The findings, published online in the journal Diabetes, are based on researchers’ tests of 6,766 clinically used drugs and pharmacologically active substances for possible dual uses.
Lead researcher Csaba Szabo, a UTMB professor, said the Paxil discovery was unexpected, but has broad implications.
Editor’s Note: What Sugar Does to Your Body: New Video Shows Damage.

"We were quite surprised when paroxetine came out as an active compound — a result, we later determined, of what seems to be a completely new effect unrelated to its antidepressant actions and not shared by any other known antidepressant drug," Szabo said. "The future potential of this study is that we may be able to 're-purpose' paroxetine for the experimental therapy of diabetic cardiac complications … I think there's definite potential here."
For the study, Szabo’s team tested the ability of different drugs and compounds to protect the cells that make up the inner linings of blood vessels from diabetes-related damage. In diabetics, high blood sugar causes these cells to generate toxic molecules known as reactive oxygen species that ravage blood-vessel linings and increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy.
In test-tube studies, researchers found that paroxetine prevents such damage.
The study was funded, in part, by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the James W. McLaughlin Endowment.

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Paxil may have the capacity to pull double duty and also become a treatment for diabetes complications.
Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 11:10 AM
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