Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | List of forums | Search | FAQ

Ketoconazole for depression

Posted by Scott L. Schofield on November 16, 1999, at 14:22:26

Ketoconazole (oral) has actually been investigated for its usefulness in major depression. The results of controlled trials are equivocal. It is thought that a disturbance in CRH - ACTH - cortisol function may play a part in, or be a result of, major depression.

Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands and is said to be a "stress" hormone. What this means is that in a healthy person, the experience of stress will cause levels of cortisol to rise in the blood-stream. I don't know what function cortisol has in a stressful situation, but I imagine it has its benefits. One measure of cortisol function is the dexamethasone-suppression test (DST). When given dexamethasone (fake cortisol?), the rate of cortisol secretion is suppose to be suppressed so as to keep blood-levels stable. In many people with major depression, this control system seems to be out-of-whack. Levels of cortisol can be abnormally high. In addition, the production of cortisol is not suppressed by dexamethasone. In the past, this has been used as a diagnostic test for depression. I don't know if it is anymore.

Ketoconazole has properties other than those that act as an antifungal. Among them is the ability to inhibit the biosynthesis of cortisol (antiglucocorticoid). It is used in diseases in which excessive levels of cortisol occur (hypercortisolemia). Cushings disease is an example of this.

If elevated levels of cortisol in the blood-stream cause or contribute to depression, shutting down the cortisol factories (adrenal glands) should help. Right? Well...

I'm glad the *topical* ketoconazole thread was running. I had no idea that cytochrome P450 inhibition was another of ketoconazole's properties. Is it possible to compensate for this by adjusting the dosage of those drugs with which it competes?

Anyway, you can find articles in the literature regarding the use of ketoconazole in major depression and treatment-resistant depression. The most recent one I found on Medline is from October 1999.

- Scott




Post a new follow-up

Your message only Include above post

Notify the administrators

They will then review this post with the posting guidelines in mind.

To contact them about something other than this post, please use this form instead.


Start a new thread

Google www
Search options and examples
[amazon] for

This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | FAQ
Psycho-Babble Medication | Framed

poster:Scott L. Schofield thread:15312