The Annals of pharmacotherapy

Celecoxib Versus Diclofenac in Mild to Moderate Depression Management Among Breast Cancer Patients: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Trial.

PMID 26139640


Depression is a well-known complication of breast cancer, which is known to adversely affect quality of life, prognosis, and survival in breast cancer patients. Celecoxib, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which acts via the selective inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2, has been shown to have antidepressive effects. Here, we aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of celecoxib, a selective inhibitor of COX-2, with diclofenac, a nonselective inhibitor of both COX-1 and COX-2 in reducing depressive symptoms and pain in breast cancer patients. A total of 52 outpatients with breast cancer with mild to moderate depression, who suffered from pain and needed analgesics, participated in the trial and underwent 6 weeks of treatment with either celecoxib (200 mg twice daily) or diclofenac (50 mg twice daily). Participants were investigated using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). The primary outcome measure was to compare the antidepressant effects of celecoxib and diclofenac. Repeated-measures analysis demonstrated significant effect for Time × Treatment interaction on the HDRS scores: F(1.76, 87.85) = 9.66; P < 0.001. By study conclusion, greater improvement was observed in the HDRS score of the celecoxib group compared with the diclofenac group (P = 0.002). No one experienced remission (HDRS ≤ 7) in either group. Frequencies of adverse events were not significantly different between groups. Celecoxib seems to possess superior antidepressive effects compared with diclofenac in breast cancer patients with mild to moderate depression.