Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Anti-inflammatory treatment of depression: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of vortioxetine augmented with celecoxib or placebo
Author: Fourrier, C.
Sampson, E.
Mills, N.T.
Baune, B.T.
Citation: Trials, 2018; 19(1):447-1-447-14
Publisher: BMC
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1745-6215
Statement of
Célia Fourrier, Emma Sampson, Natalie T. Mills and Bernhard T. Baune
Abstract: BACKGROUND:In patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), antidepressant response and remission rates are low, highlighting the need for new treatment approaches. Recently, the abundant literature linking inflammatory processes and depressive symptoms have led to the hypothesis that selecting treatment for MDD based on the patient's inflammatory status could be a promising strategy to improve outcomes in patients suffering from MDD. The aim of the randomised control trial we propose is to investigate the antidepressant efficacy of the combined treatment of MDD with antidepressant medication plus anti-inflammatory medication in individuals with raised inflammation levels. For the first time, this study will prospectively test the efficacy of an antidepressant plus anti-inflammatory augmentation based on baseline inflammatory maker levels in MDD using a randomised controlled trial design. METHODS:This study proposes to measure blood C-reactive protein (CRP) levels before the initiation of treatment in 200 participants with MDD. Study participants are then assigned into one of two study strata: either into the 'Depression with inflammation' stratum (CRP levels > 3 mg/L); or into the 'Depression without inflammation' stratum (CRP levels ≤ 3 mg/L). Within each of the two study strata, participants randomly receive either antidepressant medication alone (vortioxetine) plus anti-inflammatory medication (celecoxib) or vortioxetine plus placebo for six weeks. At the end of the treatment period, participants have the opportunity to continue vortioxetine alone for a six-month post-trial period. Clinical outcomes are measured at baseline, fortnightly during the treatment period and at the three-month and six-month post-trial visits. The primary outcome is change in MADRS score, with a primary endpoint of a score reduction by 50% from baseline to six weeks (end of augmentation treatment with celecoxib). Secondary clinical outcomes are changes in the cognitive dimensions of depression (cognitive function, emotion processing and social cognition). Biological outcome measures (levels of CRP and other inflammatory markers) are measured at baseline, after six weeks of treatment and at the six-month post-trial visit. DISCUSSION:The current study will generate novel evidence for biomarker-based personalised antidepressant treatment selection based on patient inflammatory status before treatment. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), ACTRN12617000527369p . Registered on 11 April 2017.
Keywords: Major depressive disorder; inflammation; C-reactive protein; antidepressant; anti-inflammatory medication; Vortioxetine; Celecoxib; randomised controlled trial
Rights: © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030099453
DOI: 10.1186/s13063-018-2829-7
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_117909.pdfPublished version1.34 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.