Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

New study by Oxford University shows that taking a statin at the same time as an antidepressant leads to better treatment adherence, which may be of importance to people with depression.

Graphical representation of tablets and a clock © Shutterstock

Statins are among the most widely-used medications worldwide. They are usually given to treat common diseases of the heart and blood vessels. 

An observational study, led by the University of Oxford, used electronic health records of 673,177 people with a new diagnosis of depression, registered with primary care on QResearch. The “real-world” sample including patients with several comorbidities and taking many other medications.

The study showed that people taking a statin and an antidepressant, compared to an antidepressant alone, had fewer antidepressant discontinuations due to any cause and due to adverse events, therefore better antidepressants’ acceptability and tolerability. However, no effect on depressive symptoms was seen.

Dr Riccardo De Giorgi, study author and Clinical Lecturer in General Adult Psychiatry, University of Oxford, said:

The idea that using a statin at the same time of an antidepressant might boost people’s concordance with treatment is appealing: statins are safe medications, while we know that stopping an antidepressant during the first year of treatment has a high likelihood of depressive relapse."

Read the full study in BMC Medicine.