Anti-depressant can also help repair failing hearts: Widely-used pill found to work ‘far better’ than standard treatments

  • Study found pills used to treat depression also help men ailing hearts
  • Anti-depressant worked ‘far better’ than standard treatment for heart failure
  • Not only stopped heart from deteriorating further but helped to mend it 

Pills used to treat depression also help mend ailing hearts, a study has found.

Seroxat, a widely-used anti-depressant, worked ‘far better’ than the standard treatment for heart failure.

The so-called happy pills not only stopped the heart from deteriorating further – they actually helped mend it.

A new study has found a widely-used anti-depressant works ‘far better’ than the standard treatment for heart failure - not only preventing further deterioration but helping to mend it too

A new study has found a widely-used anti-depressant works ‘far better’ than the standard treatment for heart failure – not only preventing further deterioration but helping to mend it too

The research was based on experiments involving mice but it offers hope of a new way of treating a condition that affects almost one million Britons and has a worse prognosis than many cancers.

Weakened by heart attacks and other conditions, the failing heart struggles to pump blood around the body and everyday tasks such as eating, dressing and even getting out of bed can be exhausting.

Drugs can help but the only truly is a heart transplant and 40 per cent of heart failure patients die within a year of diagnosis.

Researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia gave the widely-used anti-depressant Seroxat to mice that had suffered heart attacks.

Researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia gave the widely-used anti-depressant Seroxat (pictured) to mice that had suffered heart attacks - tests showed it to be far superior to beta-blockers

Researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia gave the widely-used anti-depressant Seroxat (pictured) to mice that had suffered heart attacks – tests showed it to be far superior to beta-blockers

Tests showed it to be far superior to beta-blockers, the drugs routinely used to treat heart failure.

The damaged heart started to heal itself – and continued to improve after the Seroxat was stopped.

Experiments showed that the benefits had nothing to do with the pills’ effect on the brain chemicals involved in mood.

Instead, they are due to a fortuitous side-effect of the drug, in which it happens to block a protein that weakens already-damaged hearts.

The effects were seen at doses similar to those used to treat depression in people, although the researchers 搬瓦工 caution there is no guarantee that Seroxat, which is also known as paroxetine, will work as well on human hearts.

Despite this, study leader Walter Koch said: ‘This may the way for a new class of therapies for a disease for which we lack effective interventions.

‘At a minimum, the research suggests that physicians may want to consider prescribing paroxetine for heart failure patients who also suffer from clinical depression.

‘If you want to give these patients an anti-depressant, why not give them this one?’

With Seroxat linked to psychiatric side-effects including suicidal , the researchers are trying to make a version of it that helps the heart without affecting the brain.

NHS video explains the warning signs of a heart attack

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