Popular Antidepressant Could Be First Osteoarthritis Treatment

Researchers found that a commonly used antidepressant also slows cartilage degradation.

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that’s one of the main causes of disability in America. Affecting more than 30 million adults, it wears down cartilage at the ends of bones and worsens over time. Medications, physical therapy and surgery can help reduce pain and maintain mobility, but there’s no real treatment to date. However, a recent MedicalXpress article suggests a common antidepressant could be used to treat osteoarthritis.

A team of researchers at Penn State discovered that the cellular pathways involved in the development of osteoarthritis can be inhibited by paroxetine (aka Paxil). Not only does the drug slow down cartilage degeneration, it also promotes cartilage health in mice and in vitro human cartilage. So if you suffer from depression and osteoarthritis, you just may be able to kill two birds with one stone.