Do antidepressants affect psoriasis?
Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (brand names: Vanatrip, Elavil, Endep), work by balancing the neurotransmitters found in the brain in order to improve mood. Although there are no neurological factors that play a role in the development of psoriasis, amitriptyline may affect the symptoms of psoriasis indirectly. In general, depression causes unnecessary stress on the body, which in turn reduces the effectivity of the immune system. Chronic lack of sleep and stress brought about by depression can compromise the immune system of a person, and make them more susceptible to infection and illness. As mentioned in a previous section, infection can be a trigger for psoriasis and flare ups. On top of the physical toll depression can have on the body, the anxiety and decreased sense of well-being may make socializing with others even harder for someone with psoriasis. Despite its benefits in treating depression, amitriptyline must be taken with care and under the supervision of a health professional, because of the many potential side effects and drug interactions. Tricyclic antidepressants also have a cardiotoxic effect on some people, and may be contraindicated for those with heart conditions. For people with both depression and psoriasis, it is best to consult your doctor before taking any medications to treat either disease.