Possible use of Antibiotics to treat Schizophrenia

A cheap antibiotic normally prescribed to teenagers for acne is to be tested as a treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia, in a trial that could advance scientific understanding of the causes of mental illness.

That is the opening paragraph in the Belfast Telegraph (A UK Based publication) which then goes on to state that as a result of a “chance observation” the National Institute for Health Research is now funding a £1.9 million (about 3 million US dollars) trial of Minocycline a cheap antibiotic for use in respect of the treatment of Schizophrenia.

One very interesting statement made within this report was this one…

Scientists believe that schizophrenia and other mental illnesses including depression and Alzheimer’s disease may result from inflammatory processes in the brain. Minocycline has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects which they believe could account for the positive findings.

To read more of this article click here.

5 comments on “Possible use of Antibiotics to treat Schizophrenia

  1. oh this is very interesting. But if inflammation has something to do with it, why couldn’t they have found thisa long time ago. Oh, I know, when you go to a psychologist about a metal health issue, do they do a brain scan? Get a complete blood work up? No, they don’t test people for physical symptoms when patients complain of mental issues. But I think they should.

  2. Carlarenee, that is a VERY interesting point! and I agree with you whole heartedly, there needs to be much more testing done for physical symptoms when a person goes in for treatment of a mental health issue. It also needs to be taken more seriously by Dr’s,

    • Yes I agree with Carla as well.

      What is also very interesting for me is the consideration that anitbiotics are quite probably a lot cheaper than antispychotics and the possible implications of that.

      I have to be honest here. I live in Ireland where we still have government assistance in respect of the costs of our medication under some circumstances. Therefore we don’t have the same set up as in the states (for example) where health insurance – whether or not you have any, and what they will or won’t pay for – seems to have such a drastic affect on people’s access to treatment. Because if this I know absolutely nothing about the costs of different meds. But if antibiotics are considerably cheaper than antipsychotics it really does make for an interesting consideration.

      It will certainly be interesting to see what happens.

      Kind Regards,


      • I have health insurance do to my disability, so the actual cost isn’t a problem with me YET at least. But the government is trying to take away any help for older people or disabled people. But I would venture to say that an antibiodic drug is a lot less expensive than a anti-psychotic. Also you have to consider the side effects that goes with them that we have to just accept and live with taking these anti-depressants, mood stabiizers, and anti-psychodic meds.

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