Ongoing Use of SSRIs Does Not Alter Outcome in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Retrospective Analysis.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

J Clin Med


california; irvine; covid-19


SARS-CoV-2 continues to have devastating consequences worldwide. Though vaccinations have helped reduce spread, new strains still pose a threat. Therefore, it is imperative to identify treatments that prevent severe COVID-19 infection. Recently, acute use of SSRI antidepressants in COVID+ patients was shown to reduce symptom severity. The aim of this retrospective observational study was to determine whether COVID+ patients already on SSRIs upon hospital admission had reduced mortality compared to COVID+ patients not on chronic SSRI treatment. Electronic medical records of 9044 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from six hospitals were queried for demographic and clinical information. Using R, a logistic regression model was run with mortality as the outcome and SSRI status as the exposure. In this sample, no patients admitted on SSRIs had them discontinued. There was no significant difference in the odds of dying between COVID+ patients on chronic SSRIs vs. those not taking SSRIs, after controlling for age category, gender, and race. This study shows the utility of large clinical databases in determining what commonly prescribed drugs might be useful in treating COVID-19. During pandemics due to novel infectious agents, it is critical to evaluate safety and efficacy of drugs that might be repurposed for treatment.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)

Clinical Institute

Mental Health


Infectious Diseases




Behavioral Health