BANGALORE — Sundowners medication has helped people with depression and bipolar disorder for years, but a new study suggests that the drug might also have helped people suffering from an allergic reaction to the medication.
The research, which was published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, found that in a study of people with a first-degree family history of an allergic response to the drug, the people in the study who had a higher response to Sundowners had fewer chronic diseases.
The study was led by Dr. James Sundowner, director of the University of Arizona’s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and his colleagues at the University Hospitals in Boston, the University at Buffalo and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
“This study is a remarkable demonstration that the treatment can have a major impact on patients who have a chronic medical condition that is difficult to treat,” Dr. Sundowner said.
The results suggest that the medication can help patients with chronic illnesses and may have a role in the prevention of more serious chronic diseases, Dr. Eric Binder, an infectious disease expert at the Cleveland Clinic, told ABC News.
“I think that this may be a very important finding,” Dr Binder said.
“In terms of the efficacy of this drug, we don’t have any data on its effectiveness in treating chronic disease.”
The medication is commonly used by patients with severe allergic reactions to the medications it is made from, including aspirin, naproxen, and aspirin, but it is also used to treat a variety of conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Sundowners was developed in the 1970s and is now the only medication approved by the FDA for people with severe allergies.
In 2012, the FDA approved the medication for people who are allergic to benzodiazepines, which are a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
The drug has been approved for the treatment of migraines, anxiety, asthma and chronic obstructor syndrome, among other conditions.
Dr. Sundowners is not the first person to discover that people with an allergic disease may benefit from the medication, and he may not be the last.
Steven Katz and John Schmitz, two scientists at Columbia University, published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2011 that suggested that people who were suffering from a chronic disease had a reduced risk of developing a second disease.
In the study, researchers found that the people who had higher levels of the drug in their blood had fewer infections, more chronic diseases and less death than the people with lower levels of it.
“It’s interesting that we can actually identify people with allergies and chronic diseases who have similar outcomes,” Dr Sundowners said.
“I would think that in our research, we would have found that a lot of people who have allergies are in fact also more likely to develop chronic diseases.”