Meta-analysis of antidepressant prescribing

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7007.751 (Published 16 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:751
  1. Nick Freemantle,
  2. James Mason
  1. Research fellow Research fellow Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York YO1 5DD

    Drop out rates were presented in a misleading manner

    EDITOR,--The meta-analysis by I M Anderson and B M Tomenson is an interesting development in the literature addressing the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of prescribing of antidepressants.1 The authors estimate that the risk of patients stopping treatment is 10% lower with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors than tricyclic antidepressants. They note, however, that this corresponds to an absolute reduction in the total drop out rate of only 2.5% (their table IV) and is of borderline significance. Also, as they suggest, biases such as “patient selection, previous treatment, methodology, and study setting” may exist and make …

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