Meta-analysis shows difference between antidepressants and placebo is only significant in severe depression

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39503.656852.DB (Published 28 February 2008)
Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:466.1

Get access to this article and all of bmj.com for the next 14 days

Sign up for a 14 day free trial today

Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription or payment. Please log in or subscribe below.

  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    New generation antidepressants achieve almost no benefit compared with placebo in mild to moderate depression, with slightly more benefit in severe depression but only because of less response to placebo, a meta-analysis of clinical trial data has shown.

    Researchers analysed all available data from clinical trials submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration for the licensing of four selective serotonin or serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors—fluoxetine (Prozac), venlafaxine (Efexor), nefazodone (Serzone), and paroxetine (Seroxat, Paxil).

    They analysed the degree to which people improved in relation to the initial severity of the depression in people randomised to drug or placebo.

    Results showed almost no difference between the effects of drug treatment and placebo at moderate levels of initial depression, rising to a relatively …

    Get access to this article and all of bmj.com for the next 14 days

    Sign up for a 14 day free trial today

    Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription or payment. Please log in or subscribe below.

    Article access

    Article access for 1 day

    Purchase this article for £20 $30 €32*

    The PDF version can be downloaded as your personal record

    * Prices do not include VAT

    THIS WEEK'S POLL