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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 17 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:420

Placebo washouts inflate antidepressant effects in general practice

  1. Harm W J van Marwijk, senior researcher, department of general practice (,
  2. Herman J Adèr, methodologist, department of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics
  1. Institute for Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands

    EDITOR—Geddes and Cipriani fear that regulatory bodies overrate the importance of placebo controlled trials.1 We disagree. The placebo controlled randomised trial is still the best test of efficacy available, although several improvements in conventional methodology are necessary to prevent selection biases.2 However, selection bias owing to a placebo washout period …

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