New study finds antidepressants have similar efficacy

February 5, 2007

Antidepressants have similar efficacy but differing side effects, according to new findings released by AHRQ. Authors of a comparative review analyzed the risks and benefits of a dozen second-generation antidepressants by examining 293 published studies and found that, overall, they led to similar rates of improvement: 54% had partial improvement, and 38% saw no improvement. On average, 61% of patients experienced at least one side effect. Venlafaxine showed a higher incidence of nausea and vomiting than the SSRIs, sertraline was more likely to cause diarrhea than some others, mirtazapine led to higher weight gain, and trazodone caused more sleepiness. Paroxetine and venlafaxine had the highest rates of discontinuation syndrome, and fluoxetine had the lowest. Bupropion was less likely to cause sexual dysfunction than some others and paroxetine was associated with higher rates.

Antidepressants have similar efficacy but differing side effects, according to new findings released by AHRQ. Authors of a comparative review analyzed the risks and benefits of a dozen second-generation antidepressants by examining 293 published studies and found that, overall, they led to similar rates of improvement: 54% had partial improvement, and 38% saw no improvement. On average, 61% of patients experienced at least one side effect. Venlafaxine showed a higher incidence of nausea and vomiting than the SSRIs, sertraline was more likely to cause diarrhea than some others, mirtazapine led to higher weight gain, and trazodone caused more sleepiness. Paroxetine and venlafaxine had the highest rates of discontinuation syndrome, and fluoxetine had the lowest. Bupropion was less likely to cause sexual dysfunction than some others and paroxetine was associated with higher rates.

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