Placebo As Good as Paroxetine for Treating Acute Moderate-to-Severe Major Depression


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This is the Medscape Medical Minute. I'm Dr. George Lundberg.

Acute major depression is common and serious. Controversy rages about what and whether drugs help. Trials favorable to a product are more likely to be published. Three investigators in Italy, publishing in the CMAJ in 2008,[1] report a large comprehensive study of 29 published and 11 unpublished randomized trials from 5 major databases, including 3704 patients with acute moderate-to-severe major depression who received paroxetine (trade name Paxil) and 2687 who received placebo, up to 2006. Paroxetine was better than placebo at improving symptoms but worse than placebo at causing dropout from the trial because of side effects and much worse than placebo on suicidal tendencies. Conclusion: Paroxetine is not better than placebo in therapeutic effectiveness and acceptability in treating acute major depression.

This Medscape Medical Minute article is selected from Medscape Best Evidence.[2] I'm Dr. George Lundberg.




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