Last updated on 3rd May 2009
Cipriani and colleagues published a major multiple-treatments meta-analysis of new generation antidepressants last week - see abstract below. As Parikh wrote in his linked editorial (see below) "Andrea Cipriani and colleagues provide the field with a major answer. Free of any potential funding bias (and including an analysis of studies based on pharmaceutical-company sponsorship), these researchers used a newer methodology, multiple treatments meta-analysis, to examine 117 head-to-head randomised trials in almost 26 000 patients ... Of 12 newer antidepressants, four emerged as superior in efficacy: escitalopram, mirtazapine, sertraline, and venlafaxine ... In terms of acceptability, four agents were better tolerated: bupropion, citalopram, escitalopram, and sertraline. Balancing efficacy and acceptability and lower drug costs, the researchers concluded that sertraline might be particularly appropriate as a first-choice treatment ... " This is superbly useful information. Parikh's editorial goes on to raise helpful queries about next step questions, however Cipriani et al have done antidepressant prescribers and users a major service with this very important paper.