Is drug-placebo difference in short-term antidepressant drug trials on unipolar major depression much greater than previously believed?

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12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A pooled analysis of randomized placebo-controlled short-term antidepressant trials on unipolar major depression shows that the rate of antidepressant and placebo responders is 50% and 30% respectively. The traditional calculation of antidepressant-placebo difference (50-30 = 20%) in these drug trials is based on the assumption that all placebo responders should be antidepressant responders, a postulation that has been never investigated and proved. Further studies are needed investigating directly the relationship of placebo response in relation to antidepressant response/nonresponse. If a substantial part of placebo responders were antidepressant nonresponders, the drug-placebo differences in all short-term antidepressant drug trials on unipolar major depression are much more than 20%, and the previously published data on antidepressant-placebo difference should be re-calculated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-198
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume108
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

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Depressive Disorder
Antidepressive Agents
Placebos
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Antidepressant-placebo difference
  • Antidepressants
  • Placebo
  • Short-term antidepressant drug trials
  • Unipolar major depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "A pooled analysis of randomized placebo-controlled short-term antidepressant trials on unipolar major depression shows that the rate of antidepressant and placebo responders is 50{\%} and 30{\%} respectively. The traditional calculation of antidepressant-placebo difference (50-30 = 20{\%}) in these drug trials is based on the assumption that all placebo responders should be antidepressant responders, a postulation that has been never investigated and proved. Further studies are needed investigating directly the relationship of placebo response in relation to antidepressant response/nonresponse. If a substantial part of placebo responders were antidepressant nonresponders, the drug-placebo differences in all short-term antidepressant drug trials on unipolar major depression are much more than 20{\%}, and the previously published data on antidepressant-placebo difference should be re-calculated.",
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