Fluoxetine versus other types of pharmacotherapy for depression
This study detected differences in terms of efficacy and tolerability between fluoxetine and certain antidepressants, but the clinical meaning of these differences is uncertain.
Depression is common in primary care and is associated with marked personal, social and economic morbidity, thus creating significant demands on service providers. Fluoxetine has been studied in comparison with other conventional and unconventional antidepressants, however the findings have conflicted. This study aims to assess the effects of fluoxetine in comparison with all other antidepressants for depression in adult individuals with unipolar major depressive disorder. 171 studies were included in the analysis for this review (24,868 participants) including studies undertaken between 1984 and 2012. Fluoxetine was found to be more effective than ABT-200 and milnacipran, and less effective than venlafaxine. It was shown to be better tolerated than tricyclics (when considered as a group) along with amitriptyline, ABT-200, pramipexole and reboxetine. Most of the included studies were sponsored by drug companies, which could potentially have led to an overestimation of treatment effect. Consequently, no definitive implications can be drawn from the studies’ results.