...you've seen them all? A review for the American College of Physicians finds that there is no clinically significant difference in efficacy, effectiveness, or quality of life among different antidepressants - SSRIs, SNRIs, SSNRIs, or other second-generation pills - for treating an acute bout of major depressive disorder. Just think of all the marketing money spent to differentiate one pill from another.
The findings, which were compiled after reviewing 200 studies and are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week, form the basis for new guidelines for physicians, who are advised to select a second-generation antidepressant on the basis of adverse effects, cost, and patient preferences.
And what about suicidality? The review found that "no particular drug has an excess risk compared with any other drug in this class." However, patients receiving SSRIs had an increased risk for nonfatal suicide attempts. SSRIs would include Lilly's Prozac, Pfizer's Zoloft and Glaxo's Paxil.
Several of the experts who reviewed the 200 studies, by the way, have ties to Glaxo, which also sells Wellbutrin, among other drugmakers.