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Tristan Manalac, 16 Feb 2018
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Antidepressants show potential for managing depression in schizophrenia

01 Oct 2017

Antidepressants may be effective for treating depression in patients with schizophrenia, according to a meta-analysis that underscores qualifying conclusions based on the small number of low- or moderate-quality studies.

Researchers performed a meta-analysis of 26 trials that included adult patients with schizophrenia or related psychosis who had a depressive episode. Based on the Cochrane risk bias tool, the quality of the studies was moderate to low.

Pooled data indicated that antidepressants (eg, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs], tricyclic antidepressants) had a favourable effect on the risk of depression compared with placebo, with a small risk difference –0.19 (95 percent CI, –0.27 to –0.11) and corresponding number needed to treat of 5 (4 to 9).

The effect size was larger in studies using tools specifically designed to assess depression in schizophrenia. On sensitivity analysis, however, standardized mean difference of all antidepressants, as well as any individual antidepressant class, showed no statistically significant improvement in depression score at endpoint.

In light of the methodological limitations of current published findings, researchers recommend that future large-scale trials should prioritize the appropriate measurement of depressive symptoms in schizophrenia, include reporting of adverse outcomes, and use an adequate method of randomization, allocation, concealment and specific depression inclusion criteria.   

Depression contributes to the extensive burden of schizophrenia, and its management is crucial to recovery. Improvement in depression status may result in better long-term functional outcomes, including medication adherence, service utilization, substance misuse, suicide attempts and quality of life. [Schizophr Res 2016;172:23–28]

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Most Read Articles
2 days ago
There appears to be a high rate of emergency department (ED) admission for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD), with patients having significant in-hospital mortality, according to data from the *AANZDEM study. Furthermore, compliance with evidence-based treatments in the ED is suboptimal.
Tristan Manalac, 6 days ago
Of the newly identified genetic loci for primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG), two are significantly associated with primary angle-closure suspect (PACS), indicating involvement in the earlier stages of the disease, a recent Singapore study has shown.
Pearl Toh, 3 days ago
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who had primary nonresponse to an anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) agent ─ or inadequate response to the initial loading doses ─ were less likely to respond to second-line biologics compared with those who had secondary loss of response (LOR) or intolerance to the primary therapy, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis presented at the Crohn's & Colitis Congress (CCC) 2018 held recently in Las Vegas, Nevada, US.
Tristan Manalac, 16 Feb 2018
Placebo pills, even when administered open-label, appear to significantly improve cancer-related fatigue and fatigue-disrupted quality of life, according to a recent study.