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Review: reboxetine is ineffective and potentially harmful for acute treatment of major depression

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Question

Question: How clinically effective and safe is reboxetine for acute treatment of major depression and what is the effect of publication bias on reported effect measures?

Outcomes: Remission, response, adverse events and withdrawals due to adverse events compared with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or placebo.

Methods

Design: Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources: Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, BIOSIS, Cochrane Library, clinical trial registries, trial results databases and regulatory authority websites were searched up until February 2009. Unpublished data were obtained from the manufacturer (Pfizer, Berlin, Germany), and reference lists of primary and secondary publications were hand searched for additional references.

Study selection and analysis: Double blinded randomised controlled trials comparing reboxetine versus placebo or SSRIs for the acute treatment of adults with a primary diagnosis of DSM-IV major depressive disorder were included. Trials had to last at least 6 weeks for inclusion. Selected trials had at least one prespecified outcome and were published in English, French or German (or any other language providing that relevance could be ascertained from the English title or abstract). Response and remission were defined according to the primary studies. All of the studies used the …

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