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Review: newer and older antidepressants are effective in primary care and elderly patients with depressive disorders

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QUESTION: In patients with depressive disorders, what is the effectiveness of newer antidepressants compared with placebo, older antidepressants, and each other? This abstract reports on the primary care and elderly patient subgroups in which newer and older antidepressants and placebo were compared.

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching the specialised clinical trial registry of the Cochrane Collaboration's Depression, Anxiety, and Neurosis Group (containing trials from such sources as Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, PsycLIT, LILACS, Psyndex, SIGLE, CINAHL, and Biological Abstracts from 1980 to January 1998); scanning the references of pertinent meta-analyses; consulting experts; and contacting pharmaceutical companies.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of ≥6 weeks duration that compared a newer antidepressant with a newer or …

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