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Review: citalopram is effective and safe for depression

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QUESTION: Is citalopram effective and safe in patients with depression?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966–2000), scanning bibliographies, and searching abstracts from major medical conferences. Meta-analyses were also included, and pharmacokinetics studies and case reports were used to supplement safety and tolerability data.

Study selection

English language studies were selected if they were randomised, double blind, controlled trials (RCTs) of citalopram in depressed patients.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on patient characteristics, drug dose, assessment method, and outcomes.

Main results

30 RCTs that compared citalopram with placebo, tricyclic or tetracyclic antidepressants, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) met the selection criteria. Mean patient age was approximately 40 years. Primary efficacy measures were the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale, or both. Placebo: 11 placebo controlled …

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