Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for major depression. Part I. Evaluation of the clinical literature

Trindade E, Menon D
Record ID 31999008415
English, French
Authors' objectives:

To review the literature relating to the use of SSRIs in major depression.

Authors' recommendations: Efficacy was not statistically significantly different among individual SSRIs or between SSRIs as a group and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or other antidepressants. This remained true regardless of the patient mix, whether they were inpatients or outpatients, age, or drug doses. Although placebo was shown to produce improvement, SSRIs were significantly more efficacious than placebo. Completion rates were not statistically significantly different among individual SSRIs or between SSRIs as a group and TCAs or other antidepressants (whether patients are elderly or adult, or whether they are inpatients or outpatients). Completion rates with SSRIs were significantly better than with placebo. Differences in drop-outs (between SSRIs and TCAs) due to lack of effect or worsening of symptoms were not statistically significantly different. Neither were the differences in drop-out rates due to adverse events, except when adult and outpatient group were combined. In the combined group of adults and outpatients, there were 2% fewer drop-outs due to adverse events, a statistically significant difference. SSRIs were shown to be associated with statistically significantly more nausea, anorexia, diarrhea, anxiety, agitation, insomnia and nervousness than TCAs. On the other hand, patients on SSRIs have statistically significantly fewer rates of: dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision and dizziness than with TCAs. The method by which information on adverse events was elicited did not significantly alter these findings.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 1997
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Canada
MeSH Terms
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
  • Depressive Disorder
Organisation Name: Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment
Contact Address: 600-865 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1S 5S8 Canada. Tel: +1 613 226 2553, Fax: +1 613 226 5392;
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.