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Review: SSRIs lead to improvement in depression by the end of the first week

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 Q In patients with depression, do selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have an early or delayed onset of antidepressant action?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ GP/FP/Mental health ★★★★★★☆ Psychiatry ★★★★★☆☆


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CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) and reference lists of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

RCTs in any language were included if they reported outcome measures for SSRI treatment at ⩾2 time points. RCTs in older adults (⩾65 y) or in patients with specific comorbidities were excluded. 50 RCTs were identified, of which 28 (n = 5872) provided sufficient data for analysis. SSRIs used were …

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  • For correspondence: Dr M J Taylor, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. matthew.taylor{at}

  • Sources of funding: Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship and National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.