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Review: antidepressive agents improve symptoms and reduce pain in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders

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 QUESTION: Are antidepressive agents efficacious for treating patients with functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966–98), PsycLIT (1974–98), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1974–98), the Cochrane Library, and the Federal Research in Progress database using the terms antidepressive agents, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, amoxapine, clomipramine, tramipramine, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, amitriptyline, maprotiline, nortriptyline, protriptyline, trazodone, nefazodone, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, femosetine, venlafaxine, bupropion, citalopram, mianserin, pizotyline, pizotifen, functional colonic diseases, dyspepsia, and abdominal pain. Bibliographies of relevant reviews and studies were scanned.

Study selection

Randomised controlled trials were selected if they compared an antidepressive agent with placebo in an adult population and outcome data were provided.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: Dr J L Jackson, Department of Medicine-EDP, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. Fax +1 202 782 7363.