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Review: venlafaxine is more effective than selective serotoninreuptake inhibitors for depression

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 QUESTION: In patients with depressive disorders, is venlafaxine more effective and tolerable than other antidepressants?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, BIOSIS, PsycLIT, National Research Register, HealthSTAR, SIGLE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, DARE, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and Current Controlled Trials. Reference lists were hand searched, and authors and study sponsors were contacted.

Study selection

2 reviewers independently selected randomised, double blind, controlled trials that compared venlafaxine with another antidepressant for the treatment of depression. Disagreements were resolved by discussion.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on patient age and sex, patient selection criteria, drug doses and regimens, quality of study methods, length of follow-up, and outcomes (depression severity, response [≥50% improvement from baseline], remission [depression rating scale …

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  • Source of funding: Wyeth Laboratories.

  • For correspondence: Dr N Freemantle, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. Email N.Freemantle{at}