Pharmacological treatment of severely depressed patients: a meta-analysis comparing efficacy of mirtazapine and amitriptyline

S. Kasper, M. Zivkov, K.C.B. Roes, A.G. Pols

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Efficacy data were available from 405 severely depressed patients (baseline 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-HAMD scores ≤25) participating in randomized, double blind, amitriptyline-controlled studies of mirtazapine. Main efficacy variables were changes from baseline in the group mean 17-item HAMD scores and responder rates. Secondary efficacy variables were changes in depressed mood item on the HAMD and in factors derived from the 17-item HAMD scale. Treatment with either mirtazapine or amitriptyline resulted in robust reductions of baseline HAMD scores and in similar and high percentages of responders. Both drugs produced favourable effects on depressed mood and on symptoms commonly associated with depression, such as anxiety, sleep and vegetative disturbances. There were neither statistically significant nor clinically relevant differences between mirtazapine and amitriptyline at any assessment point nor at endpoint. The results demonstrate that the new antidepressant mirtazapine and the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline are equally effective in the treatment of severely depressed patients.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)115-124
    JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
    Volume7
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

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