Table 7Study characteristics and effect sizes of trials indicating a faster onset of mirtazapine than fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline

StudySample sizeComparisonEffect sizep-valueComments
Faster onset of mirtazapine
Behnke et al., 200391346SertralineSignificantly higher response rates at days 7, 10, and 14 with mirtazapine (rates not reported)day 7: P<0.05
day 10: P<0.01
day 14: P<0.05
No statistically significant differences in response and remission at endpoint (day 56)
Benkert et al., 200090275ParoxetineSignificantly more responders (23.2% compared with 8.9%) and remitters (8.8% compared with 2.4%) at day 7response: P=0.002


remission: P=0.03
More responders and remitters in the mirtazapine group throughout the study. No statistically significant difference at endpoint (response: 58.3% compared with 53.7%; remission: 40.9% compared with 34.8%)
response:remission:
RRR: 0.150.07
RD: 0.140.07
NNT: 815
Hong et al., 200388133FluoxetineAt day 28 significantly more responders with mirtazapine (53,3% compared with 39.0%)

RRR: 0.23
RD: 0.14
NNT: 7
Difference does not reach statistical significance. No p-values reportedNo statistically significant differences in overall response rate at week 6; more responders in the mirtazapine group (58% compared with 51%)
Schatzberg et al., 200289255ParoxetineSignificantly more responders at day 14 with mirtazapine (27.8% compared with 13.3%);
RRR: 0.17
RD: 0.14
NNT: 7
P=0.005No statistically significant differences in overall response rate at week 8; more responders in the mirtazapine group (58% compared with 51%) at endpoint.
significantly greater decrease of HAM-D scores from day 7 to day 21 with mirtazapine;P<0.01 (day 7, 14)
P=0.024 (day 21)
median time to response:
Mirtazapine: 26 days
Paroxetine: 40 days
Kaplan-Mayer: P=0.016

Abbreviations: RRR, Relative Risk Reduction; RD, Risk Difference; NNT, Number Needed to Treat

From: Results

Cover of Drug Class Review: Second-Generation Antidepressants
Drug Class Review: Second-Generation Antidepressants: Final Update 5 Report [Internet].
Gartlehner G, Hansen RA, Reichenpfader U, et al.
Portland (OR): Oregon Health & Science University; 2011 Mar.
Copyright © 2011 Oregon Health & Science University.

PubMed Health. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.