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Kobe J Med Sci. 2008 Jul 18;54(2):E147-58.

The efficacy of reboxetine as an antidepressant, a meta-analysis of both continuous (mean HAM-D score) and dichotomous (response rate) outcomes.

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Division of Applied Medical Statistics and Decision Sciences, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.


Reboxetine is the first selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (NRI). There are limited numbers of quantitative synthesis studies of the efficacy of this drug in treating depressive disorders. We have meta-analyzed the efficacy of the reboxetine using both continuous and dichotomous outcome measures. Data was collected from the Pubmed search of English-language studies published from 1997 to 2007 and manual search of retrieved articles. We have searched for controlled clinical trials of reboxetine with any other antidepressant comparator or placebo in adults with depressive disorders using HAM-D scale for the outcome measure. After 11 studies were selected, separate meta-analyses for the active drug and for the placebo were performed using random effect model. The overall effect size compared with the other antidepressants was -0.06 (95%CI: -0.19; 0.08), with placebo -1.54 (95%CI: -2.23; -0.85). It was calculated using the final mean HAM-D score (continuous outcome). The pooled SD was used when the variance was not available. Pooled odds ratios for the response rates (dichotomous outcome) were 1.04 (95%CI: 0.75; 1.46) and 2.85 (95%CI: 1.88; 4.31) for the active drug and placebo comparisons accordingly. These results suggest that the efficacy of the reboxetine and the other antidepressants (SSRI, TCA and SNRI) on both measures does not differ while it is significantly superior to placebo.

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