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Major depression is a severe mental illness characterised by a persistent and unreactive low mood and loss of all interest and pleasure, usually accompanied by a range of symptoms including appetite change, sleep disturbance, fatigue, loss of energy, poor concentration, psychomotor symptoms, inappropriate guilt and morbid thoughts of death. Although pharmacological and psychological interventions are both effective for major depression, antidepressant (AD) drugs remain the mainstay for treatment of moderate or severe depression. Fluvoxamine is one of the oldest selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and is prescribed to patients with major depression in many countries. This review reports trials comparing fluvoxamine with other antidepressants for treatment of major depression. We found no strong evidence that fluvoxamine was either superior or inferior to any other antidepressants in terms of efficacy and tolerability in the acute phase treatment of depression. However, there is evidence of differing side‐effect profiles, especially when comparing gastrointestinal side effects between fluvoxamine and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Based on these findings, we conclude that clinicians should focus on practical or clinically relevant considerations including these differences in side effect profiles.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

BACKGROUND: The addition of fluvoxamine to clozapine induces a rise of plasma concentrations of clozapine. This enables the prescription of a lower number of clozapine tablets, yet it attains sufficient clozapine plasma concentrations, and facilitates treatment adherence.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2013

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterised by problems with social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive behaviours and limited activities and interests. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants that are sometimes given to reduce anxiety or obsessive‐compulsive behaviours. We found nine trials, involving 320 people, which evaluated four SSRIs: fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, fenfluramine and citalopram. Five studies included only children and four studies included only adults. One trial enrolled 149 children, but the other trials were much smaller. We found no trials that evaluated sertraline, paroxetine or escitalopram. There is no evidence to support the use of SSRIs to treat autism in children. There is limited evidence, which is not yet sufficiently robust, to suggest effectiveness of SSRIs in adults with autism. Treatment with an SSRI may cause side effects. Decisions about the use of SSRIs for established clinical indications that may co‐occur with autism, such as obsessive‐compulsive disorder and depression in adults or children, and anxiety in adults, should be made on a case‐by‐case basis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Narcolepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system, the main symptoms of which are excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and cataplexy (an abrupt and reversible decrease in or loss of muscle tone, affecting the limbs and/or trunk, elicited by emotional stimuli). Narcolepsy has an adverse impact on people's quality of life. Together with stimulant drugs (used to control EDS), antidepressants are usually recommended to counteract cataplexy. In addition, some antidepressants are also reported to improve EDS. Five trials with 246 participants were included. There is no evidence that antidepressants have a beneficial effect on narcolepsy. Moreover, despite the clinical consensus recommending their use for cataplexy, there is scarce evidence to support the use of antidepressant drugs to treat this symptom.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Tension‐type headache is a common type of headache that can significantly impair people's quality of life. Individuals who experience frequent or severe headaches may benefit from medications taken before the pain starts. Two classes of medication, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin‐norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), typically used to treat depression, are evaluated in this review.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

We performed an updated meta-analysis of fluvoxamine add-on therapy in patients with schizophrenia treated with antipsychotics based on two previous meta-analyses (Sepehry et al., in J Clin Psychiatry 68:604-610, 2007 and Singh et al., in Br J Psychiatry J Mental Sci 197:174-179, 2010). We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Library database, and PsycINFO up to January 2013. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data from randomized controlled trials comparing fluvoxamine add-on therapy with placebo. The risk ratio (RR), 95 % confidence intervals (CI), and standardized mean difference (SMD) were calculated. Seven studies (total n = 272) were identified. These included two clozapine studies, one olanzapine study, one second-generation antipsychotic (SGA) monotherapy study, and three first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) monotherapy studies. There were significant effect of fluvoxamine add-on therapy on overall (SMD = -0.46, CI = -0.75 to -0.16, p = 0.003, I (2) = 0 %, 5 studies, n = 180) and negative symptoms (SMD = -0.44, CI = -0.74 to -0.14, p = 0.004, I (2) = 0 %, 5 studies, n = 180). However, fluvoxamine add-on therapy showed no significant effects on positive symptoms, depressive symptoms, and discontinuations from any cause or adverse events. Fluvoxamine add-on therapy in patients primarily treated with SGAs improved overall (p = 0.02) but not negative symptoms (p = 0.31). On the other hand, fluvoxamine add-on therapy in patients primarily treated with FGAs improved both overall (p = 0.04) and negative symptoms (p = 0.004) compared with control groups. Our results suggest that fluvoxamine add-on therapy is more beneficial on the psychopathology (especially negative symptoms) than controls in patients with schizophrenia who are primarily treated with FGAs. Given that a small number of studies were included in this meta-analysis, the results should be treated with caution.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2013

The authors concluded that there were no large differences between fluvoxamine and any other antidepressant in efficacy or tolerability during the acute phase of treatment of depression, but that side-effects differed between drugs. Overall, this was a well-conducted review and the authors’ conclusions are likely to be reliable.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2009

Antidepressants that enhance both serotonergic and noradrenergic neurotransmission may be more effective than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for acute-phase therapy of major depressive disorder. Mirtazapine in particular has been suggested to have a faster onset of action than reuptake inhibitors. The aim of this study is to compare the remission rates and time to remission in patients with major depression taking either mirtazapine or an SSRI in an all-inclusive set of studies. Data were obtained from all eligible randomized controlled studies contrasting mirtazapine and SSRIs. Meta-analyses of remission rates and time to remission, together with a supportive analysis of mean change from baseline Hamilton Depression Rating Scales-17 were performed, using individual patient data from 15 randomized controlled trials of mirtazapine (N = 1484) versus various SSRIs (N = 1487) across 6 weeks of double-blind therapy. Analyses were repeated for the eight studies that lasted at least 8 weeks. Remission rates for patients treated with mirtazapine were significantly higher when compared with those treated with an SSRI after 1 (3.4 vs. 1.6%, P = 0.0017), 2 (13.0 vs. 7.8%, P<0.0001), 4 (33.1 vs. 25.1%, P<0.0001), and 6 weeks (43.4 vs. 37.5%, P = 0.0006) of treatment. Mirtazapine-treated patients had a 74% higher likelihood of achieving remission during the first 2 weeks of therapy compared with patients treated with SSRIs. In conclusion, the findings indicate that mirtazapine may be a more rapidly effective antidepressant than SSRIs.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2010

The purpose of this meta-analysis is to examine the relationship between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) starting dose and treatment outcome in major depressive disorder (MDD). Medline/Pubmed, EMBASE, the Cochrane database, as well as a number of online clinical trial registries were searched for double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose trials comparing different starting doses of SSRIs for MDD. Data from nine trials (n=2340) were combined using a random-effects model. Patients randomized to receive the usual starting dose (10 mg escitalopram; 20 mg fluoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram; 50 mg sertraline and fluvoxamine) were less likely to respond than patients who received higher starting doses (RR=0.9; P=0.04; response rate 50.8 vs. 54.8%). The rate of discontinuation due to adverse events was lower among the usual starting dose group (9.8%) compared to the higher starting dose group (16.5%).Initiating treatment with SSRIs at doses higher than those typically used in clinical trials/settings is associated with higher response rates but also higher rates of discontinuation due to intolerance. Developing treatment strategies allowing clinicians to deliver higher initial SSRI doses while enhancing the tolerability of treatment may represent an alternative approach to improving the efficacy of treatment of MDD.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2010

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of the use of atypical antipsychotics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of behavioural problems associated with pervasive developmental disorders is reported. A search through both published and unpublished literature, including contacting drug companies and known experts in the field was undertaken. Six trials met the criteria for inclusion in the review. They largely suffer from methodological weaknesses; only two trials had satisfactory methodological quality. The heterogeneity in outcome measurements prevented from conducting a meta-analysis. There is yet no coherent body of data concerning the effects of these medications across all sub-classifications of pervasive developmental disorders, across all age categories, and concerning their medium- and long-term effects, and their effects on quality of life. Atypical antipsychotics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be of benefit for behavioural problems associated with pervasive developmental disorders. Risperidone has been the best studied among these medications. Atypical antipsychotics appear to have a low risk of extrapyramidal symptoms during short-term treatment. The reviewed trials cannot provide data on the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of children with pervasive developmental disorders. No firm conclusions for clinical practice can be drawn. Larger, well-conducted randomized controlled trials with long-term follow-up are needed.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2005

This review of psychological interventions for major depression in primary care concluded that brief treatments were more effective than GP-delivered usual care in reducing symptoms and may be equivalent to antidepressant therapy. Many aspects of this review were well-conducted, but due to a paucity of reporting in several areas the conclusions should not be regarded as reliable.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2008

This review, which determined the efficacy of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents, concluded that CBT gives promising results particularly when combined with medication, but additional studies are needed to clarify its benefits. Given the small datasets with few high-quality studies, the author's conclusion seems appropriate.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2007

This clinical guideline was commissioned by NICE and developed by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health. It sets out clear, evidenceand consensus-based recommendations for healthcare staff on how to treat and manage depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem.

NICE Clinical Guidelines - National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK).

Version: 2010

To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy, comparative effectiveness, and harms of medications (both FDA approved and others) for adults with alcohol-use disorders, and to evaluate the evidence from primary care settings.

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: May 2014

The authors concluded that selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors effectively relieved the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome and pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. Continuous dosing regimens may be more effective than intermittent regimens. The review was in most respects well conducted and the conclusions seemed reliable, though the marked heterogeneity between studies meant that the overall effect size of the intervention is unclear.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2008

This guideline has been developed to advise on supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care. The guideline recommendations have been developed by a multidisciplinary team of health and social care professionals, a person with dementia, carers and guideline methodologists after careful consideration of the best available evidence. It is intended that the guideline will be useful to practitioners and service commissioners in providing and planning high-quality care for those with dementia while also emphasising the importance of the experience of care for people with dementia and carers.

NICE Clinical Guidelines - National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK).

Version: 2007

Major depressive disorders (MDD) and anxiety disorders fall within a spectrum of psychiatric disorders that are characterized by severe and/or persistent symptoms of sadness and irritability that can cause considerable distress and interfere with daily activities. Untreated, they may lead to serious developmental, personal and societal difficulties that may prejudice school success, work productivity, adult development and the forming of relationships. In Canada, it is estimated that approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth have experienced a major depressive episode during their childhood or adolescent years.

Rapid Response Report: Summary with Critical Appraisal - Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

Version: June 11, 2015

Depression is relatively common in primary care patients but is not always identified by primary care providers.

Evidence Syntheses - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: January 2016

The study found that antipsychotics, noradrenergic agents and habit reversal training/comprehensive behavioural intervention for tics are effective in reducing tics in children and young people with Tourette syndrome. The balance of benefits and harms favours the most commonly used medications: risperidone (Risperdal®, Janssen), clonidine (Dixarit®, Boehringer Ingelheim) and aripiprazole (Abilify®, Otsuka).

Health Technology Assessment - NIHR Journals Library.

Version: January 2016

Depression among youth is a relatively common, disabling condition that is associated with serious long-term morbidities and risk of suicide. The majority of depressed youth, however, are undiagnosed and untreated, despite opportunities for identification in settings such as primary care.

Evidence Syntheses - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: April 2009

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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Systematic Review Methods in PubMed

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