Abstract With respect to the pharmacological characteristic, venlafaxine is comparable with tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and venlafaxine might be comparable in efficacy. We performed a systematic review investigating the relative efficacy and tolerability of venlafaxine compared with TCAs (imipramine, clomipramine, amitriptyline, nortriptyline and desipramine). Relevant double-blind randomised trials were identified from systematic searches of electronic databases. An exact analysis of the estimated odds ratios of response of the TCA relative to venlafaxine showed no overall significance of treatment effect (P = 0.38). The odds ratios were not homogenous across studies (P = 0.0213). The average dose of venlafaxine was 103.5 mg/day and for the TCA 106.1 mg/day. An exact analysis of the estimated odds ratios of the withdrawals and side effects in the trials with a TCA relative to venlafaxine showed no overall significance of withdrawal. From our review, no significant difference in treatment effect between low dose of both venlafaxine and the TCAs could be found. In our opinion, because of the heterogeneity of the odds ratios, one cannot conclude that they are of equal efficacy.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation/adverse effects/*therapeutic use, Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic/adverse effects/*therapeutic use, Cyclohexanols/adverse effects/*therapeutic use, Depressive Disorder/*drug therapy/psychology, Humans, Odds Ratio, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Research Design, Treatment Outcome
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881108089821, hdl.handle.net/1765/20872
Citation
van den Broek, W.W., Mulder, P.G.H., van Os, E., Birkenhäger, T.K., Pluijms, E.M., & Bruijn, J.A.. (2009). Efficacy of venlafaxine compared with tricyclic antidepressants in depressive disorder: a meta-analysis. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 23(6), 708–713. doi:10.1177/0269881108089821