Bupropion versus Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors for Treatment of Depression
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OBJECTIVE: To compare the benefits and risks of bupropion and selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in adults with depression. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE (1966-September 1999), Embase (1980-August 1999), PsyclNFO (1887-August 1999), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-August 1999), and CIANHL databases were searched. References from the selected citations, review articles, and the manufacturer were also screened. STUDY SELECTION: Included studies were randomized, double-blind, controlled trials evaluating bupropion versus SSRIs for depression in adults. Studies were assessed independently in duplicate. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus. DATA ANALYSIS: Data are reported as absolute weighted mean differences or relative risks and 95% confidence intervals comparing bupropion relative to SSRIs. Data not combined are presented qualitatively. DATA SYNTHESIS: Six full-length studies were included of 257 citations identified. SSRI comparators were fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine. No differences in Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) and Clinical Global Impressions Scale for Improvement of illness (CGI-I) were found, but data were not able to be quantitatively combined. The absolute weighted mean differences were 0.10 (95% CI -0.2 to 0.4) for the CGI for Severity of Illness and 0.37 (95% CI -0.85 to 1.6) for the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety measurements. Relative risks of bupropion compared with SSRIs were 0.6 (95% CI 0.41 to 0.89), 0.31 (95% CI 0.16 to 0.57), and 0.27 (95% CI 0.15 to 0.48) for nausea, diarrhea, and somnolence, respectively. Sexual arousal disorder, orgasmic dysfunction, and sexual desire disorder occurred less with bupropion than with SSRIs, with relative risks of 0.46 (95% CI 0.26 to 0.83), 0.22 (95% CI 0.12 to 0.40), and 0.65 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.84), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Bupropion and SSRIs have similar effectiveness; however, bupropion was associated with less nausea, diarrhea, somnolence, and sexual dysfunction.
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