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Are Two Antidepressant Mechanisms Better Than One? Issues in Clinical Trial Design and Analysis

Andrew C. Leon, PhD

Published: March 1, 2004

Article Abstract

The introduction of newer antidepressants that affect both serotonergic and noradrenergic neurotransmissionhas prompted the question of whether two antidepressant mechanisms of action are betterthan one for the treatment of depression. Existing data do not provide a definitive answer. Whetherfuture studies provide the answer will depend largely on the quality of trial designs. Some design aspectsare dictated by the nature of such a study (e.g., superiority vs. equivalence trial), and others aresomewhat more discretionary (e.g., assessment tools, statistical procedures). Issues in the design andanalysis of clinical trials comparing dual- and single-action antidepressants are discussed.

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