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Antidepressants versus placebo for panic disorder in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2018
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (93rd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (75th percentile)

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70 tweeters
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6 Facebook pages

Citations

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7 Dimensions

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Title
Antidepressants versus placebo for panic disorder in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010676.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Irene Bighelli, Mariasole Castellazzi, Andrea Cipriani, Francesca Girlanda, Giuseppe Guaiana, Markus Koesters, Giulia Turrini, Toshi A Furukawa, Corrado Barbui

Abstract

Panic disorder is characterised by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, which represent a discrete period of fear or anxiety that has a rapid onset, reaches a peak within 10 minutes, and in which at least four of 13 characteristic symptoms are experienced, including racing heart, chest pain, sweating, shaking, dizziness, flushing, stomach churning, faintness and breathlessness. It is common in the general population with a lifetime prevalence of 1% to 4%. The treatment of panic disorder includes psychological and pharmacological interventions. Amongst pharmacological agents, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the British Association for Psychopharmacology consider antidepressants, mainly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as the first-line treatment for panic disorder, due to their more favourable adverse effect profile over monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Several classes of antidepressants have been studied and compared, but it is still unclear which antidepressants have a more or less favourable profile in terms of effectiveness and acceptability in the treatment of this condition. To assess the effects of antidepressants for panic disorder in adults, specifically:1. to determine the efficacy of antidepressants in alleviating symptoms of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia, in comparison to placebo;2. to review the acceptability of antidepressants in panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia, in comparison with placebo; and3. to investigate the adverse effects of antidepressants in panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia, including the general prevalence of adverse effects, compared to placebo. We searched the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders' (CCMD) Specialised Register, and CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO up to May 2017. We handsearched reference lists of relevant papers and previous systematic reviews. All double-blind, randomised, controlled trials (RCTs) allocating adults with panic disorder to antidepressants or placebo. Two review authors independently checked eligibility and extracted data using a standard form. We entered data into Review Manager 5 using a double-check procedure. Information extracted included study characteristics, participant characteristics, intervention details and settings. Primary outcomes included failure to respond, measured by a range of response scales, and treatment acceptability, measured by total number of dropouts for any reason. Secondary outcomes included failure to remit, panic symptom scales, frequency of panic attacks, agoraphobia, general anxiety, depression, social functioning, quality of life and patient satisfaction, measured by various scales as defined in individual studies. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome MAIN RESULTS: Forty-one unique RCTs including 9377 participants overall, of whom we included 8252 in the 49 placebo-controlled arms of interest (antidepressant as monotherapy and placebo alone) in this review. The majority of studies were of moderate to low quality due to inconsistency, imprecision and unclear risk of selection and performance bias.We found low-quality evidence that revealed a benefit for antidepressants as a group in comparison with placebo in terms of efficacy measured as failure to respond (risk ratio (RR) 0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.66 to 0.79; participants = 6500; studies = 30). The magnitude of effect corresponds to a number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) of 7 (95% CI 6 to 9): that means seven people would need to be treated with antidepressants in order for one to benefit. We observed the same finding when classes of antidepressants were compared with placebo.Moderate-quality evidence suggested a benefit for antidepressants compared to placebo when looking at number of dropouts due to any cause (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.97; participants = 7850; studies = 30). The magnitude of effect corresponds to a NNTB of 27 (95% CI 17 to 105); treating 27 people will result in one person fewer dropping out. Considering antidepressant classes, TCAs showed a benefit over placebo, while for SSRIs and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs) we observed no difference.When looking at dropouts due to adverse effects, which can be considered as a measure of tolerability, we found moderate-quality evidence showing that antidepressants as a whole are less well tolerated than placebo. In particular, TCAs and SSRIs produced more dropouts due to adverse effects in comparison with placebo, while the confidence interval for SNRI, noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors (NRI) and other antidepressants were wide and included the possibility of no difference. The identified studies comprehensively address the objectives of the present review.Based on these results, antidepressants may be more effective than placebo in treating panic disorder. Efficacy can be quantified as a NNTB of 7, implying that seven people need to be treated with antidepressants in order for one to benefit. Antidepressants may also have benefit in comparison with placebo in terms of number of dropouts, but a less favourable profile in terms of dropout due to adverse effects. However, the tolerability profile varied between different classes of antidepressants.The choice of whether antidepressants should be prescribed in clinical practice cannot be made on the basis of this review.Limitations in results include funding of some studies by pharmaceutical companies, and only assessing short-term outcomes.Data from the present review will be included in a network meta-analysis of psychopharmacological treatment in panic disorder, which will hopefully provide further useful information on this issue.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 70 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 81 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 1 1%
Unknown 80 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 19 23%
Unspecified 14 17%
Student > Bachelor 12 15%
Student > Postgraduate 9 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 10%
Other 19 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 29 36%
Unspecified 22 27%
Psychology 11 14%
Nursing and Health Professions 6 7%
Neuroscience 5 6%
Other 8 10%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 42. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 12 May 2019.
All research outputs
#421,984
of 13,613,782 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#1,231
of 10,678 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#17,238
of 272,363 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#48
of 199 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,613,782 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,678 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.1. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 272,363 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 199 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its contemporaries.