Antidepressants in cancer – Cochrane Review

Author: Margaret Gibbs
Category: Medication News
Date: November 28, 2018

Psychiatrists with an interest in end-of-life care have reviewed the evidence for the management of depression in cancer patients, as it has a great impact. Their conclusions, as usual, were that more RCTs are required as the available studies were very few and of low quality.

The review found very low certainty evidence for the effects of these drugs compared with a placebo. On the basis of these results, clear implications for practice cannot be deduced. The use of antidepressants in people with cancer should be considered on an individual basis and, considering the lack of head‐to‐head data, the choice of which agent to prescribe may be based on antidepressant efficacy data in the general population of individuals with major depression, also taking into account that data on medically ill patients suggest a positive safety profile for the SSRIs.


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