Are antidepressants beneficial for depressed patients with cancer?
UP to 25% of patients receiving palliative care develop symptoms of depression, reducing their quality of life.
A Cochrane review has studied the effect of antidepressant drugs on adults with cancer. Nine trials involving 861 patients were included in the review. Most of the trials studied SSRIs. Some of the older trials involved drugs such as mianserin.
Five trials compared an antidepressant with a placebo. Overall, there was no difference in efficacy after 6–12 weeks of treatment, although one study showed an advantage for