[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objective:
This is an analysis of the unpublished continuation phase of Study 329, the primary objective of which was to compare the efficacy and safety of paroxetine and imipramine with placebo in the treatment of adolescents with unipolar major depression. The objectives of the continuation phase were to assess safety and relapse rates in the longer term. The objective of this publication, under the Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) initiative, was to see whether access to and analysis of the previously unpublished dataset from the continuation phase of this randomized controlled trial would have clinically relevant implications for evidence-based medicine.
The study was an eight-week double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial with a six month continuation phase. The setting was 12 North American academic psychiatry centres, from 20 April 1994 to 15 February 1998. 275 adolescents with major depression were originally enrolled in Study 329, with 190 completing the eight-week acute phase. Of these, 119 patients (43%) entered the six-month continuation phase (paroxetine n?=?49; imipramine n?=?39; placebo n?=?31), in which participants were continued on their current treatment, blinded. As per the protocol, we have looked at rates of relapse (based on Hamilton Depression Scale scores) across both acute and continuation phases, and generated a safety profile for paroxetine and imipramine compared with placebo for up to six months.ANOVA testing (generalized linear model) using a model including effects of site, treatment and site x treatment interaction was applied. Otherwise we used only descriptive statistics.
Of patients entering the continuation phase, 15 of 49 for paroxetine (31%), 12 of 39 for imipramine (31%) and 12 of 31 for placebo (39%) completed as responders. Across the study, 25 patients on paroxetine relapsed (41% of those showing an initial response), 15 on imipramine (26%), and 10 on placebo (21%). In the continuation and taper phases combined there were 211 adverse events in the paroxetine group, 147 on imipramine and 100 on placebo. The taper phase had a higher proportion of severe adverse events per week of exposure than the acute phase, with the continuation phase having the fewest events.
The continuation phase did not offer support for longer-term efficacy of either paroxetine or imipramine. Relapse and adverse events on both active drugs open up the risks of a prescribing cascade. The previously largely unrecognised hazards of the taper phase have implications for prescribing practice and need further exploration.
Full-text available · Article · Sep 2016 · The International journal of risk & safety in medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objective:
Deconstruction of a ghostwritten report of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy and safety trial of citalopram in depressed children and adolescents conducted in the United States.
Approximately 750 documents from the Celexa and Lexapro Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation: Master Docket 09-MD-2067-(NMG) were deconstructed.
The published article contained efficacy and safety data inconsistent with the protocol criteria. Procedural deviations went unreported imparting statistical significance to the primary outcome, and an implausible effect size was claimed; positive post hoc measures were introduced and negative secondary outcomes were not reported; and adverse events were misleadingly analysed. Manuscript drafts were prepared by company employees and outside ghostwriters with academic researchers solicited as 'authors'.
Deconstruction of court documents revealed that protocol-specified outcome measures showed no statistically significant difference between citalopram and placebo. However, the published article concluded that citalopram was safe and significantly more efficacious than placebo for children and adolescents, with possible adverse effects on patient safety.
Article · Mar 2016 · The International journal of risk & safety in medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives To reanalyse SmithKline Beecham’s Study 329 (published by Keller and colleagues in 2001), the primary objective of which was to compare the efficacy and safety of paroxetine and imipramine with placebo in the treatment of adolescents with unipolar major depression. The reanalysis under the restoring invisible and abandoned trials (RIAT) initiative was done to see whether access to and reanalysis of a full dataset from a randomised controlled trial would have clinically relevant implications for evidence based medicine.
Design Double blind randomised placebo controlled trial.
Setting 12 North American academic psychiatry centres, from 20 April 1994 to 15 February 1998.
Participants 275 adolescents with major depression of at least eight weeks in duration. Exclusion criteria included a range of comorbid psychiatric and medical disorders and suicidality.
Interventions Participants were randomised to eight weeks double blind treatment with paroxetine (20-40 mg), imipramine (200-300 mg), or placebo.
Main outcome measures The prespecified primary efficacy variables were change from baseline to the end of the eight week acute treatment phase in total Hamilton depression scale (HAM-D) score and the proportion of responders (HAM-D score ≤8 or ≥50% reduction in baseline HAM-D) at acute endpoint. Prespecified secondary outcomes were changes from baseline to endpoint in depression items in K-SADS-L, clinical global impression, autonomous functioning checklist, self-perception profile, and sickness impact scale; predictors of response; and number of patients who relapse during the maintenance phase. Adverse experiences were to be compared primarily by using descriptive statistics. No coding dictionary was prespecified.
Results The efficacy of paroxetine and imipramine was not statistically or clinically significantly different from placebo for any prespecified primary or secondary efficacy outcome. HAM-D scores decreased by 10.7 (least squares mean) (95% confidence interval 9.1 to 12.3), 9.0 (7.4 to 10.5), and 9.1 (7.5 to 10.7) points, respectively, for the paroxetine, imipramine and placebo groups (P=0.20). There were clinically significant increases in harms, including suicidal ideation and behaviour and other serious adverse events in the paroxetine group and cardiovascular problems in the imipramine group.
Conclusions Neither paroxetine nor high dose imipramine showed efficacy for major depression in adolescents, and there was an increase in harms with both drugs. Access to primary data from trials has important implications for both clinical practice and research, including that published conclusions about efficacy and safety should not be read as authoritative. The reanalysis of Study 329 illustrates the necessity of making primary trial data and protocols available to increase the rigour of the evidence base.
Full-text available · Article · Sep 2015 · BMJ British medical journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: To the Editor Ross et al reported “no significant association between antidepressant medication exposure and spontaneous abortion (odds ratio [OR], 1.47; 95% CI, 0.99 to 2.17; P = .055)” (italics, our emphasis).1(p436) Confidence intervals provide inferential evidence about the range of plausible values for the population parameter of interest.2,3 A simple examination of the values covered by the reported 95% CI from 0.99 to 2.17 suffices to show that an association between the exposure to antidepressant medication and spontaneous abortion is likely and that results are nonnegligible from a clinical perspective. Results are not statistically significant but the differences are of clinical interest.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Polypharmacy, defined as the concomitant use of two or more psychotropic drugs, has become increasingly common in the paediatric and adolescent population over the past two decades. Combining psychotropic drugs leads to possible increases in benefits, but also in risks, particularly given the potential for psychotropic drug interactions. Despite the increasing use of concomitant therapy in children and adolescents, there is very little evidence from controlled clinical trials to provide guidance for prescribers. Even while acknowledging the small evidence base, clinical practice guidelines from eminent medical organizations are either relatively silent on or tend to support the use of concomitant treatments more enthusiastically than the evidence would warrant, so that practice and guidance are running ahead of the science. Our narrative review shows that the published evidence for efficacy and safety of concomitant psychotropic drugs in children and adolescents is scanty. A comprehensive search located 37 studies published over the last decade, of which 18 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs). These focused mainly on stimulants, central sympatholytics (such as clonidine), antipsychotics and 'mood stabilizers'. While several small, often methodologically weak, RCTs demonstrated statistically significant advantages for dual pharmacotherapy over monotherapy, only adding central sympatholytics to stimulants for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms was supported by substantial studies with an effect size large enough to suggest clinical importance. Non-randomized studies tended to have results that supported concomitant treatment, but all have design-related problems that decrease the reliability of the results. Two studies that specifically examined tolerability of combination pharmacotherapy compared with monotherapy showed significant increases in adverse effects, both subjective and objective, and other studies confirmed a statistically significant increase in adverse effects, including sedation and self-harm. Given the extent of combination therapy occurring, particularly in conditions such as ADHD, and the ambiguous evidence for benefit with clear evidence of harm, we propose that further research should be carried out as a matter of urgency. Until such a time, the attitude to combination pharmacotherapy should be conservative, and combining psychotropic medications should be considered as an 'n of 1' trial to be closely monitored.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: In recent articles, Gibbons and colleagues1,2 concluded that antidepressants lowered suicidality relative to placebo among adult patients while demonstrating no difference in suicidality among youths; they further concluded that antidepressants possessed robust efficacy vs placebo. However, there are several problems with the underlying data and their choice of suicidality measures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: A task force of pharmaceutical industry employees and medical journal editors propose 10 recommendations to address the problem of erosion of confidence in the reporting of the results of industry-sponsored clinical trials. These recommendations would not restore credibility to industry-sponsored
biomedical research. A radical solution is required that severs the relationship between the industry and the journals and restores the integrity of the medical literature.
Article · Dec 2012 · Ethical human psychology and psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The Bipolar Disorders: Improving Diagnosis, Guidance and Education (BRIDGE) study1 by Angst et al has received coverage in psychiatric online media.2- 4 The message is that almost half the patients with a major depressive episode have undiagnosed bipolar disorder and are “not receiving necessary mood stabilizer treatment.”2 Such views are controversial and far from the mainstream as reflected in International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision and DSM-IV. Yet the BRIDGE study findings were published without accompanying commentary or critique.
Article · Jun 2012 · Archives of general psychiatry