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A meta-analysis of effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on blood pressure in depression treatment: outcomes from placebo and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor controlled trials

Authors Zhong Z, Wang L, Wen X, Liu Y, Fan Y, Liu Z

Received 15 May 2017

Accepted for publication 18 July 2017

Published 7 November 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 2781—2796


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Zhuoyuan Zhong,1,* Limin Wang,2,* Xiaojun Wen,3 Yunyun Liu,4 Yafei Fan,5 Zhonglin Liu5

1Department of Neurology, The People’s Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning, China; 2Department of Neurology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangdong Neuroscience Institute, Guangzhou, China; 3Department of Neurology, Guangzhou First Municipal People’s Hospital, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou-Birmingham University Brain and Cognition Center, Guangzhou, China; 4Department of Neurology, the Sixth Affiliated Hospital Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; 5Department of Neurology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have been commonly prescribed for depression treatment. However, their effects on blood pressure are unclear.
Materials and methods: Effects on blood pressure of depressive patients in two groups (SSRIs versus placebo and SSRIs versus SNRIs) were evaluated. A search was conducted for double-blind, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in PubMed, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, PsycNET, CCRCT, and DARE (up to March 2017). The outcomes were systolic blood pressure (SBP) changes and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) changes from baseline to endpoint or to a certain period of treatment duration. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% CIs were calculated and pooled using random effects models. The χ2 test and I2 statistics were used to assess heterogeneity. Funnel plots, Begg’s test, and Egger’s test were used to estimate publication bias.
Results: A total of 23 RCTs involving 13,285 participants were included. Patients on SSRIs showed no significant differences in blood pressure changes compared with placebo. In the group of SSRIs versus SNRIs, overall SBP changes and DBP changes revealed statistical significances (WMD 1.5 mmHg, 95% CI -2.15, -0.84, Z=4.46, P<0.00001 and WMD 1.34 mmHg, 95% CI -1.92, -0.75, Z=6.18, P<0.00001). Subgroup analyses on treatment duration and age further evidenced these findings.
Conclusion: It was established that SSRIs did not affect blood pressure, while SNRIs led to a modest increase in SBP and DBP with statistical significance compared with SSRIs.

Keywords: meta-analysis, blood pressure change, depression treatment, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, depression, antidepressant, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure

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