Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 42 (10), 791-6

The Persistence of the Placebo Response in Antidepressant Clinical Trials

Affiliations
Review

The Persistence of the Placebo Response in Antidepressant Clinical Trials

Arif Khan et al. J Psychiatr Res.

Abstract

Our objective was to assess the persistence of the placebo response during at least 12 weeks of continued placebo administration in depressed patients who have responded to 6-8 weeks of acute placebo treatment. We identified 8 placebo-controlled antidepressant trials with a total of 3,063 depressed patients in which, after acute phase placebo treatment, placebo was continued for more than 12 weeks. The number of patients entering the continuation phase and percentages relapsing during this phase were determined. Based on the total number of patients entering the continuation phase 79% of placebo responders remained well (did not meet relapse criteria) during this phase compared to 93% of antidepressant responders. Although significantly more patients on placebo than on antidepressants relapsed in the continuation phase, 4 out of 5 placebo responders stayed well. The widely held belief that the placebo response in depression is short-lived appears to be based largely on intuition and perhaps wishful thinking.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 17 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Substances

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback