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Hayasaka, 2015 Dose equivalents of antidepressants: Evidence-based recommendations from randomized controlled trials

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Journal of Affective Disorders , Volume 180 , 179 - 184 July 15, 2015
Dose equivalents of antidepressants: Evidence-based recommendations from randomized controlled trials
Hayasaka, Yu et al.
Abstract and free full text at http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(15)00151-2/abstract?cc=y=
Dose equivalence of antidepressants is critically important for clinical practice and for research. There are several methods to define and calculate dose equivalence but for antidepressants, only daily defined dose and consensus methods have been applied to date. The purpose of the present study is to examine dose equivalence of antidepressants by a less arbitrary and more systematic method.

We used data from all randomized, double-blind, flexible-dose trials comparing fluoxetine or paroxetine as standard drugs with any other active antidepressants as monotherapy in the acute phase treatment of unipolar depression. We calculated the ratio of the mean doses for each study and weighted it by the total sample size to find the weighted mean ratio for each drug, which was then used to define the drug׳s dosage equivalent to fluoxetine 40 mg/d.

We included 83 studies (14 131 participants). In the primary analysis, fluoxetine 40 mg/day was equivalent to paroxetine dosage of 34.0 mg/day, agomelatine 53.2 mg/day, amitriptyline, 122.3 mg/day, bupropion 348.5 mg/day, clomipramine 116.1 mg/day, desipramine 196.3 mg/day, dothiepin 154.8 mg/day, doxepin 140.1 mg/day, escitalopram 18.0 mg/day, fluvoxamine 143.3 mg/day, imipramine 137.2 mg/day, lofepramine 250.2 mg/day, maprotiline 118.0 mg/day, mianserin, 101.1 mg/day, mirtazapine 50.9 mg/day, moclobemide 575.2 mg/day, nefazodone 535.2 mg/day, nortriptyline 100.9 mg/day, reboxetine 11.5 mg/day, sertraline 98.5 mg/day, trazodone 401.4 mg/day, and venlafaxine 149.4 mg/day. Sensitivity analyses corroborated the results except for doxepin.

The number of studies for some drugs was small. The current method assumes dose response relationship of antidepressants.



Table 1 showing equivalencies to 40mg fluoxetine (Prozac) is here http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327%2815%2900151-2/fulltext#s0060


From the paper, dosage of fluoxetine 40 mg/day (a high dosage; "normal" dosage of fluoxetine is 20mg) was equivalent to:

  • paroxetine 34.0 mg/day
  • agomelatine 53.2 mg/day
  • amitriptyline, 122.3 mg/day
  • bupropion 348.5 mg/day
  • clomipramine 116.1 mg/day
  • desipramine 196.3 mg/day
  • dothiepin 154.8 mg/day
  • doxepin 140.1 mg/day
  • escitalopram 18.0 mg/day (note: 9mg escilatopram = 20mg fluoxetine, the "normal" dose of fluoxetine)
  • fluvoxamine 143.3 mg/day
  • imipramine 137.2 mg/day
  • lofepramine 250.2 mg/day
  • maprotiline 118.0 mg/day
  • mianserin, 101.1 mg/day
  • mirtazapine 50.9 mg/day
  • moclobemide 575.2 mg/day
  • nefazodone 535.2 mg/day
  • nortriptyline 100.9 mg/day
  • reboxetine 11.5 mg/day
  • sertraline 98.5 mg/day
  • trazodone 401.4 mg/day
  • venlafaxine 149.4 mg/day

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This is actually very useful thankyou for posting this.


I wonder how much subjective-ness comes into this.


Anyway it is interesting to learn how potent reboxetine is.

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Great info! No more guessing around,

Sadly, lexapro is almost twice the Paxil in potency.

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