Meta-analysis: Second generation antidepressants and headache

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Meta-analysis: Second generation antidepressants and headache
Key Take-Away: 

People who suffered from the most disabling and widespread form of depression, second-generation antidepressants are the frequently prescribed medications. The following study highlights the association of second-generation antidepressants; class, dosage, and pharmacodynamics with the headache. The results reveal that these headaches are more of coincidental form than as the treatment-related side effect of these medications.


The study aimed to determine the risk of headache linked to the antidepressant medications their class, dosage and pharmacodynamics.



The data of all randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that involved second-generation antidepressant medications in the management of anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorders was collected from PubMed. The investigation of the pooled risk ratio of headache described as a side-effect in adults treated with second-generation antidepressants compared to placebo was done using a fixed-effect meta-analysis. Further, examination of the impacts of medication type, dosage, class, receptor affinity profile and indication was done using stratified subgroup analysis and meta-regression.


The increased risk of headache was considerably related to SSRIs when compared with placebo. No significant difference was noted in the risk of headache between SNRIs and SSRIs. The relative risk of headache with second-generation antidepressants, pharmacological properties and dosage of medications also showed no considerable difference. Only Escitalopram and Bupropion antidepressants exhibited the connection with the increased risk of headache.


Headaches listed following the introduction of second-generation antidepressant medicines are more expected to be simultaneous than a treatment-emergent side effect of these medicines.


J Affect Disord

Link to the source:

Original title of article:

Meta-analysis: Second generation antidepressants and headache.


ShilpaTelang et al.

Therapeutic, Escitalopram, Bupropion, Headache, Head, Second-generation Antidepressant, Meta-analysis, Safety
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