Adverse effects and treatment satisfaction among online users of four antidepressants
Adverse effects (AEs) are an important factor in antidepressant treatment decision-making, though common AE profiles from clinical trial research highlight physical AEs to the neglect of emotional and behavioral AEs. First-hand accounts of antidepressant users on the Internet can supplement AE profiles with information gained from real-world treatment experiences. We examined online user reviews of two older (escitalopram; duloxetine) and two newer (vilazodone; vortioxetine) antidepressants for differences in their AE profiles and determined which categories of AEs were associated with users’ satisfaction. A codebook of 60 physical, emotional, and behavioral AEs was used for line-by-line coding of effects reported among 3243 user reviews from three popular health websites. Emotional and behavioral effects were commonly reported (41%), followed by sleep (31.9%) and gastrointestinal (25.0%) effects. Specific AEs statistically significantly varied across drugs, creating potentially meaningful differences in AE profiles. Users of newer drugs more often reported emotional instability, while users of older drugs reported more emotional blunting. Emotional and behavioral AEs demonstrated moderate to substantial relationships with users’ satisfaction, whereas gastrointestinal, metabolic, or sexual AEs were minimally related. More specific and systematic assessment of a broader range of AEs is needed in both research and practice.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Hughes, Lacasse, J., Fuller, R. R., & Spaulding-Givens, J. (2017). Adverse effects and treatment satisfaction among online users of four antidepressants. Psychiatry Research, 255, 78–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2017.05.021