SSC Journal Club: Cipriani On Antidepressants  

written by Scott Alexander. added over 4 years ago by @icyflame ARCHIVES

science medicine fuzzy statistics    

Venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine are basically the same drug, minus a bunch of BS from the pharma companies trying to convince that desvenlafaxine is a super-new-advanced version that you should spend twenty times as much money on. But venlafaxine is the fourth most efficacious drug in the analysis; desvenlafaxine is the second least efficacious drug. Why should this be? I have similar complaints about citalopram and escitalopram. Should we privilege common sense over empiricism and say Cipriani has done something wrong? Or should we privilege empiricism over common sense and conclude that the super-trivial differences between these chemicals have some outsized metabolic significance that makes a big clinical difference? Or should we just notice that the 95% confidence intervals of almost everything in the study (including these two) overlap, so really Cipriani isn’t claiming to know anything about anything and it’s not surprising if the data are wrong?

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