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An example of this class of antidepressant is roboxetine. Studies have shown that roboxetine is as effective as fluoxetine and tricyclic antidepressants. There have been claims that roboxetine has a greater effect on social functioning than other antidepressants.

Side effects include insomnia, increased sweating, tachycardia, impotence, vertigo, dry mouth and urinary retention. The frequency of side effects is low.

The frequency of suicide (0.3%) is lower than with imipramine, fluoxetine or placebo (1).

The published data on reboxetine suggests efficacy equivalent to traditional tricyclic antidepressants e.g. imipramine. The data suggesting a greater effect on social functioning requires independent confirmation.

The summary of product characteristics should be consulted before prescribing this drug.


  • Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (1998), 36 (11), 86-88.

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