Adjunctive Reboxetine for Schizophrenia: Meta-analysis of Randomized Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trials

Wei Zheng, Xian Bin Li, Zhan Ming Shi, Xin Hu Yang, Dong Bin Cai, Chee H. Ng, Gabor S. Ungvari, Wei Jian Liu, Yu Jie Wu, Yuan Yuan Wang, Yu Ping Ning, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Background Results of previous studies on the safety and efficacy of adjunctive reboxetine for schizophrenia have been inconsistent. Aim The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy and tolerability of reboxetine as an adjunct medication to antipsychotic treatment in a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Methods Two independent investigators extracted data for a random effects meta-analysis and assessed the quality of studies using risk of bias and the Jadad scale. Weighted and standardized mean differences (WMDs/SMDs) and risk ratio (RR)±95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Results Nine RCTs (n=630) with double-blind design were identified. Reboxetine outperformed placebo in improving negative (9 RCTs, n=602, SMD: -0.47 [95% CI: -0.87, -0.07], p=0.02; I 2 =82%), but not the overall, positive, and general psychopathology scores. The significant therapeutic effect on negative symptoms disappeared in the sensitivity analysis after removing an outlying study and in 50% (6/12) of the subgroup analyses. Reboxetine outperformed placebo in reducing weight (3 RCTs, n=186, WMD: -3.83 kg, p=0.04; I 2 =92%) and body mass index (WMD: -2.23 kg/m 2, p=0.04; I 2 =95%). Reboxetine caused dry mouth but was associated with less weight gain overall and weight gain of ≥7% of the initial weight. All-cause discontinuation and other adverse events were similar between reboxetine and placebo. Conclusion Adjunctive reboxetine could be useful for attenuating antipsychotic-induced weight gain, but it was not effective in treating psychopathology including negative symptoms in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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