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Antidepressants for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia

  • Protocol
  • Intervention


  • C Rummel,

  • W Kissling,

  • S Leucht

Dr Christine Rummel, Assistenzärztin, Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der Technischen Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Möhlstr. 26, Munich, 81675, GERMANY.



Negative symptoms are common in people with schizophrenia and are often difficult to treat with antipsychotic drugs. Treatment often involves the use of various add-on medications such as antidepressants.


To review the effects of the combination of antipsychotic and antidepressant drug treatments for the management of negative symptoms in schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like psychoses.

Search strategy

We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's register (January 2004). This register is compiled by methodical searches of BIOSIS, CINAHL, Dissertation abstracts, EMBASE, LILACS, MEDLINE, PSYNDEX, PsycINFO, RUSSMED, Sociofile and was supplemented with hand searching of relevant journals and numerous conference proceedings. We also contacted authors of included studies in order to identify further trials.

Selection criteria

We included all randomised controlled trials comparing antipsychotic and antidepressant combinations to antipsychotic for the treatment of schizophrenia and/or schizophrenia-like psychoses.

Data collection and analysis

Working independently, we selected and critically appraised studies, extracted data and analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. Where possible and appropriate we calculated risk ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI), with the number needed to treat (NNT).