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Mental health
The largest meta-analysis of pharmaceutical treatments of Generalised Anxiety Disorder consolidates current knowledge and reveals convincing effectiveness of Venlafaxine
  1. Stacey Roles
  1. School of Nursing-Adjunct Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine-Lecturer and Stacey E. Roles & Associates Psychotherapy Services, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Stacey Roles, School of Nursing, Laurentian University, Sudbury P3E 2C6, Canada; staceyrolestherapy{at}

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Commentary on: Slee A, Nazareth I, Bondaronek P, et al. Pharmacological treatments for generalised anxiety disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. The Lancet, 2019;393: 768–777.

Implications for practice and research

  • Largest meta-analysis for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) to date synthesising 89 trials.

  • Adds ability to make research-based clinical decisions about medications for GAD that were not only funded from pharmaceutical companies.

  • Future research, to determine the benefits of these identified medications concurrently with GAD and depression, may be a clinically helpful next step.


There are often discrepancies in healthcare in relation to the best pharmaceutical approaches to corresponding ailments. Mental health and psychopharmacology are no exception given the multitudes of medication and research which although helpful, may make clinical decisions more confusing. This paper identified the volumes of evidence surrounding psychopharmacology for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which existed in isolated databases making it difficult to navigate, and drew helpful and practical conclusions. The results …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.