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Copyright © The Authors 2020. Comorbid anxiety symptoms are common in depression, and adding benzodiazepines to antidepressant treatment may seem a rational clinical solution. Benzodiazepines also have potential to reduce the initial anxiety that may be caused by early antidepressant treatment (owing to their inhibitory effect via GABAA receptor binding). This month's Cochrane Corner review examines the evidence behind combination treatment versus antidepressants alone in major depressive disorder, in terms of both the clinical and neuroscientific context. The review provides evidence that, in the first 4 weeks of treatment, additional medication with a benzodiazepine may lead to greater improvements than antidepressant alone on ratings of severity, response rates and remission rates for depression, but not on measures of anxiety.

Original publication




Journal article


BJPsych Advances

Publication Date





321 - 326