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Emotional blunting by mechanism of second-generation antidepressants: comparing bupropion and serotonin reuptake inhibitors








Emotional blunting by mechanism of second-generation antidepressants: comparing bupropion and serotonin reuptake inhibitors


Dr. Evyn Peters


University of Saskatchewan, Department of Psychiatry






10 December 2020


Emotional blunting is a reduction in the ability to feel the full range of emotions associated with normal living experiences (1). It is often recognized as a side effect of antidepressant medication but it is not well understood. Most of the research that has been conducted has not used control groups, and therefore does not permit causal explanations. This is problematic because loss of normal emotional responses is a symptom of depression.It is believed to occur less commonly with bupropion than serotonin reuptake inhibitors, but this has not been extensively studied in experiments. Some authors suggest that emotional blunting contributes to the antidepressant treatment effect observed in clinical trials, by dulling negative emotions and thus depression. Again, this notion has not been studied in controlled experiments.The purpose of this study is to:1) Determine if antidepressants induce more emotional blunting compared to a placebo,2) Determine if bupropion causes less emotional blunting than serotonin-enhancing antidepressants3) Determine if blunting is positively or negatively correlated with treatment outcomes in clinical trials.



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Statistical Analysis Plan