Duloxetine versus other anti-depressive agents for depression
ABSTRACT Although pharmacological and psychological interventions are both effective for major depression, in primary and secondary care settings antidepressant drugs remain the mainstay of treatment. Amongst antidepressants many different agents are available. Duloxetine hydrochloride is a dual reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine and has been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in the US for major depressive disorder (MDD), generalised anxiety disorder, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia and chronic musculoskeletal pain.
To assess the evidence for the efficacy, acceptability and tolerability of duloxetine in comparison with all other antidepressant agents in the acute-phase treatment of major depression.
MEDLINE (1966 to 2012), EMBASE (1974 to 2012), the Cochrane Collaboration Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Controlled Trials Register and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials up to March 2012. No language restriction was applied. Reference lists of relevant papers and previous systematic reviews were hand-searched. Pharmaceutical company marketing duloxetine and experts in this field were contacted for supplemental data.
Randomised controlled trials allocating patients with major depression to duloxetine versus any other antidepressive agent.
Two review authors independently extracted data and a double-entry procedure was employed. Information extracted included study characteristics, participant characteristics, intervention details and outcome measures in terms of efficacy, acceptability and tolerability.
A total of 16 randomised controlled trials (overall 5735 participants) were included in this systematic review. Of these, three trials were unpublished. We found 11 studies (overall 3304 participants) comparing duloxetine with one selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) (six studies versus paroxetine, three studies versus escitalopram and two versus fluoxetine), four studies (overall 1978 participants) comparing duloxetine with a newer antidepressants (three with venlafaxine and one with desvenlafaxine, respectively) and one study (overall 453 participants) comparing duloxetine with an antipsychotic drug which is also used as an antidepressive agent, quetiapine. No studies were found comparing duloxetine with tricyclic antidepressants. The pooled confidence intervals were rather wide and there were no statistically significant differences in efficacy when comparing duloxetine with other antidepressants. However, when compared with escitalopram or venlafaxine, there was a higher rate of drop out due to any cause in the patients randomised to duloxetine (odds ratio (OR) 1.62; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01 to 2.62 and OR 1.56; 95% CI 1.14 to 2.15, respectively). There was also some weak evidence suggesting that patients taking duloxetine experienced more adverse events than paroxetine (OR 1.24; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.55).
Duloxetine did not seem to provide a significant advantage in efficacy over other antidepressive agents for the acute-phase treatment of major depression. No differences in terms of efficacy were found, even though duloxetine was worse than some SSRIs (most of all, escitalopram) and newer antidepressants (like venlafaxine) in terms of acceptability and tolerability. Unfortunately, we only found evidence comparing duloxetine with a handful of other active antidepressive agents and only a few trials per comparison were found (in some cases we retrieved just one trial). This limited the power of the review to detect moderate, but clinically meaningful differences between the drugs. As many statistical tests have been used in the review, the findings from this review are better thought of as hypothesis forming rather than hypothesis testing and it would be very comforting to see the conclusions replicated in future trials. Most of included studies were sponsored by the drug industry manufacturing duloxetine. As for all other new investigational compounds, the potential for overestimation of treatment effect due to sponsorship bias should be borne in mind. In the present review no trials reported economic outcomes. Given that several SSRIs and the great majority of antidepressants are now available as generic formulation (only escitalopram, desvenlafaxine and duloxetine are still on patent), more comprehensive economic estimates of antidepressant treatment effect should be considered to better inform healthcare policy.
- SourceAvailable from: Jonathan J DeeksBMJ (online) 10/2003; 327(7414):557-60. DOI:10.1136/bmj.327.7414.557 · 16.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Escitalopram is the most selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant; in contrast, duloxetine inhibits both serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake. Double-blind comparison studies may help guide treatment decisions by revealing the relative benefits of different therapeutic approaches. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of escitalopram versus duloxetine in the acute treatment of patients with moderate to severe major depressive disorder. A 1-week, single-blind, placebo lead-in period followed by an 8-week, randomised, double-blind, multicentre, parallel-group comparison was conducted from 20 April 2005 to 10 March 2006 in independent psychiatric research facilities with principal investigators who were board certified in psychiatry. A total of 278 outpatients of 382 patients screened with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition)-diagnosed major depressive disorder (Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS] total score > or =26) were randomised to the two treatment groups. Eight patients received no medication and were excluded from the safety group. Patients were treated with either escitalopram 10-20 mg/day (fixed at 10 mg/day for the first 4 weeks) or duloxetine 60 mg/day. The primary efficacy variable was change from baseline at week 8 in MADRS total score using the last observation carried forward (LOCF) approach. Efficacy, safety and tolerability measures were prospectively defined in the statistical analysis plan prior to study initiation unless otherwise specifically noted as conducted post hoc. A significantly greater proportion of escitalopram-treated patients completed the 8-week study compared with duloxetine-treated patients (87% vs 69%, respectively; p < 0.01). Mean baseline MADRS total scores were 31.0 for the escitalopram group and 31.6 for the duloxetine group. At week 8, escitalopram treatment resulted in significantly greater improvement compared with duloxetine on the prospectively defined primary efficacy endpoint of mean change from baseline in MADRS total score using the LOCF approach (least-squares mean difference [LSMD] -2.42; 95% CI -4.73, -0.11; p < 0.05). There was no difference between treatment groups in the observed cases (OC) analysis (LSMD -0.32; 95% CI -2.71, 2.07; p = 0.79). Significantly fewer escitalopram-treated patients discontinued because of adverse events compared with duloxetine (2% vs 13%, respectively; p < 0.01). These findings suggest that escitalopram is better tolerated and at least as effective as the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor duloxetine in the treatment of major depressive disorder.Clinical Drug Investigation 01/2007; 27(7):481-92. DOI:10.2165/00044011-200727070-00005 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Being male or female is an important determinant of risks for certain diseases, patterns of illness and life expectancy. Although differences in risks for and prognoses of several diseases have been well documented, sex-based differences in responses to pharmaceutical treatments and accompanying risks of adverse events are less clear. The objective of this umbrella review was to determine whether clinically relevant differences in efficacy and safety of commonly prescribed medications exist between men and women. We retrieved all available systematic reviews of the Oregon Drug Effectiveness Review Project published before January 2010. Two persons independently reviewed each report to identify relevant studies. We dually abstracted data from the original publications into standardized forms. We synthesized the available evidence for each drug class and rated its quality applying the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach. Findings, based on 59 studies and data of more than 250,000 patients suggested that for the majority of drugs no substantial differences in efficacy and safety exist between men and women. Some clinically important exceptions, however, were apparent: women experienced substantially lower response rates with newer antiemetics than men (45% vs. 58%; relative risk 1.49, 95% confidence interval 1.35-1.64); men had higher rates of sexual dysfunction than women while on paroxetine for major depressive disorder; women discontinued lovastatin more frequently than men because of adverse events. Overall, for the majority of drugs sex does not appear to be a factor that has to be taken into consideration when choosing a drug treatment. The available body of evidence, however, was limited in quality and quantity, confining the range and certainty of our conclusions.PLoS ONE 07/2010; 5(7):e11895. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0011895 · 3.53 Impact Factor