Early Adverse Events and Attrition in SSRI Treatment: A Suicide Assessment Methodology Study (SAMS) Report

Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9119, USA.
Journal of clinical psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.24). 06/2010; 30(3):259-66. DOI: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e3181dbfd04
Source: PubMed


Adverse events during selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment are frequent and may lead to premature treatment discontinuation. If attrition is associated with early worsening of adverse effects or the frequency, intensity, or burden of adverse effects, interventions to maximize retention could be focused on patients with these events. Outpatient participants (n = 265) with nonpsychotic major depressive disorder entered an 8-week trial with an SSRI. At baseline and week 2, specific adverse effects were evaluated with the Systematic Assessment for Treatment Emergent Events--Systematic Inquiry, and at week 2, the Frequency, Intensity, and Burden of Side Effects Rating globally assessed adverse effects. Attrition was defined by those participants who left treatment after week 2 but before week 8. No specific week 2 adverse effect, either treatment-emergent or with worsening intensity, was independently associated with attrition. Global ratings of adverse effect frequency, intensity, or burden at week 2 were also not associated with subsequent attrition. Neither global ratings nor specific adverse effects at week 2 were related to patient attrition during SSRI treatment. Other factors seem to contribute to patient decisions about continuing with treatment.

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Available from: Edward S Friedman, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "It appears that adverse effects induced by SSRIs or NARIs are only one factor important in treatment adherence. This is supported by a previous study of 265 depressed individuals receiving an SSRI which reported no evidence of an association between any single adverse effects, or overall adverse effect rating, with discontinuation (Warden et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Premature discontinuation of antidepressant drugs is a frequent clinical problem. Adverse effects are common, occur early on in treatment and are reported to be one of the main reasons for discontinuation of antidepressant treatment. To investigate the association between adverse effects occurring in the first 2 weeks of antidepressant treatment and discontinuation by 6 weeks as the outcome. To investigate the time profile of adverse effects induced by the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram and the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor reboxetine over 12 weeks of treatment. Six hundred and one depressed individuals were randomly allocated to either citalopram (20 mg daily) or reboxetine (4 mg twice daily). A modified version of the Toronto Side Effects Scale was used to measure 14 physical symptoms at baseline (medication free) and at 2, 6 and 12 weeks after randomisation. Individuals randomised to reboxetine reported a greater number of adverse effects and were more likely to stop treatment than individuals receiving citalopram. Dizziness (OR 1.83; 95% CI 1.09, 3.09; p = 0.02) and the total number of adverse effects (OR 1.12; 95% CI 1.00, 1.25; p = 0.06) reported at 2 weeks were associated with discontinuation from overall antidepressant treatment by 6 weeks. Reports of adverse effects tended to reduce throughout the 12 weeks for both antidepressants. The majority of adverse effects were not individually associated with discontinuation from antidepressant treatment. Reports of physical symptoms tended to reduce over time. The physical symptoms that did not reduce over time may represent symptoms of depression rather than antidepressant-induced adverse effects.
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the association between antidepressant treatment-emergent adverse events and symptom nonremission in major depressive disorder. The objective of the current analysis was to determine whether particular baseline symptoms or treatment-emergent symptoms (adverse events) during the first 2 weeks are associated with nonremission after 8 weeks of treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).Outpatients clinically diagnosed with nonpsychotic major depressive disorder were recruited from 6 primary and 9 psychiatric care sites. Participants (n = 206) were treated with an SSRI antidepressant (citalopram [20-40 mg/d], escitalopram [10-20 mg/d], fluoxetine [20-40 mg/d], paroxetine [20-40 mg/d], paroxetine CR [25-37.5 mg/d], or sertraline [50-150 mg/d]) for 8 weeks. Remission was defined as having a score of 5 or less on the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Clinician-Rated at week 8, or using last observation carried forward. Adverse events were identified using the 55-item Systematic Assessment for Treatment Emergent Events-Systematic Inquiry completed by participants at baseline and week 2.Findings indicated that the emergence of adverse events of weakness/fatigue, strange feeling, and trouble catching breath/hyperventilation at week 2 were independently associated with lack of remission even after controlling for the potential confounders of baseline depressive severity, anxious symptoms, antidepressant medication, chronic depression, race, burden of general medical comorbidity, and time in study. Hearing/seeing things appeared to have a protective effect. In conclusion, during SSRI treatment, the adverse events of weakness/fatigue, feeling strange, and trouble catching breath/hyperventilation are associated with nonremission, possibly due to lower adherence, early attrition, difficulty increasing the dose, and reduced efficacy.
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the prevalence of new onset or worsening of anxiety symptoms, as well as their clinical implications, during the first 2 weeks of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) pharmacotherapy for depression. Adult outpatients with nonpsychotic major depressive disorder were enrolled in an 8-week acute phase SSRI treatment trial at 15 clinical sites across the United States. Worsening anxiety was defined as a greater than 2-point increase on the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) between baseline and Week 2. New onset of anxiety symptoms was ascribed when the BAI baseline rating was 0 and the Week 2 value was greater or equal to 2 points on the BAI. Overall, after 2 weeks of treatment, 48.8% (98 of 201 participants) reported improvement in anxiety symptoms, 36.3% (73 of 201) reported minimal symptom change, and 14.9% (30 of 201) reported worsening of anxiety symptoms. No association was found between change in anxiety symptoms within the first 2 weeks and change in depressive symptoms or remission at the end of 8 weeks of treatment. For participants with clinically meaningful anxiety symptoms at baseline, however, worsening of anxiety during the first 2 weeks of treatment was associated with worsening depressive symptoms by 8 weeks (P = .054). The trajectory of anxiety symptom change early in SSRI treatment is an important indicator of eventual outcome for outpatients with major depression and baseline anxiety symptoms.
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