This secondary analysis from the Prevention of Recurrent Episodes of Depression with Venlafaxine Extended Release (ER) for Two Years (PREVENT) study compared the efficacy of venlafaxine ER and fluoxetine for the prevention of recurrence in patients with a history of recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients received double-blind treatment with venlafaxine ER (75-300 mg/d) or fluoxetine (20-60 mg/d) for 10 weeks (acute phase). Responders (17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [HAM-D(17)] score ≤ 12 and ≥ 50% reduction from baseline) continued on the same treatment during the 6-month continuation phase. At the start of the first and second 12-month maintenance phases, venlafaxine ER responders were randomly assigned to receive venlafaxine ER or placebo, whereas patients receiving fluoxetine continued to receive fluoxetine throughout both maintenance phases. The primary outcome was time to recurrence (HAM-D(17) > 12, reduction in HAM-D(17) score ≤ 50% from acute baseline, and meeting DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of MDD), which was assessed using Kaplan-Meier estimates. Using the primary definition of recurrence, the estimated probability of not experiencing a recurrence was 71.9% for venlafaxine ER (n = 160) and 55.8% for fluoxetine (n = 99) across 24 months of maintenance treatment. For this primary analysis, the overall effect of venlafaxine ER treatment was not statistically significant (p = 0.399) compared with fluoxetine; however, a significant treatment-by-time interaction was observed (p = 0.034). No significant between-group differences were observed with any of the secondary efficacy variables. Venlafaxine ER and fluoxetine were similarly well tolerated across 2 years of maintenance-phase therapy.
"The study was reviewed and approved by the ethics review body responsible for each site, and all participants provided written informed consent prior to any study procedures being performed. A schematic diagram of the PREVENT trial was previously published (Thase et al., 2011). In the PREVENT trial, patients were randomly assigned to 10-week double-blind acute treatment with either flexible-dose venlafaxine ER (75e300 mg/d) or fluoxetine (20e60 mg/d). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In contrast to "remission" from an episode of major depressive disorder (MDD), for which there is general agreement in the literature, the optimal definition of "recovery" from MDD is uncertain. Previous definitions of recovery have used inconsistent thresholds for symptom severity and duration of wellness. To address the effects of duration and degree of recovery from an episode of MDD on recurrence risk, and the impact of maintenance antidepressant treatment on recurrence, we analyzed 258 patients from a randomized, double-blind study of outpatients with recurrent MDD. All patients had responded to 8½ months of venlafaxine extended release and were subsequently randomized to receive venlafaxine ER or placebo during 2 consecutive 12-month maintenance phases. Four definitions of recovery were used to evaluate recovery rates and time to recurrence: (1) 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D(17)) total score ≤3 with duration ≥120 days; (2) HAM-D(17) ≤3 with duration ≥56 days; (3) HAM-D(17) ≤7 with duration ≥120 days; and (4) HAM-D(17) ≤7 with duration ≥56 days. Recovery definitions using lower symptom severity and longer duration thresholds produced lower rates of recurrence. Patients on placebo were more likely to have a recurrence than patients on venlafaxine ER, with hazard ratio (HR) ranging from 2.5 among patients who recovered by the most relaxed criteria (definition 4), to 5.3 among patients who recovered by the most stringent criteria (definition 1). We conclude that protection against recurrence derives from the degree and duration of recovery, particularly for patients maintained on antidepressant medication.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 04/2012; 46(6):708-15. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.03.002 · 3.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To provide general practitioners with a comparison of major depressive disorder treatments received in primary care and psychiatric clinic settings, a focus on treatment outcomes related to currently prescribed antidepressants, and a review of new and emerging therapeutic strategies.
Data Sources: English-language evidence-based guidelines and peer-reviewed literature published between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2011, were identified using PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE. All searches contained the terms major depressive disorder and unipolar depression, and excluded the terms bipolar disorder/manic depressive disorder. The following search terms were also included: naturalistic study, antidepressant, relapse, recurrence, residual symptoms, response, remission, sequential medication trials, and treatment-resistant depression.
Study Selection: Meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and practice guidelines were included. Bibliographies were used to identify additional articles of interest.
Data Extraction: Abstracts and articles were screened for relevance to primary care practice. Population-based studies and those involving patients treated in primary care were used whenever possible.
Data Synthesis: Achieving remission from a major depressive episode is important to improve functional outcomes and to reduce relapse and recurrence. Despite the availability of numerous antidepressants, as many as 50% of patients require treatment modifications beyond first-line therapy. Among remitters, 90% report residual symptoms that may interfere with function. Patients treated in primary care often have chronic depression (symptom duration ≥ 24 months at presentation) and medical comorbidities. These are clinical predictors of worse outcomes and require individualized attention when treatment is initiated. Antidepressants differ in efficacy, tolerability, and side effects—factors that may affect adherence to treatment.
Conclusions: Major depressive disorder is highly prevalent in primary care and is among the most common causes of loss of disability-adjusted life-years worldwide. There are few differences in clinical profiles between depressed patients in primary care and those in specialist clinics, although differences in symptoms and comorbid conditions among individual depressed patients present a challenge for the physician providing individualized treatment. The goal of treatment is remission with good functional and psychosocial outcomes. Physicians in primary care should have expertise in working with a number of current antidepressant approaches and an awareness of new and emerging treatments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Side effects of antidepressants are usually underreported in clinical trials and large scale naturalistic studies are restricted to six months of use. We examined the prevalence and nature of patient-perceived side effects and their determinants during long-term antidepressant use in a naturalistic setting. Subjects, aged 19 to 67 years, in the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety were recruited from primary care and specialized mental health care covered 927 cases of single antidepressant use. In 64% of cases, on average, 2.9 side effects were reported. The number of side effects was higher when subjects had higher depression severity (OR=1.28; p=0.002), three or more psychiatric diagnoses (OR=1.97; p=0.02), higher dose (OR=1.44; p=0.006) and was lower when subjects were older (OR=0.83; p=0.02) and had longer duration of use (OR=0.94; p=0.04). Tricyclic antidepressants were associated with more side effects (OR=2.52; p=0.003) and, particularly, more anticholinergic effects, like dry mouth and constipation, as compared to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Venlafaxine showed more profuse sweating (OR=1.79; p=0.007), whereas mirtazapine showed more weight gain and less sexual dysfunction (OR=0.36; p=0.03), as compared to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Weight gain was associated with female gender (OR=1.76; p=0.004) and duration of use (OR=1.06; p=0.03). We show that antidepressant side effect, known from short-term studies, persist during long-term use and are associated with depression severity and antidepressant dose. A novel finding was that venlafaxine is associated with more profuse sweating and that weight gain appeared more specific in female users. Clinicians should be aware that, during long-term antidepressant use, side effects are common and persistent.
European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 05/2013; 23(11). DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.05.001 · 4.37 Impact Factor
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