Augmenting and switching antidepressant medications are the 2 most common next-step strategies for depressed patients failing initial medication treatment. These approaches have not been directly compared; thus, our objectives are to compare outcomes for medication augmentation versus switching for patients with major depressive disorder in the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) clinical trial.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of participants aged 18 to 75 years with DSM-IV nonpsychotic depression who failed to remit with initial treatment in the STAR*D clinical trial (N = 1292). We compared depressive symptom remission, response, and quality of life among participants in each study arm using propensity score matching to minimize selection bias.
The propensity-score-matched augment (N = 269) and switch (N = 269) groups were well balanced on measured characteristics. Neither the likelihood of remission (risk ratio, 1.14; 95% confidence level, 0.82-1.58) or response (risk ratio, 1.14; 95% confidence level, 0.82-1.58), nor the time to remission (log-rank test, P = 0.946) or response (log-rank test, P = 0.243) differed by treatment strategy. Similarly, quality of life did not differ. Post hoc analyses suggested that augmentation improved outcomes for patients tolerating 12 or more weeks of initial treatment and those with partial initial treatment response.
For patients receiving and tolerating aggressive initial antidepressant trials, there is no clear preference for next-step augmentation versus switching. Findings tentatively suggest that those who complete an initial treatment of 12 weeks or more and have a partial response with residual mild depressive severity may benefit more from augmentation relative to switching.
"The most valuable evidence comes from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial, a four-level study that evaluated different strategies in non-responders . The results of a retrospective analysis comparing switching and augmentation strategies in patients participating in the STAR*D trial has recently been published . Such analysis showed that patients who complete initial treatment of 12 weeks or more and have a partial response with residual mild depressive symptoms may benefit more from augmentation than switching. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The aim of the study was to determine the most common pharmacological strategies used in the management of major depressive disorder (MDD) after an inadequate response to first-line antidepressant treatment in clinical practice.
Multicenter, non-interventional study in adult outpatients with a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of MDD and inadequate response to first-line antidepressant medication. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to identify independent factors associated with the adoption of a specific second-line strategy.
A total of 273 patients were analyzed (mean age: 46.8 years, 67.8% female). Baseline mean Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale total score was 32.1 (95%CI 31.2-32.9). The most common strategies were: switching antidepressant medication (39.6%), augmentation (18.8%), and combination therapy (17.9%). Atypical antipsychotic drugs were the most commonly used agent for augmenting antidepressant effect. The presence of psychotic symptoms and the number of previous major depressive episodes were associated with the adoption of augmenting strategy (OR = 3.2 and 1.2, respectively).
The switch to another antidepressant agent was the most common second-line therapeutic approach. Psychiatrists chose augmentation based on a worse patients’ clinical profile (number of previous episodes and presence of psychotic symptoms).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonresponse or a partial response to 1 or more antidepressants is a common and significant problem in clinical practice. Adjunctive therapy with atypical antipsychotics is considered as 1 of the next treatment options for such inadequate responses. The present trial evaluated the efficacy and the safety of aripiprazole as an augmentation to ongoing antidepressant monotherapy for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have previously exhibited an inadequate clinical response.
This was a 6-week prospective, multicenter, open-label study with flexibly dosed adjunctive aripiprazole. The 86 participants with MDD showed inadequate responses to more than 8 weeks of standard antidepressant treatment. The primary outcome was the mean change in Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale total score from baseline to the end point (week 6).
The mean daily dose of aripiprazole at the end point was 6.9 mg. The Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale total score was significantly decreased with adjunctive aripiprazole during the study period (by 14.0 points, P = 0.000). At the end point, the response rate was 52.3% and the remission rate was 39.8%. Adjunctive aripiprazole produced a significant response and remission from week 1 through the end point. The study completion rate was 73.9%, and adverse events included sedation (n = 11), akathisia (n = 9), headache (n = 6), tremor (n = 6), and increased appetite (n = 5). Of the discontinuations, only 5.7% were due to adverse events.
Adjunctive aripiprazole in patients with MDD who had previously exhibited an inadequate response to standard antidepressant therapy was efficacious and well tolerated. A low daily dose of aripiprazole would be more acceptable in the clinical setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinicians can choose among various second-generation antidepressants for treating depressive disorders, such as major depressive disorder, subsyndromal depression, or dysthymia. Systematic reviews indicate that available drugs differ in frequency of administration, costs, and the risks of some adverse events but have similar efficacy for treating major depressive disorder. Furthermore, evidence does not support the choice of one antidepressant over another based on accompanying symptoms, such anxiety, insomnia, or pain. Available studies provide little guidance for clinicians about the benefits of second-generation antidepressants for treating dysthymia and subsyndromal depression. Evidence is also unclear about the comparative risks of serious adverse events, such as suicidality, seizures, fractures, increased bleeding, or serotonin syndrome. This article summarizes the best available evidence regarding comparative benefits and harms of second-generation antidepressants for treating depressive disorders.
Current Psychiatry Reports 05/2012; 14(4):360-9. DOI:10.1007/s11920-012-0283-x · 3.24 Impact Factor
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