Are antidepressant drugs that combine serotonergic and noradrenergic mechanisms of action more effective than the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in treating major depressive disorder? A meta-analysis of studies of newer agents
ABSTRACT Recent studies suggest that the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) with newer antidepressant drugs that simultaneously enhance norepinephrine and serotonin neurotransmission might result in higher response and remission rates than the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The goal of our work was to compare response rates among patients with MDD treated with either of these two broad categories of antidepressant drugs.
Medline/Pubmed, EMBase, clinical trial registries, program syllabi from major psychiatric meetings held since 1995, and documents from relevant pharmaceutical companies were searched for double-blind, randomized trials comparing a newer serotonergic-noradrenergic antidepressant drug (venlafaxine, duloxetine, milnacipran, mirtazapine, mianserin, or moclobemide) with an SSRI for MDD.
Ninety-three trials (n = 17,036) were combined using a random-effects model. Treatment with serotonergic + noradrenergic antidepressant drugs was more likely to result in clinical response than the SSRIs (risk ratio [RR] = 1.059; response rates 63.6% versus 59.3%; p = .003). There was no evidence for heterogeneity among studies combined (p = 1.0). Excluding each individual agent did not significantly alter the pooled RR. With the exception of duloxetine (.985), RRs for response for each individual serotonergic + noradrenergic antidepressant drug were within the 95% confidence interval of the pooled RR (1.019-1.101).
Serotonergic-noradrenergic antidepressant drugs seem to have a modest efficacy advantage compared with SSRIs in MDD. With the Number Needed to Treat (NNT) statistic as one indicator of clinical significance, nearly 24 patients would need to be treated with dual-action antidepressant drugs instead of SSRIs in order to obtain one additional responder. This difference falls well below the mark of NNT = 10 suggested by the United Kingdom's National Institute of Clinical Excellence but nonetheless might be of public health relevance given the large number of depressed patients treated with SSRI /serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant drugs. Further research is needed to examine whether larger differences between classes of antidepressant drugs might exist in specific MDD sub-populations or for specific MDD symptoms.
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ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic or recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) have faced a dearth of treatment options. The present study evaluated the effectiveness and tolerability of aripiprazole augmentation for the treatment of chronic or recurrent MDD. This was the first 12-week prospective, multicentre, open-label study of the effectiveness and tolerability of flexibly dosed aripiprazole as an augmentation to ongoing antidepressant treatment in patients with chronic or recurrent MDD. The primary outcome measure for effectiveness was changes between baseline and endpoint (week 12) in total scores on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale. Adverse events (AEs) occurring throughout the trial are also reported. The Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale total scores decreased significantly between the baseline and the endpoint (magnitude of difference=-11.6, P<0.0001). At the endpoint, the response rate was 55.2% and the remission rate was 41.3%. Adjunctive aripiprazole treatment administered from week 1 through the endpoint was associated with remission and significant treatment responses. More than half (55.8%) of those taking adjunctive aripiprazole completed the study and relatively few patients discontinued participation because of AEs. None of the patients discontinued participation in the study because of an inadequate therapeutic response. Common AEs included headache, akathisia, insomnia and constipation. The mean dose of aripiprazole at the endpoint was 6.6 mg/day. Adjunctive aripiprazole may be effective and tolerable for patients with chronic or recurrent MDD. Adequately powered and controlled clinical trials should be conducted to confirm our open-label study findings.International clinical psychopharmacology 07/2013; 28(6). DOI:10.1097/YIC.0b013e3283643728 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background. Knowledge about real-world use of duloxetine and venlafaxine XR to treat depression in the UK is limited. Aims. To identify predictors of duloxetine or venlafaxine XR initiation. Method. Adult depressed patients who initiated duloxetine or venlafaxine XR between January 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007 were identified in the UK's General Practice Research Database. Demographic and clinical predictors of treatment initiation with duloxetine and venlafaxine XR were identified using logistic regression. Results. Patients initiating duloxetine (n = 909) were 4 years older than venlafaxine XR recipients (n = 1286). Older age, preexisting unexplained pain, respiratory disease, and pre-period use of anticonvulsants, opioids, and antihyperlipidemics were associated with increased odds of initiating duloxetine compared to venlafaxine XR. Pre-period anxiety disorder was associated with decreased odds of receiving duloxetine. Conclusion. Initial treatment choice with duloxetine versus venlafaxine XR was primarily driven by patient-specific mental and medical health characteristics. General practitioners in the UK favor duloxetine over venlafaxine XR when pain conditions coexist with depression.Depression research and treatment 06/2012; 2012:815363. DOI:10.1155/2012/815363
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ABSTRACT: The effects of antidepressant medication on suicide risk remain unclear. This study explores any association between antidepressant medication and suicide attempts leading to hospitalization in adult depressed patients.The medical records of 103 patients admitted after a suicide attempt were examined and compared with those of a matched control group of depressed patients (n = 103) admitted without suicide attempts as well as a patient group with and without suicide attempts on separate hospitalizations (n = 25). No significant difference in antidepressant medication exposure before hospitalization was found between groups. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure was higher in patients with suicide attempts, albeit nonsignificant, but was identical in patients admitted on two occasions with and without suicide attempts. The most common method for suicide attempt was drug overdose (52.4%). Patients in the group with suicide attempts had significantly more past suicide attempts. Study results do not confirm any relationship between antidepressants and suicide attempts. Close monitoring of depressed patients is advised especially in early treatment.The Journal of nervous and mental disease 06/2012; 200(6):531-4. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e318257c7e7 · 1.81 Impact Factor