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: Objective: Although antidepressants are the recommended first-line pharmacological treatments for depressive and anxiety disorders, their prescribing patterns have not been studied in Singa-pore. We investigate antidepressant prescription patterns for outpatients with depressive and anxiety disorders in a general hospital in Singapore. We hypothesize that intolerance to side effects and lack of efficacy may contribute to medication switching, and that initiation of antidepressant therapy is not easily tolerated. Methods: A retrospective review of the casenotes of outpatients was carried out between January 2013 and December 2013. A total of 206 patients were randomly selected. The study was approved by the hospital's institutional review board. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS version 18. Results: There were more females than males (ratio 1.7:1) with a mean age of 50.6 ± 15.2 years. Depressive disorder, comprising 50% of the sample, was the most frequent diagnosis followed by anxiety disorder (27.2%), mixed anxiety-depression (16%) and adjustment disorder (5.8%). Almost all patients (97.1%) were prescribed antidepressants, the most common being selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) (75.5%), followed by the no-radrenaline and specific serotonin antidepressant (NaSSA) (13.5%) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) (8.5%). Patients prescribed SSRIs tended to be younger and better educated (p = 0.0005). More than half of the patients (52.1%) required antidepressant switching mainly due to lack of efficacy and intolerance of side effects. Combination therapy was prescribed for 17% of patients with SSRI-NaSSA, the most preferred combination. Nearly a quarter (23.8%) patients required augmentation therapy with atypical antipsychotics. Combination (p = 0.024) and augmentation (p = 0.033) were utilized more often for depression than for anxiety disorders. Conclusion: Antide-pressant medications are commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders. The main reasons for switching antidepressants were intolerance and lack of efficacy. That about half of the patients reported side effects necessitating medication change confirmed our hypothesis that anOpen Journal of Psychiatry 03/2015; 5(2):144-152. DOI:10.4236/ojpsych.2015.52016
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ABSTRACT: Patients in chronic somatic diseases are often accompanied with depression and anxiety, remission of which may be observed in the third or fourth week after applying common antidepressant medications. We investigate the efficacy and safety of sertraline plus deanxit on patients with depression and anxiety in chronic somatic diseases. 75 Patients who met the criteria were randomly assigned to deanxit group or placebo group: sertraline (75 mg/day) plus deanxit (one piece/day) (N = 38), or sertraline (75 mg/day) plus placebo (one piece/day) (N = 37) for 2 weeks, both groups received sertraline (75 mg/day) in the following 2 weeks. Changes from baseline to day 4, day 8, day 15, and day 29 in Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) total scores were the efficacy measures. Adverse events were monitored and registered systematically during the trial. Response rates for HAM-D scores in deanxit group and placebo group were significantly different on day 8(55.26% ± 2.56% VS 24.32% ± 2.19%, p = 0.006) and day 15(78.95% ± 3.89% VS 40.54% ± 4.18%, p = 0.001), while no statistical differences were observed on day 4 and day 29. Respectively,response rates for HAM-A scores on day 4 (34.21% ± 2.21% VS 8.11% ± 1.37%, p = 0.006), day 8 (57.89% ± 3.56% VS 18.92% ± 2.68%, p = 0.001) and day 15 (78.95% ± 4.37% VS 43.24% ± 4.68%, p = 0.002), favoring the deanxit group. However, HAM-A scores were not remarkably different at the end point. The overall safety profile of both groups was favorable with no distinct differences. The efficacy was exhibited in the deanxit group, with evidence for similar safety. The rapid onset of sertraline plus short-term deanxit indicated that it might be an inspiring strategy to manage depression and anxiety within the first two weeks in chronic somatic diseases.BMC Psychiatry 04/2015; 15(1):84. DOI:10.1186/s12888-015-0449-2 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Migraine is frequently comorbid with major depressive disorder, the presence of which confers increased disability and various clinical challenges. The present article reviews empirically supported pharmacologic and cognitive-behavioral interventions for depression, as well as the emerging yet generally mixed efficacy for various complementary and alternative medicine depression treatments. Clinical implications and treatment strategies for migraine patients with comorbid depression are discussed. The literature reviewed here draws together clinical practice options for clinicians. © 2015 American Headache Society.Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain 02/2015; 55(2). DOI:10.1111/head.12521 · 3.19 Impact Factor