Mirtazapine orally disintegrating tablets versus venlafaxine extended release - A double-blind, randomized multicenter trial comparing the onset of antidepressant response in patients with major depressive disorder

Telekom Germany GmbH, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.76). 03/2006; 26(1):75-8. DOI: 10.1097/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This randomized, multicenter, double-blind study was designed to compare specifically the onset of antidepressant action of mirtazapine orally disintegrating tablets (ODT) with venlafaxine extended-release (XR) formulation in outpatients with major depression. Both treatments were administered in a rapidly escalating dosing regimen. Target doses (mirtazapine ODT, 45 mg OD; venlafaxine XR, 225 mg OD) were reached by day 6 of treatment. On the primary efficacy parameter [the average of the change in HAM-D (17-item) total score on days 5, 8, 11, and 15], mirtazapine ODT was significantly superior to venlafaxine XR (P = 0.008). In addition, calculating the HAM-D score without the sleep items resulted in significant reductions in favor of mirtazapine ODT on days 8 (P = 0.006) and 11 (P = 0.037). The proportion of responders (HAM-D decrease of > or =50% from baseline) was higher in the mirtazapine ODT group on all assessment days, being significant on days 8 (P = 0.002), 11 (P = 0.004), and 22 (P = 0.027). More patients in the mirtazapine ODT group achieved remission (HAM-D total score of < or =7) up to day 29, and the difference was statistically significant on day 15 (P = 0.016). Significant differences in favor of mirtazapine ODT were evident in the CGI of change on days 8 (P = 0.019), 11 (P = 0.004), and 15 (P = 0.031), and the CGI of severity on days 8 (P = 0.014) and 11 (P = 0.033). Both treatments were well tolerated. These results indicate that mirtazapine ODT has a faster onset of antidepressant efficacy than venlafaxine XR in patients with major depressive disorder, and that this effect is independent of its sleep-improving properties.

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    ABSTRACT: Generalizability of antidepressant efficacy trials (AETs) to daily practice is questioned because of their very stringent patient selection. This study aims to determine eligibility for AETs of out-patients suffering from major depression in a routine out-patient setting and investigates influence of eligibility on treatment outcome. Data collection (n = 1653) was performed through routine outcome monitoring by independent trained research nurses. The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview Plus and the Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology, short Dutch version were used for diagnostic assessment and personality pathology screening. The Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) was used for assessment of baseline severity and treatment outcome. Eligibility was assessed by stepwise application of commonly used exclusion criteria. Influence of eligibility on treatment outcome was investigated in a subsample of the 1653 patients who had at least one follow-up assessment (n = 626). Eligible and non-eligible patients were compared on proportion of response (50% reduction) and remission on MADRS (MADRS ≤ 10). Altogether, 17-25% of the patients were eligible for AETs. The most common reasons for exclusion would be 'not meeting minimum baseline severity' and 'presence of co-morbid Axis I disorder'. Eligible and non-eligible patients did not differ in treatment outcome. Only 'meeting the minimum baseline severity' is associated with remission. The majority of 'real life' out-patients are not eligible for AETs. However, the influence of eligibility on treatment outcome seems to be small. This suggests that stringent patient selection by eligibility criteria is not the major reason for lack of generalizability of AETs. Exclusion of less severely depressed patients from the analyses resulted in better treatment outcome. Milder depression is highly prevalent in daily practice and more research into treatment effectiveness in milder depression is warranted.
    Psychological Medicine 11/2010; 41(7):1353-63. DOI:10.1017/S0033291710002175 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: How does disability change as depression improves? Objective: In this case series, we aimed to examine the relationship between depression, anxiety and disability in major depressive patients treated with mirtazapine. Method: Twenty adult outpatients with major depresion (DSM-IV-TR) were treated with mirtazapine. Each case was assessed by the Mont- gomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS), and Brief Disability Questionnaire (BDQ) at baseline, and after 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 weeks. Result and conclusion: The reductions from baseline on both MADRS, HARS, and BDQ were significant starting from week 1. There was a positive significant correlation between MADRS, HARS and BDQ. Increased dream activity (16%), weight gain (14%), sleepiness / sedation (12%), and increased duration of sleep (12%) were the most frequent side effects,. Mirtazapine seems to be a good choice in the treatment of major depression with its favorable effects in reducing disability while improving depression and anxiety.