Montgomery SA, Kennedy SH, Burrows GD, Lejoyeux M, Hindmarch I 2004. Absence of discontinuation symptoms with agomelatine and occurrence of discontinuation symptoms with paroxetine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled discontinuation study

Imperial College University of London, London, UK.
International Clinical Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.46). 10/2004; 19(5):271-80. DOI: 10.1097/01.yic.0000137184.64610.c8
Source: PubMed


The effects of an abrupt interruption of agomelatine, a new melatonergic/serotonergic antidepressant, were explored in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Paroxetine was used as active control. After 12 weeks of double-blind treatment with agomelatine 25 mg/day or paroxetine 20 mg/day, sustained remitted depressed patients were randomized for 2 weeks, under double-blind conditions, to placebo or to their initial antidepressant treatment. Discontinuation symptoms were assessed at the end of the first and second week of discontinuation with the Discontinuation Emergent Signs and Symptoms (DESS) checklist. One hundred and ninety-two sustained remitted patients were randomized to the 2-week discontinuation period. Patients who discontinued agomelatine did not experience more discontinuation symptoms than those who continued on agomelatine. Patients who discontinued paroxetine for placebo experienced significantly more DESS discontinuation symptoms, during the first week, compared to those who continued with paroxetine (respective mean number of emergent symptoms: 7.3+/-7.1 and 3.5+/-4.1, P<0.001). No significant difference was shown between the continuing and interrupting groups in the second week of discontinuation. By contrast to paroxetine, abrupt cessation of agomelatine is not associated with discontinuation symptoms.

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    • "Many of the reviewed studies suggest that fluoxetine requires no taper and is associated with relatively few symptoms on discontinuation. Likewise newer agents such as agomelatine, have been reported to have no associated discontinuation syndrome and therefore patients may benefit from treatment or even switching to these drugs upon withdrawal [Montgomery et al. 2004]. Smeraldi and Delmonte warn, however, that when switching from fluvoxamine to agomelatine the inhibition of CYP 450 1A2 and 2C9 by fluvoxamine can increase agomelatine levels if prescribed simultaneously [Smeraldi and Delmonte, 2013]: a 3-day washout period is preferable to avoid this. "
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    ABSTRACT: Strong evidence supports the existence of a discontinuation syndrome following the withdrawal of antidepressant medication, particularly second-generation antidepressants. The syndrome is a common phenomenon and guidance as to best avoid the symptoms is essential for both practitioners and patients. The current study reviewed the available literature on the best methods of discontinuation for antidepressants in order to avoid or prevent the occurrence of any unpleasant side effects associated with antidepressant withdrawal. Accordingly, an electronic search of the PubMed/MedLine database and Google Scholar was conducted to find relevant literature published within the last 10 years. From this, 18 related articles were identified; five clinical studies, one case series, one consensus panel’s recommendations and 11 literature reviews. Of the articles reviewed there is a general consensus as to tapering the drug slowly over a period of weeks or months. Also, in those patients who experience severe symptoms the drug should be reinstated and discontinued more gradually. The discontinuation syndrome does not occur as frequently or severely with longer-acting agents such as fluoxetine and therefore it is recommended that switching to this drug prior to withdrawal may be advisable. The articles reviewed also emphasize the need for patient education and reassurance throughout the discontinuation process. One in particular adds that cognitive behavioural therapy may be a useful tool in easing the patients’ distress. However, this review highlights the lack of controlled data to support the available guidelines. Furthermore, the guidance which is available is somewhat conflicting. Research approaches should address this issue as well as develop appropriate methods of withdrawal for specific drugs.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology
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    • "Further limitations of the CHRONOS study were the short-term nature of the treatment and the fact that there were no follow-up visits after the end of the treatment period. However, it should be pointed out that previous randomized, double-blind trials have demonstrated the efficacy of long-term treatment with agomelatine in prevention of relapse27 and the absence of discontinuation symptoms following abrupt cessation of treatment with agomelatine.28 "
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    ABSTRACT: CHRONOS was a large naturalistic study designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of agomelatine in the management of patients with major depression in routine clinical practice. Patients (n=6,276) with a moderate or severe major depressive episode without psychotic symptoms were treated initially as outpatients (80.2%) or in psychiatric facilities (19.8%) in 54 regions of the Russian Federation. Patients received a flexible-dosing regimen of agomelatine 25 mg or 50 mg once daily for 8 weeks, with frequent study visits (weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8). Patients (mean age 44 years, 72.6% female) showed progressive improvement on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD-17) total score from 22±6.9 at baseline to 4.7±4.7 at week 8 (P<0.0001). The proportion of responders (HAMD-17 decrease of ≥50%) was 90.1% and the proportion of remitters (HAMD-17 <7) was 79.1% at week 8. All individual HAMD-17 item scores improved rapidly, and the change relative to baseline was significant (P<0.0001) at week 1 and at each subsequent visit in all cases. There were corresponding rapid improvements in Clinical Global Impression Severity and Improvement scores. In the subgroup of patients with more severe illness (HAMD-17 ≥21 at baseline; n=3,478), the proportions of responders and remitters were 92.4% and 72.8%, respectively, at week 8. Agomelatine was effective and well tolerated in a large sample of depressed patients in an observational treatment setting, and showed a rapid onset of benefit across all HAMD-17 items.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
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    • "The tolerability profile of agomelatine is superior to that of available antidepressants, with an absence of discontinuation symptoms upon withdrawal (Montgomery et al., 2004) and a low risk of sexual dysfunction (Kennedy et al., 2008; Montejo et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: In the present randomized, controlled, double-blind trial (12 wk treatment plus double-blind extension for 12 wk), 25-50 mg/d agomelatine (n = 164) and 10-20 mg/d escitalopram (n = 160) were compared for short- and long-term efficacy, subjective sleep and tolerability. The effects of these drugs on emotional experiences were also compared in patients having completed the Oxford Questionnaire on the Emotional Side-Effects of Antidepressants (agomelatine: n = 25; escitalopram: n = 20). Agomelatine and escitalopram similarly improved depressive symptoms, with clinically relevant score changes over 12 and 24 wk and notable percentage of remitters (week 12: 60.9 and 54.4%; week 24: 69.6 and 63.1% respectively). Over the 12 and 24-wk treatment periods, the 'global satisfaction on sleep' scores increased in both treatment groups and did not differ between groups. Satisfaction with sleep-wake quality was high in both groups; the 'wellness feeling on waking' was more improved with agomelatine than with escitalopram (p = 0.02). In patients with pronounced sleep complaints, quality of sleep and feeling on waking were significantly more improved with agomelatine than with escitalopram (p = 0.016 and p = 0.009, respectively). Emotional blunting was less frequent on agomelatine than on escitalopram. Indeed, 28% of patients on agomelatine vs. 60% on escitalopram felt that their emotions lacked intensity and 16% of patients on agomelatine vs. 53% on escitalopram felt that things that they cared about before illness did not seem important any more (p = 0.024). The tolerability profile of agomelatine was found to be superior to that of escitalopram and the incidence of patients with at least one emergent adverse event leading to treatment discontinuation was lower in the agomelatine group than in the escitalopram group (5.5 vs. 10.6%). The findings suggest that agomelatine displays additional long-term clinical benefits on sleep-wake quality and emotional experiences over escitalopram in the management of depression.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
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