Recovery and subsequent recurrence in patients with recurrent major depressive disorder
In contrast to "remission" from an episode of major depressive disorder (MDD), for which there is general agreement in the literature, the optimal definition of "recovery" from MDD is uncertain. Previous definitions of recovery have used inconsistent thresholds for symptom severity and duration of wellness. To address the effects of duration and degree of recovery from an episode of MDD on recurrence risk, and the impact of maintenance antidepressant treatment on recurrence, we analyzed 258 patients from a randomized, double-blind study of outpatients with recurrent MDD. All patients had responded to 8Â½ months of venlafaxine extended release and were subsequently randomized to receive venlafaxine ER or placebo during 2 consecutive 12-month maintenance phases. Four definitions of recovery were used to evaluate recovery rates and time to recurrence: (1) 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D(17)) total score â‰¤3 with duration â‰¥120 days; (2) HAM-D(17) â‰¤3 with duration â‰¥56 days; (3) HAM-D(17) â‰¤7 with duration â‰¥120 days; and (4) HAM-D(17) â‰¤7 with duration â‰¥56 days. Recovery definitions using lower symptom severity and longer duration thresholds produced lower rates of recurrence. Patients on placebo were more likely to have a recurrence than patients on venlafaxine ER, with hazard ratio (HR) ranging from 2.5 among patients who recovered by the most relaxed criteria (definition 4), to 5.3 among patients who recovered by the most stringent criteria (definition 1). We conclude that protection against recurrence derives from the degree and duration of recovery, particularly for patients maintained on antidepressant medication.
Clinical outcomes following switch from venlafaxine ER to desvenlafaxine in nonresponders and responders
OBJECTIVE:This post hoc analysis examined efficacy and tolerability of open-label desvenlafaxine in patients with major depressive disorder switched from blinded placebo, venlafaxine extended release (ER), or desvenlafaxine. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS/METHODS:Patients who completed 8 weeks of double-blind therapy with placebo (n = 176), venlafaxine ER (n = 175), or desvenlafaxine (n = 143) enrolled in a 10-month, open-label extension study and received desvenlafaxine 200 to 400 mg/d. Efficacy (17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [HDRS(17)]) was assessed separately for nonresponders and responders to double-blind treatment. Tolerability during the first month of open-label desvenlafaxine was assessed. RESULTS:Among nonresponders (n = 134) to double-blind placebo, venlafaxine ER, and desvenlafaxine, mean decreases in HDRS(17) scores were -10.9, -7.3, and -7.7, respectively; HDRS(17) response rates were 67%, 53%, and 48%, respectively. Although responders (n = 360) to double-blind placebo, venlafaxine ER, and desvenlafaxine had more modest decreases on the HDRS(17), response rates were higher (84%, 87%, and 83%, respectively). Rates of adverse events were highest during week 1, and decreased afterward for the remainder of the first month of treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Among nonresponders to 8 weeks of double-blind venlafaxine ER, desvenlafaxine, or placebo, 48% to 67% subsequently responded to open-label desvenlafaxine. Over 80% of responders to double-blind therapy maintained response on open-label desvenlafaxine. The switch from venlafaxine ER to desvenlafaxine was well tolerated.
Comparing venlafaxine extended release and fluoxetine for preventing the recurrence of major depression: results from the PREVENT study
This secondary analysis from the Prevention of Recurrent Episodes of Depression with Venlafaxine Extended Release (ER) for Two Years (PREVENT) study compared the efficacy of venlafaxine ER and fluoxetine for the prevention of recurrence in patients with a history of recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients received double-blind treatment with venlafaxine ER (75-300 mg/d) or fluoxetine (20-60 mg/d) for 10 weeks (acute phase). Responders (17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [HAM-D(17)] score â‰¤ 12 and â‰¥ 50% reduction from baseline) continued on the same treatment during the 6-month continuation phase. At the start of the first and second 12-month maintenance phases, venlafaxine ER responders were randomly assigned to receive venlafaxine ER or placebo, whereas patients receiving fluoxetine continued to receive fluoxetine throughout both maintenance phases. The primary outcome was time to recurrence (HAM-D(17) > 12, reduction in HAM-D(17) score â‰¤ 50% from acute baseline, and meeting DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of MDD), which was assessed using Kaplan-Meier estimates. Using the primary definition of recurrence, the estimated probability of not experiencing a recurrence was 71.9% for venlafaxine ER (n = 160) and 55.8% for fluoxetine (n = 99) across 24 months of maintenance treatment. For this primary analysis, the overall effect of venlafaxine ER treatment was not statistically significant (p = 0.399) compared with fluoxetine; however, a significant treatment-by-time interaction was observed (p = 0.034). No significant between-group differences were observed with any of the secondary efficacy variables. Venlafaxine ER and fluoxetine were similarly well tolerated across 2 years of maintenance-phase therapy.
Open-label treatment with desvenlafaxine in postmenopausal women with major depressive disorder not responding to acute treatment with desvenlafaxine or escitalopram
BACKGROUND:Preliminary clinical evidence indicates that menopausal status might impact on the efficacy of certain classes of antidepressants. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to evaluate open-label desvenlafaxine treatment (administered as desvenlafaxine succinate) in postmenopausal women who did not achieve clinical response to acute, double-blind treatment with desvenlafaxine or escitalopram. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:This phase IIIb, multicentre study included a 6-month open-label extension phase of patients who did not respond in the initial 8-week, randomized, double-blind acute phase. PATIENTS/METHODS:Postmenopausal women aged 40-70 years with a primary diagnosis of major depressive disorder were recruited. PRIMARY INTERVENTION: Non-responders to acute treatment with double-blind desvenlafaxine or escitalopram received flexible-dose, open-label desvenlafaxine 100-200â€‰mg/day for the 6-month extension phase. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE/METHODS:The primary efficacy assessment was the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D(17)) total score. Secondary efficacy outcome measures were the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement (CGI-I) and -Severity scales, Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety, Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report, Visual Analogue Scale-Pain Intensity and the Montgomery-Ã…sberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Secondary health assessments were the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire, 5-Dimension EuroQoL Index, Health State Today, Menopause Rating Scale, Sheehan Disability Scale, treatment response (â‰¥ 50% decrease in total HAM-D(17) and MADRS score from acute-phase baseline and CGI-I total score â‰¤ 2), HAM-D(17) remission (total score â‰¤ 7) and safety. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize outcomes. RESULTS:The efficacy analysis included 123 patients (desvenlafaxine/desvenlafaxineâ€‰=â€‰64; escitalopram/desvenlafaxineâ€‰=â€‰59). At final evaluation of the open-label extension phase, mean reductions from acute-phase baseline in HAM-D(17) total scores were -11.33 for the desvenlafaxine/desvenlafaxine group and -11.41 for the escitalopram/desvenlafaxine group. HAM-D(17) response or remission after 6 months of open-label extension phase desvenlafaxine treatment were achieved in 56-58% and 41-48% of patients, respectively. The results of the other secondary efficacy outcome measures and other definitions of treatment response were generally consistent with the primary analyses. The observed adverse events were similar to those reported during previous desvenlafaxine clinical trials. CONCLUSIONS:Postmenopausal women with major depressive disorder who did not respond to acute, double-blind treatment with escitalopram or desvenlafaxine achieved modest, continued improvement with long-term, open-label desvenlafaxine therapy. Further interpretation of these findings is limited by aspects of the study design (i.e. open-label, non-placebo-controlled) and the lack of randomized comparison groups in the extension phase, which prevents statistical assessment of the efficacy of longer term treatment with desvenlafaxine. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00406640.
Concordance between clinician and patient ratings as predictors of response, remission, and recurrence in major depressive disorder
We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the Prevention of Recurrent Episodes of Depression With Venlafaxine Extended Release (ER) for Two Years (PREVENT) trial to evaluate whether discrepancies between clinician and patient ratings of depression severity were predictive of response, remission, and recurrence during treatment for a depressive episode. Patients who self-rated depression severity in concordance with the clinician ("concordant patients") were defined as having a standardized patient-rated Inventory of Depressive Symptoms-Self Report (IDS-SRâ‚ƒâ‚€) score minus standardized clinician-rated Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-Dâ‚â‚‡) score <1 SD from mean. Non-concordant patients ("underrating patients" [-1 SD], "overrating patients" [+1 SD]) were identified. Cohorts were compared for remission and response on the HAM-Dâ‚â‚‡, Clinician Global Impression--Severity (CGI-S), and IDS-SRâ‚ƒâ‚€ during acute and continuation therapy and time to recurrence during maintenance therapy. During acute treatment female patients were more likely to overrate their depression severity compared to the clinician; older age predicted overrating during continuation treatment. Overrating patients had a slower onset of response on the HAM-Dâ‚â‚‡ during acute treatment (P=0.004). There were no differences between cohorts for remission or response on the HAM-Dâ‚â‚‡ or CGI-S. Overrating patients at week 10 had lower remission and response rates on the IDS-SRâ‚ƒâ‚€ during continuation therapy (32% and 50%, respectively; Pâ‰¤0.001) compared with underrating patients (76%, 77%) or concordant patients (64%, 78%). Patient concordance at the end of continuation therapy did not predict recurrence during maintenance therapy, indicating that patient rating scales may be useful in tracking recurrence during maintenance therapy. Poor agreement between patient- and clinician-ratings of depression severity is primarily a state phenomenon, although it is trait-like for some patients.
Remission with venlafaxine extended release or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in depressed patients: a randomized, open-label study
BACKGROUND:This randomized, open-label, rater-blinded, multicenter study compared treatment outcomes with the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) venlafaxine extended release (ER) with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in primary care patients with major depressive disorder. METHOD/METHODS:Study data were collected from November 29, 2000, to March 4, 2003. Outpatients who met diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder according to the Mental Health Screener, a computer-administered telephone interview program that screens for the most common mental disorders, and had a total score on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS(17)) â‰¥ 20 were randomly assigned to receive up to 6 months of open-label venlafaxine ER 75-225 mg/d (n = 688) or an SSRI (n = 697): fluoxetine 20-80 mg/d, paroxetine 20-50 mg/d, citalopram 20-40 mg/d, and sertraline 50-200 mg/d. The primary outcome was remission (HDRS(17) score â‰¤ 7) at study end point using the last-observation-carried-forward method to account for early termination. A mixed-effects model for repeated measures (MMRM) analysis evaluated secondary outcome measures. RESULTS:Fifty-one percent of patients completed the study. Month 6 remission rates did not differ significantly for venlafaxine ER and the SSRIs (35.5% vs 32.0%, respectively; P = .195). The MMRM analysis of HDRS(17) scores also did not differ significantly (P = .0538). Significant treatment effects favoring the venlafaxine ER group were observed for remission rates at days 30, 60, 90, and 135 and a survival analysis of time to remission (P = .006), as well as Clinical Global Impressions-severity of illness scale (P = .0002); Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety subscale (P = .03); 6-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Bech version (P = .009); and Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report (P = .0003). CONCLUSIONS:Remission rates for patients treated with venlafaxine ER or an SSRI did not differ significantly after 6 months of treatment. Results of most secondary analyses suggested that SNRI treatment had a greater antidepressant effect versus the SSRIs studied.
Cytochrome P450 2D6 phenotype predicts antidepressant efficacy of venlafaxine: a secondary analysis of 4 studies in major depressive disorder
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Venlafaxine, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant, is metabolized primarily by the cytochrome P450 2D6 enzyme into O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV). The ODV/venlafaxine ratio can be used to distinguish between extensive metabolizers (EMs) and poor metabolizers (PMs). OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:To determine the relative efficacy and tolerability of venlafaxine in EM vs PM patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). METHOD/METHODS:Data from 4 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of patients with MDD were pooled. Blood samples were analyzed for plasma concentrations of venlafaxine, ODV, total venlafaxine + ODV, and ODV/venlafaxine ratio. Patients were classified as EMs or PMs on the basis of ODV/venlafaxine ratios. Changes from baseline in depression scale scores were compared between EMs and PMs using t tests. Rates of response, remission, discontinuation, and adverse events (AEs) were compared for EMs and PMs using Fisher exact tests. RESULTS:Compared with PMs, EMs had significantly greater mean changes from baseline on 4 of 5 depression rating scales (all 4 comparisons, P â‰¤ .020). A significantly greater percentage of EMs achieved response or remission by most measures compared with PMs (4 of 5 comparisons, P â‰¤ .015). Rates of discontinuation and AEs did not differ significantly between EMs and PMs. Since there were no substantial differences between EMs and PMs in terms of venlafaxine dose or tolerability, these factors are not likely to account for the efficacy findings. CONCLUSIONS:Venlafaxine treatment in EMs was associated with greater efficacy in MDD on virtually all measures compared with PMs, with no important tolerability differences.
Retrospective analysis of suicidality in patients treated with the antidepressant desvenlafaxine
The objective of this analysis was to assess the risk of increased suicidal thoughts and behavior (suicidality) with desvenlafaxine (administered as desvenlafaxine succinate) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Data from 9 double-blind, 8-week studies in outpatients with MDD were analyzed retrospectively. Patients were randomly assigned to desvenlafaxine (n = 1834) or placebo (n = 1116). Adverse events (AEs) related to suicidality were identified by searching the AE database for text strings possibly related to suicidality; false positives were excluded. Narratives for each case were prepared and blinded for review. Events were classified according to the Columbia Classification Algorithm of Suicide Assessment. Odds ratios were calculated; chi tests were used to compare treatment groups. Occurrence of emerging or worsening suicidality, based on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression suicide item, was compared for desvenlafaxine and placebo using chi tests. In all, 17 (0.93%) of 1834 patients receiving desvenlafaxine and 8 (0.72%) of 1116 receiving placebo reported possible suicidality-related AEs. Events were relatively evenly distributed across treatment groups. One patient randomly assigned to desvenlafaxine treatment died of completed suicide during the on-therapy period. There were no significant differences between groups in the risk for any class of suicide-related events, including completed suicide or suicide attempt. Odds of emergence or worsening of suicidality 17-item (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression suicide item) did not differ significantly between treatment groups. No evidence of a signal for increased suicidality was detected in adult patients treated with desvenlafaxine in short-term MDD trials. As suicidal events were extremely rare, a true increased risk cannot be ruled out.
Desvenlafaxine and escitalopram for the treatment of postmenopausal women with major depressive disorder
OBJECTIVE:This study assessed the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor desvenlafaxine and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor escitalopram for major depressive disorder (MDD) in postmenopausal women. METHODS:In this randomized, double-blind study, postmenopausal outpatients (aged 40-70 y) with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition MDD received flexible-dose desvenlafaxine (100-200 mg/d) or escitalopram (10-20 mg/d) for 8 weeks. Acute-phase responders, that is, women with a 50% or greater reduction from baseline in the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D17) total score, were eligible to continue the same double-blind treatment in the 6-month continuation phase. The primary efficacy outcomes were mean change from baseline in HAM-D17 total score (acute phase), analyzed using a mixed-effects model for repeated measures, and the proportion of women who maintained response (continuation phase), analyzed using logistic regression. RESULTS:Reductions in HAM-D17 total score at acute-phase endpoint were similar for desvenlafaxine- and escitalopram-treated women (-13.6 vs -14.3, respectively; P = 0.24). No significant difference was observed between groups at continuation-phase endpoint in the proportion of women who maintained response (desvenlafaxine, 82%; escitalopram, 80%; P = 0.70). In both phases, desvenlafaxine and escitalopram were generally safe and well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS:Among postmenopausal outpatients with MDD, there were no significant differences in the efficacy of desvenlafaxine and escitalopram based on primary efficacy analyses. The results do not support the overall hypothesis that the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor desvenlafaxine has an efficacy advantage for the treatment of MDD in postmenopausal women because, in this particular subgroup, desvenlafaxine failed to prove superiority over escitalopram. Safety and tolerability were comparable.
Correlation between patient and clinician assessments of depression severity in the PREVENT study
BACKGROUND:The degree of agreement between patient- and clinician-rated scales of depressive severity varies widely. This study analyzed agreement between commonly used depression rating scales in the Prevention of Recurrent Episodes of Depression with Venlafaxine Extended Release (ER) for Two Years (PREVENT) trial. METHODS:The PREVENT trial was a multiphase, randomized, double-blind study of patients with recurrent major depressive disorder. This secondary analysis evaluated acute (10weeks) and continuation phase (6months) data. Pearson correlation coefficients at each acute-phase (weekly) and continuation-phase (monthly) visit were calculated for patient-rated (30-item Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Rated [IDS-SR30] and clinician-rated (17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [HAM-D17] and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity [CGI-S]) measures and for response and remission. RESULTS:Data from 1,047 patients were analyzed. The respective correlation coefficients at baseline, week 10, and month 6 were: IDS-SR30: HAM-D17: 0.46, 0.75, 0.70; and for IDS-SR30: CGI-S 0.28, 0.67, 0.65. Agreement between IDS-SR30- and HAM-D17-defined remission and response was relatively poor: week 10, 0.52 and 0.34, respectively; month 6, 0.45 and 0.32, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:These findings suggest that patient-rated measures of depression severity do not correspond strongly with clinician ratings, and are particularly poor prior to the initiation of treatment.