Venlafaxine ER Effective for Patients With Depression, Severe Anxiety Symptoms

September 5, 2017

By Jill Stein

PARIS -- September 5, 2017 -- New findings from a meta-analysis back the use of venlafaxine extended-release (ER) for the treatment of major depressive order (MDD).

The results, reported here today at the 30th Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), also indicate that venlafaxine ER is effective in highly anxious depressed patients.

Gavin J. Lyndon, PhD, Pfizer Ltd., Tadworth, United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed differences in the antidepressant efficacy of venlafaxine XR in patients with high versus low levels of anxiety.

Data were pooled from 8 short-term, placebo-controlled, fixed- and flexible-dose studies on MDD that had at least 1 venlafaxine ER treatment arm.

The meta-analysis included 1,573 venlafaxine ER-treated patients and 832 placebo-treated patients.

Efficacy outcomes include the change from baseline in Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score at last visit, MADRS response -- defined as ≥50% reduction from baseline in MADRS total score at last visit -- and MADRS remission (MADRS total score ≤10) at last visit.

Venlafaxine ER was associated with a significantly larger improvement from baseline in MADRS total score and significantly higher rates of response and remission compared with placebo for the overall population (P < .0001).

A statistically significant effect of interaction between baseline anxiety subgroup and treatment was observed (P = .0152). The adjusted mean difference between venlafaxine ER and place was significantly higher in the subgroups of patients with high baseline anxiety (-6.27) than in those with low baseline anxiety (-3.89).

For patients receiving venlafaxine ER, the probability of achieving MADRS response was significantly greater for patients with baseline Hamilton Rating scale for Depression (Ham-D17) 10 scores ≥3 versus ≤3 (odds ratio, 1.31; P = .0318).

“This meta-analysis supports the efficacy of venlafaxine ER for the treatment of major depressive disorder, including in those patients with more severe anxiety symptoms,” the authors wrote in their presentation.

Funding for this study was provided by Pfizer.

[Presentation title: Efficacy of Venlafaxine Extended-Release Compared With Placebo in Major Depressive Disorder Patients by Severity of Anxiety Symptoms. Abstract P2b041]

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