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The value of early functional improvement at week 2 for predicting subsequent functional outcomes at week 8 was assessed in a pooled analysis of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with desvenlafaxine (50 or 100 mg/d) or placebo.
Data were pooled from eight double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of desvenlafaxine 50 mg/d or 100 mg/d for the treatment of MDD. Optimal week-2 improvement thresholds in Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) score, which best predicted week-8 treatment success, were determined using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Four definitions of treatment success were established: (1) functional response, (2) functional/depression response, (3) functional remission, and (4) functional/depression remission. Odds ratios (ORs) of early improvement for prediction (based on thresholds determined in the ROC analysis) of week-8 treatment success were computed using logistic regression models.
Functional early improvement thresholds of 17%–32% were predictive of week-8 treatment success across treatment groups and definitions of treatment success. Optimal thresholds were higher for more stringent definitions. Negative predictive value exceeded positive predictive value, indicating that failure to achieve early functional improvement was more informative about later treatment success than was the achievement of early functional improvement. Early change in SDS was a highly significant predictor of functional response/remission (ORs, 4.981–8.737; all p < 0.0001); the interaction between treatment and early functional improvement was not significant.
Early improvement in SDS total score was predictive of functional outcomes for patients treated with desvenlafaxine 50 mg, desvenlafaxine 100 mg, or placebo.
Two similarly designed extension studies evaluated the long-term safety and tolerability of desvenlafaxine for the treatment of children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD). Efficacy was evaluated as a secondary objective.
Both 6-month, open-label, flexible-dose extension studies enrolled children and adolescents who had completed one of two double-blind, placebo-controlled, lead-in studies. One lead-in study included a 1-week transition period prior to the extension study. Patients received 26-week treatment with flexible-dose desvenlafaxine (20–50 mg/d). Safety assessments included comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, vital sign assessments, laboratory evaluations, 12-lead electrocardiogram, physical examination with Tanner assessment, and Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale. Adverse events (AEs) were collected throughout the studies. Efficacy was assessed using the Children’s Depression Rating Scale–Revised (CDRS-R).
A total of 552 patients enrolled (completion rates: 66.4 and 69.1%). AEs were reported by 79.4 and 79.1% of patients in the two studies; 8.9 and 5.2% discontinued due to AEs. Treatment-emergent suicidal ideation or behavior was reported for 16.6 and 14.1% of patients in the two studies. Mean (SD) CDRS-R total score decreased from 33.83 (11.93) and 30.92 (10.20) at the extension study baseline to 24.31 (7.48) and 24.92 (8.45), respectively, at week 26.
Desvenlafaxine 20 to 50 mg/d was generally safe and well tolerated with no new safety signals identified in children and adolescents with MDD who received up to 6 months of treatment in these studies. Patients maintained the reduction in severity of depressive symptoms observed in all treatment groups at the end of the lead-in study.
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