Thursday, July 27, 2017

Desvenlafaxine Appears to Improve Low Energy in Major Depression

Desvenlafaxine appears to improve energy and diminish lassitude in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), with a significant association between improvements in energy/fatigue and overall functional outcomes, according to a report in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

“Fatigue and lack of energy may have a significant impact on MDD patient functioning, including cognitive functioning at school and at work,” wrote Raymond W. Lamb, M.D., of the University of British Columbia and colleagues. “[I]t is critical for clinicians to treat energy symptoms in patients with depression and to address residual energy symptoms, even in remitted patients, so that patients may return to full functioning after a depressive episode.”

The study was sponsored by Pfizer Inc., which manufactures desvenlafaxine (Pristiq).

Data from nine randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of MDD with a total of 4,279 patients were pooled to evaluate the effects of desvenlafaxine 50 mg/d and 100 mg/d on energy and lassitude in adults with MDD. For the analysis of the effect of treatment on energy/lassitude symptoms, all Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D17) endpoints were analyzed at baseline and weeks 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8, and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Scale (MADRS) lassitude item 7 was assessed at baseline and weeks 2, 4, and 8.

For both desvenlafaxine dose groups, a statistically significant effect of desvenlafaxine versus placebo was observed for all energy/lassitude symptom outcomes at week 8. Statistically greater improvement from baseline in the HAM-D17 psychomotor retardation factor score was observed with desvenlafaxine 50 mg/d and 100 mg/d versus placebo at each post-baseline assessment.

Significant associations were observed between early (week 2) improvement in energy/fatigue symptoms and depression/functional outcomes at week 8, and patients with lower energy/lassitude symptom scores at week 8 had better functioning as indicated by the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) total score.

“These results highlight the importance of energy/lassitude symptoms in the process of functional recovery during treatment for depression,” the authors stated.

For related information, see the AJP article “Early Improvement in Work Productivity Predicts Future Clinical Course in Depressed Outpatients: Findings From the CO-MED Trial.”

(Image: iStock/elenaleonova)


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