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Mirtazapine versus venlafaxine for the treatment of somatic symptoms associated with major depressive disorder: a randomized, open-labeled trial.

Author(s): Kang EH, Lee IS, Chung SK, Lee SY, Kim EJ, Hong JP, Oh KS, Woo JM, Kim S, Park JE, Yu BH

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Publication date & source: 2009-09-30, Psychiatry Res., 169(2):118-23. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Somatic symptoms are often important in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this open-labeled trial was to examine the efficacy of mirtazapine for the treatment of MDD with clinically significant somatic symptoms, as compared with venlafaxine. A total of 126 patients with MDD (score >/=18 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-17) were included in both the intent-to-treat (n=73 in the mirtazapine group and n=53 in the venlafaxine group) and completer analysis (n=51 and n=37, respectively). After treatment, both treatment groups showed similar improvements in depressive symptoms. Repeated measures analysis of variance for the intent-to-treat population revealed that there were no significant differences in mean change of the Symptom Check List-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) somatization subscores between the two groups. For completers, there was a significant timextreatment interaction in the SCL-90-R somatization subscores, but the differences between the two groups at endpoint did not reach statistical significance in post-hoc analysis. In conclusion, this study suggests that overall efficacies of mirtazapine and venlafaxine are similar for the treatment of overall symptoms in MDD, and both drugs may be useful for the treatment of somatic symptoms in MDD patients.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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