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Testing anxious depression as a predictor and moderator of symptom improvement in major depressive disorder during treatment with escitalopram.

Author(s): Papakostas GI, Larsen K

Affiliation(s): Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 15 Parkman Street, WACC#812, Boston, MA 02114, USA. gpapakostas@partners.org

Publication date & source: 2011-04, Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci., 261(3):147-56. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

The purpose of this analysis was to explore the potential role of anxious MDD as a treatment predictor and moderator in major depressive disorder (MDD) using a large escitalopram clinical trial dataset. Individual patient-level data from 13 double-blinded, randomized, controlled trials in patients with MDD were pooled. Both univariate, last observation carried forward (LOCF) analyses and repeated measurements analyses without imputation (MMRM) were carried out for change in symptom scores, response and remission rates. Of 3,919 patients, 48.0% were classified as having anxious MDD depression (HAMD) somatization/anxiety subscale score >/=7 at baseline. Patients with anxious MDD were less likely to report symptom improvement on some outcome measures than patients without anxious MDD (predictor analysis). Specifically, the difference in response rates for patients with vs. patients without anxious MDD according to the MADRS (55.6% vs. 57.7%, respectively) was not statistically different. However, the difference in remission rates for patients with versus without anxious MDD according to the MADRS (37.6% vs. 44.1%, respectively) was statistically significant. Escitalopram was more effective than placebo, and as effective as the SSRIs and SNRIs, in the treatment of anxious MDD. The present analysis provides some evidence that the presence of an anxious MDD subtype is a predictor of poor response. There was no difference in the response to treatment of patients with or without anxious MDD to escitalopram, SSRIs, or SNRIs. The present analysis did not support the notion that SNRIs are more effective than escitalopram in the treatment of anxious MDD, nor was there evidence to support treatment moderating effects for anxious MDD.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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