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Duloxetine versus venlafaxine in the treatment of unipolar and bipolar depression.

Author(s): Serafini G, Pompili M, Del Casale A, Mancini M, Innamorati M, Lester D, Girardi P, Tatarelli R

Affiliation(s): Department of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Sensory Function, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. gianluca.serafi ni@uniroma1.it

Publication date & source: 2010, Clin Ter., 161(4):321-7.

Publication type: Comparative Study; Controlled Clinical Trial

OBJECTIVES: Both duloxetine and venlafaxine are efficacious in treating patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), even though the advantages in treatment patients with bipolar disorder is unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of duloxetine vs venlafaxine in the acute treatment of unipolar and bipolar depression. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was a non randomized controlled trial. The participants were 62 consecutive outpatients (41 men; 21 women) affected by unipolar and bipolar depression treated either with duloxetine and venlafaxine. RESULTS: More patients treated with duloxetine had a positive response to treatment and remission both for depression (HAMD17 response: 90.3% vs 0.0%; p < .001; HAM-D17 remission: 48.4% vs 0.0%; p < .001), and anxiety (HAM-A response: 90.3% vs 6.5%; p < .001; HAM-A remission: 71.0% vs 6.5%; p < .001) than controls. Patients treated with duloxetine were also more likely to show a decrease in HAM-D17 suicidality (100% vs 45.2%; p less than .001) and an increase in the quality of life (SF-36 percentage of improvement: 6.35 [SD=9.66 vs -2.58 [9.98]; p less than .001) than controls. CONCLUSIONS: Duloxetine is more effective in reducing anxiety and suicidal ideation. Both treatments were safe and tolerated, and both may be successfully used in unipolar and bipolar depression.

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