Effects of reboxetine on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale factors from randomized, placebo-controlled trials in major depression

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Reboxetine is the first selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI) approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Although reboxetine has demonstrated efficacy for the treatment of depression, its effects on specific depressive symptoms have not been reported. We evaluated the effects of reboxetine on four Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) factors: psychomotor retardation, anxiety, cognitive disturbance and insomnia. Data were obtained from four short-term (4–8-week), randomized, placebo-controlled trials of reboxetine for the treatment of MDD. For each study, mean changes in HAM-D symptom factor scores from randomization to the study endpoint were compared between reboxetine and placebo. In addition, data from all four studies were pooled to determine the proportions of patients who either improved or worsened with treatment were compared between placebo (n =353) and reboxetine (n =350) treatment groups. Compared to placebo, reboxetine significantly improved psychomotor retardation in all four trials. Cognitive disturbance and anxiety were improved in three of four trials, and insomnia was improved in one trial with a positive trend in the second trial. Reboxetine, a selective NRI, improves symptoms of psychomotor retardation, anxiety and cognitive disturbance during treatment of MDD.

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