Early Symptom Improvement as a Predictor of Response to Extended Release Quetiapine in Major Depressive Disorder

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The aim of this post-hoc analysis was to determine whether early symptom improvement with extended release quetiapine (quetiapine XR) may predict treatment outcome in patients with major depressive disorder. Data were from 6, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of quetiapine XR (2 fixed-dose and 2 flexible-dose monotherapy and 2 adjunct studies) in adult patients with major depressive disorder. Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and Clinical Global Impression-Severity Score (CGI-S) were assessed at baseline, weeks 2, 4, and 6. Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) was assessed at baseline and week 6. The MADRS improvement at week 2 (15%, 20%, 25%, 30%) was used to predict response and remission, based on MADRS (50% improvement; total score ≤ 12) or HAM-D (50% improvement; total score ≤ 7). The CGI-S improvement (1 point) at week 2 was used to predict final outcome (CGI-S score ≤ 2). The predictive value for early improvement with quetiapine XR was found to be “very strong” (Yule’s Q coefficient, a combined measure of sensitivity and specificity) using 30% MADRS improvement as the threshold. This was relatively comparable for response and remission and for fixed-dose, flexible-dose, and adjunct studies. This was also observed for placebo. Exceptions were: adjunct studies (where predictivity was lower for ongoing antidepressant/placebo), and for remission (predictivity for remission appeared lower than for response with placebo). In conclusion, outcome at week 6 with quetiapine XR for a major depressive episode could be predicted by 30% improvement after 2 weeks, a finding that could give doctors confidence to continue treatment and may facilitate adherence in patients.

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