Efficacy of Desvenlafaxine Compared With Placebo in Major Depressive Disorder Patients by Age Group and Severity of Depression at Baseline

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PurposeThis post hoc meta-analysis evaluated the efficacy and safety of desvenlafaxine 50 and 100 mg versus placebo across age groups and severity of depression at baseline in patients with major depressive disorder.MethodsData from placebo and desvenlafaxine 50-mg and 100-mg dose arms were pooled from 9 short-term, placebo-controlled, major depressive disorder studies (N = 4279). Effects of age (18–40 years, >40 to <55 years, 55–<65 years, and ≥65 years) and baseline depression severity (mild, 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression total score [HAM-D17] ≤18; moderate, HAM-D17 >18 to <25; severe, HAM-D17 ≥25) on desvenlafaxine efficacy were assessed using analysis of covariance for continuous end points and logistic regression for categorical end points.FindingsDesvenlafaxine-treated (50 or 100 mg/d) patients had significantly (P < 0.05, 2-sided) greater improvement in most measures of depression and function compared with placebo for patients 18 to 40 years, older than 40 to younger than 55 years, and 55 to younger than 65 years, with no significant evidence of an effect of age. Desvenlafaxine significantly improved most measures of depression and function in moderately and severely depressed patients. There was a significant baseline severity by treatment interaction for HAM-D17 total score only (P = 0.027), with a larger treatment effect for the severely depressed group.ImplicationsDesvenlafaxine significantly improved depressive symptoms in patients younger than 65 years and in patients with moderate or severe baseline depression. Sample sizes were not adequate to assess desvenlafaxine efficacy in patients 65 years or older or with mild baseline depression.

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