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Venlafaxine extended-release effective for patients with major depression
Date:12/12/2007

ts achieved at least an adequate therapeutic response to acute phase treatment with venlafaxine ER or fluoxetine, and almost none of the responders who continued on treatment for 6 months relapsed.

Husseini K. Manji, M.D., FRCP(C), Deputy Editor of Biological Psychiatry and Director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the National Institute of Mental Health, comments on the studys findings:

"Major depression is a serious, debilitating, life-shortening illness that affects millions of people worldwide. This is thus an important study that shows surprisingly high response and remission rates. For many patients, major depression is a chronic illness characterized by multiple episodes of symptom exacerbation, residual symptoms between episodes, and functional impairment. Thus, the ability to maintain patients in remission is critical to reducing long-term disability."

In addition to the high response rates by the patients in this study, the rates of adverse events (side effects) were similar among the two treatment groups. Dr. Manji does issue a caution though with regard to generalizing the findings, noting that the investigators studied a group of patients whose course of illness was not chronic. Furthermore, they excluded patients with a history of treatment resistance or significant comorbid illnesses. However, he added that if replicated, the results suggest that there may be a subgroup of depressed patients for whom early and sustained treatment can maintain response and prevent relapses." Dr. Keller remarks that these results are critical to clinical practice and should be considered when choosing a treatment for patients with recurrent MDD.


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Contact: Jayne Dawkins
ja.dawkins@elsevier.com
215-239-3674
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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