Does Venlafaxine Maintenance Therapy Prevent Depression Recurrences or Drug Discontinuation Reactions?

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Letter to the Editor

Sir: We write in response to articles published in the July and August 2007 issues of the Journal describing the maintenance phases of the Prevention of Recurrent Episodes of Depression with Venlafaxine for Two Years (PREVENT) study. In this double-blind study, at the end of 8 months of venlafaxine treatment at a median daily dose of 225 mg, 258 subjects were randomly assigned to continue venlafaxine or be tapered over 4 weeks to placebo. The primary outcome for the maintenance phase was recurrence of depression, defined in terms of increased score on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D). Venlafaxine subjects did significantly better on this outcome than those randomly assigned to placebo.

J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(5):865-866