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Extended Release Quetiapine Fumarate in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: Suicidality Data From Acute and Maintenance Studies

J Clin Psychiatry 2014;75(5):520-527
10.4088/JCP.13m08624

Objective: To prospectively analyze effects of extended release quetiapine fumarate (quetiapine XR) on suicidality in major depressive disorder (MDD).

Method: Data were pooled from randomized, acute studies (4 monotherapy; 2 adjunct therapy) in adult patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of MDD who were considered not to be at high risk of suicide at baseline and were receiving quetiapine XR 50 mg/d (n = 181), 150 mg/d (n = 910), or 300 mg/d (n = 685) or placebo (n = 957). Data from 1 acute monotherapy study in elderly patients receiving quetiapine XR (50–300 mg/d; n = 166) or placebo (n = 172) and maintenance data (up to 52 weeks) for patients receiving quetiapine XR (50–300 mg/d; n = 391) or placebo (n = 385) were also evaluated. Overall incidences and relative risks for suicidality (suicidal behavior/ideation) were assessed by Columbia-type review and classification. The proportion of patients with Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) item 10 (suicidal thoughts) score ≥ 4 was analyzed.

Results: Incidence of suicidality during acute treatment in adults was 1.1%, 0.7%, 0.7%, and 0.7% with quetiapine XR 50 mg/d, 150 mg/d, and 300 mg/d and placebo, respectively. The proportion of patients with MADRS item 10 score ≥ 4 during acute treatment in adults was 1.8% with quetiapine XR (all doses combined) and 2.4% with placebo. In elderly patients, the incidence of suicidality during acute treatment was 0.6% in both treatment groups; the proportion of patients with MADRS item 10 score ≥ 4 was 0% with quetiapine XR (all doses combined) and 1.2% with placebo. During maintenance treatment, the incidence of suicidality was 0.3% (n = 1) and 0.5% (n = 2) for quetiapine XR and placebo, respectively. The proportion of patients with MADRS item 10 score ≥ 4 was 4.1% with quetiapine XR in the open-label stabilization period and 0.3% with quetiapine XR and 0.5% with placebo during the randomized period.

Conclusions: This analysis suggests that there is no evidence of treatment-emergent suicidality with quetiapine XR therapy in patients with MDD considered not to be at high suicide risk at baseline.