A 10-Month, Open-Label Evaluation of Desvenlafaxine in Outpatients With Major Depressive Disorder



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Background: The primary objective was to evaluate the long-term safety of desvenlafaxine (administered as desvenlafaxine succinate) during open-label treatment in adult outpatients with a primary DSM-IV diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD).

Method: Depressed adult outpatients (≥ 18 years) who had completed 8-week, double-blind therapy (desvenlafaxine, venlafaxine extended release, or placebo) in a phase 3 study of desvenlafaxine for MDD received up to 10 months of open-label treatment with flexible-dose desvenlafaxine (200 to 400 mg/d). Safety assessments included physical examination, measurement of weight and vital signs, laboratory determinations, and 12-lead electrocardiogram recordings. Adverse events (AEs) and discontinuations due to AEs were monitored throughout the trial. The primary efficacy outcome was mean change from baseline on 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17) total score. The trial was conducted from August 2003 to March 2006.

Results: The safety population included 1,395 patients who took at least 1 dose of open-label desvenlafaxine. Treatment-emergent AEs were reported by 1,238 of 1,395 patients (89%) during the open-label, on-therapy period. Treatment-emergent AEs reported by 10% or more patients were headache, nausea, hyperhidrosis, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, upper respiratory infection, nasopharyngitis, and fatigue. Adverse events were the primary reason for study discontinuation in 296 of 1,395 patients (21%). Ten patients (< 1%) had serious AEs that were considered possibly, probably, or definitely related to the study drug during the on-therapy period. No deaths occurred during the study.

Conclusions: Desvenlafaxine can be safely administered for up to 12 months. No new safety findings were observed in this study.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01309542

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2011;13(2):e1–e10

Submitted: March 5, 2010; accepted June 10, 2010

Published online: April 7, 2011 (doi:10.4088/PCC.10m00977).

Corresponding author: Karen A. Tourian, MD, CR&D Neuroscience, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals France, Cœur Défense–Tour A–La Défense 4, 110, Esplanade du Générale de Gaulle, 92931 Paris, La Défense Cedex, France (TOURIAK@wyeth.com).

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2011;13(2):e1-e10