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Agomelatine, significant efficacy in treatment of anxiety in patients with depression


New data have shown the efficacy of Agomelatine ( Valdoxan ) in the treatment of anxiety in depressed patients when compared with other commonly prescribed antidepressants. Additionally, Valdoxan's anxiolytic efficacy was even stronger in depressed patients with severe anxiety symptoms.

New data relates to an analysis of six large multicenter studies, each with a duration between 6 and 8 weeks, involving a total population of almost 2,000 patients with major depressive disorder. Among these, more than 900 patients were classified as severely anxious, defined by a score of at least 5 points on the anxiety subscale of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale ( HAM-D ).

Three of the six studies compared Agomelatine to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ( SSRIs ) Sertraline ( Zofran ) and Fluoxetine ( Prozac ), and the serotonin noradrenalin reuptake inhibitor ( SNRI ) Venlafaxine ( Efexor, Effexor ), while the other three studies compared Agomelatine to placebo.

In comparison to placebo, Agomelatine was found to significantly reduce anxiety scores on the HAM-D anxiety subscore as early as the second week ( p less than 0.004 ). This rapid improvement resulted in a significant efficacy over the course of the study ( p less than 0.001 ), which was even greater in the more anxious patients ( p less than 0.001 ).

Agomelatine was shown to be more effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety than its comparators. Agomelatine led to a significant difference on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale ( HAM-A ) of 1.39 points ( p=0.006 ).
The beneficial effects of Agomelatine compared to the most commonly prescribed antidepressants was even more pronounced in the highly anxious depressed patients, with a difference of 1.72 recorded on the HAM-A Scale ( p=0.032 ).

Source: 24th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology ( ECNP ) Congress, 2011

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