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A randomized, double-blind study of the efficacy and tolerability of extended-release quetiapine fumarate (quetiapine XR) monotherapy in patients with major depressive disorder

Authors Wang G, McIntyre A, Earley WR, Raines SR, Eriksson H

Received 20 June 2013

Accepted for publication 2 October 2013

Published 30 January 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 201—216

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S50248

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Gang Wang,1 Alexander McIntyre,2 Willie R Earley,3 Shane R Raines,3 Hans Eriksson4

1Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China; 2Department of Psychiatry, Penticton Regional Hospital, Penticton, BC, Canada; 3AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, DE, USA; 4AstraZeneca R&D, Södertälje, Sweden


Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of once-daily extended release quetiapine fumarate (quetiapine XR) monotherapy in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Patients and methods: This was a 10-week (8-week active treatment/2-week post-treatment) randomized, double-blind, placebo- and active-controlled study (D1448C00004). Patients received quetiapine XR 150 mg/day, escitalopram 10 mg/day, or placebo; patients with an inadequate response (<20% improvement in Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS] total score) at week two received double-dose treatment. The primary end point was week eight change from randomization in MADRS total score. Secondary end points included MADRS response (≥50% improvement) and remission (score ≤8); Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression total and item 1; Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety total, psychic, and somatic; Clinical Global Impressions – Severity of Illness total; Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) global; and Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire – Short Form percentage maximum total scores. Tolerability was assessed throughout.
Results: A total of 471 patients was randomized. No significant improvements in MADRS total score were observed at week eight (last observation carried forward) with either active treatment (quetiapine XR, -17.21 [P=0.174]; escitalopram, -16.73 [P=0.346]) versus placebo (-15.61). There were no significant differences in secondary end points versus placebo, with the exception of week-eight change in PSQI global score (quetiapine XR, -4.96 [P<0.01] versus placebo, -3.37). Mixed-model repeated-measures analysis of observed-case data suggested that the primary analysis may not be robust. Most commonly reported adverse events included dry mouth, somnolence, and dizziness for quetiapine XR, and headache and nausea for escitalopram.
Conclusion: In this study, neither quetiapine XR (150/300 mg/day) nor escitalopram (10/20 mg/day) showed significant separation from placebo. Both compounds have been shown previously to be effective in the treatment of MDD; possible reasons for this failed study are discussed. Quetiapine XR was generally well tolerated, with a profile similar to that reported previously.

Keywords: antidepressive agents (pharmacological action), antipsychotic agents, sustained-release preparations, treatment efficacy, clinical trial, Phase III


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