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Efficacy and tolerability of escitalopram in treatment of major depressive disorder with anxiety symptoms: a 24-week, open-label, prospective study in Chinese population

Authors Jiang KD, Li LJ, Wang XY, Fang MS, Shi JF, Cao QY, He JC, Wang JN, Tan WH, Hu CL

Received 19 August 2016

Accepted for publication 9 December 2016

Published 17 February 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 515—526


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Kaida Jiang,1 Lingjiang Li,2 Xueyi Wang,3 Maosheng Fang,4 Jianfei Shi,5 Qiuyun Cao,6 Jincai He,7 Jinan Wang,8 Weihao Tan,8 Cuili Hu8

1Psychiatry Department, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai, 2Psychiatry Department,The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 3Psychiatry Department, First affiliated Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, 4Psychiatry Department, Wuhan Mental Health Center, Wuhan, 5Psychiatry Department, Hangzhou the 7th Hospital, Hangzhou, 6Psychology Department, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing, 7Neurology Department, First affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, 8Medical Affairs Department, Xi’an Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd., Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Background: Significant anxiety symptoms are associated with poor clinical course and outcome in major depressive disorder (MDD). This single-arm, open-label study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of escitalopram treatment in patients with MDD and anxiety symptoms.
Methods: Adult patients with MDD and anxiety symptoms (Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS] ≥22 and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale [HAM-A] ≥14) were enrolled and received escitalopram (10–20 mg/day) treatment for 24 weeks. Symptom status was assessed by MADRS, 17-item-Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, HAM-A, and Clinical Global Impression Scale at baseline and the following visits. Quality of life was assessed by Short Form-12, and safety was evaluated by adverse events, laboratory investigations, vital signs, and physical findings.
Results: Overall, 200 of 318 (66.2%) enrolled patients completed the 24-week treatment. The remission (MADRS ≤10 and HAM-A ≤7) rate in the full analysis set (N=285) was 73.3% (95% confidence interval: 67.80, 78.38) at week 24. Mean (± standard deviation) MADRS total score was 33.4 (±7.13) and HAM-A score was 27.6 (±7.26) at baseline, which reduced to 6.6 (±10.18) and 6.0 (±8.39), respectively, at week 24. Patients with higher baseline depression and anxiety level took longer to achieve similar remission rates. Overall, 80 of the 302 (26.5%) patients included in the safety set reported at least 1 treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE). Most frequently reported TEAEs (>2%) were headache (4.0%), nasopharyngitis (3.6%), nausea (3.0%), and dizziness (2.6%). Serious TEAEs were reported by 1.3% patients; no deaths were reported.
Conclusion: Escitalopram 10–20 mg/day was effective and well-tolerated in the long-term treatment of MDD with anxiety symptoms in adult Chinese population.

Keywords: anxiety, Chinese, escitalopram, long term, major depressive disorder

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