Safety and Effectiveness of Desvenlafaxine in Korean Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: a 6-month Postmarketing Surveillance Study
Sungwon Roh , Kang Soo Lee , Songwha Choi , Jae-Min Kim *
1Department of Psychiatry, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea, 2Department of Psychiatry, CHA University College of Medicine, Bundang CHA Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, 3Medical Affairs, Pfizer Korea Ltd., Seoul, South Korea, 4Department of Psychiatry, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, South Korea
Received: June 26, 2021; Revised: August 11, 2021; Accepted: August 11, 2021; Published online: August 11, 2021.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Objective: Although the safety and efficacy of desvenlafaxine have been demonstrated, long-term evidence in Asians is lacking. We examined the safety and effectiveness of desvenlafaxine for 6 months in routine clinical practice in Korea.
Methods: This multicenter, open-label, prospective observational study was conducted from February 2014 to February 2020 as a postmarketing surveillance study of desvenlafaxine (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02548949). Adult patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) were observed from the initiation of treatment for 8 weeks (acute treatment phase) and then up to 6 months (continuation treatment phase) in a subsample. Safety was evaluated by incidence of adverse events (AE) and adverse drug reactions. Treatment response was assessed using the Clinical Global Impression – Improvement (CGI-I) scale.
Results: We included 700 and 236 study subjects in the analysis of acute and continuation treatment phase, respectively. In acute treatment phase, AE incidence was 9.86%, with nausea being most common (2.00%). In continuation treatment phase, AE incidence was 2.97%, with tremor occurring most frequently. After acute treatment (N = 464), the treatment response rate according to the CGI-I score at week 8 was 28.9%. In long-term users (N = 213), the response rate at month 6 was 45.5%. During the study period, no clinically relevant changes in BP were found regardless of concomitant use of antihypertensive drugs.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence on the safety and effectiveness of desvenlafaxine in adults with MDD, with a low incidence of AE, consistent AE profile with previous studies, and improved response after long-term treatment.
Keywords: desvenlafaxine, safety, treatment outcome, antidepressant, major depressive disorder, Korea


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