Background: The predictive value of early functional improvement for treatment success at week 8 was assessed in a pooled analysis in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Methods: Data were pooled from 7 double-blind studies in adult patients with MDD randomly assigned to desvenlafaxine 50 mg/d or placebo. Four levels of treatment success were determined at week 8 for patients with baseline Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) score > 12 (N = 2156): functional response (SDS ≤12 and ≥50% improvement in SDS), functional/depression response (SDS ≤12 and ≥50% improvement in both SDS and 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [HAM-D17] score), functional remission (SDS < 7), and functional/depression remission (SDS < 7 and HAM-D17 ≤7). Week 2 improvement in SDS was evaluated as a predictor of later functional response/remission using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) of the predictability of improvement thresholds were computed from a logistic regression model.
Results: The proportion of patients achieving each level of treatment success was significantly greater for patients treated with desvenlafaxine (40%, 32%, 23%, 15%, respectively) vs placebo (31%, 22%, 17%, 10%; all P ≤ 0.002). Early change in SDS was a highly significant predictor of functional response/remission (ORs, 0.958-0.970; all P < 0.0001). Discussion Patients' early functional response to desvenlafaxine 50 mg/d is predictive of treatment success.