Objective: This randomised, double-blind, 12-week study compared efficacy and tolerability of flexible-dose treatment with vortioxetine(10-20 mg/day) versus agomelatine (25-50 mg/day) in major depressive disorder patients with inadequate response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)/serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) monotherapy.
Methods: Patients were switched directly from SSRI/SNRI to vortioxetine or agomelatine. Primary endpoint was change from baseline to week 8 in the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score analysed by mixed model for repeated measurements, using a noninferiority test followed by a superiority test. Secondary endpoints included response and remission rates, anxiety symptoms(Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale), Clinical Global Impression, overall functioning (Sheehan Disability Scale), health-related quality of life(EuroQol 5 Dimensions), productivity (work limitation questionnaire) and family functioning (Depression and Family Functioning Scale).
Results: Primary endpoint noninferiority was established and vortioxetine (n = 252) was superior to agomelatine (n = 241) by 2.2 MADRS points (p<0.01). Vortioxetine was also significantly superior in response and remission rates at weeks 8 and 12; MADRS, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Clinical Global Impression, Sheehan Disability Scale and EuroQol 5 Dimensions scores at week 4 onwards; work limitation questionnaire at week 8 and Depression and Family Functioning Scale at weeks 8 and 12. Fewer patients withdrew because of adverse events with vortioxetine (5.9% vs 9.5%). Adverse events (incidence ≥5%) were nausea, headache, dizziness and somnolence.
Conclusions: Vortioxetine was noninferior and significantly superior to agomelatine in major depressive disorder patients with previous inadequate response to a single course of SSRI/SNRI monotherapy. Vortioxetine was safe and well tolerated.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01488071.