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Vortioxetine, a Multimodal Antidepressant for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Vortioxetine, a Multimodal Antidepressant for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Chi-Un Pae et al. J Psychiatr Res.


Vortioxetine has a beneficial pharmacological profile for reducing anxiety and depression. Recently, a number of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of vortioxetine have been conducted in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); however, the results from GAD RCTs are inconsistent. With an extensive search of databases and clinical trial registries, four published short-term RCTs were identified and included in the present meta-analysis. The mean change in total scores on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA) from baseline was the primary endpoint. The secondary endpoints included the response and remission rates, as defined by a ≥50% reduction in HAMA total scores and a ≤7 change in the HAMA total score at the end of treatment. In addition, the mean change in the HAMA total score from baseline in the subgroup with a HAMA total score ≥25 at baseline was included. Vortioxetine was significantly more effective than was placebo, with a standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.118 (95% CIs, -0.203 to -0.033, P = 0.007). In particular, those with severe GAD (HAMA total score ≥25 at baseline) had a significantly greater benefit from vortioxetine than those without (SMD = -0.338, 95% CIs = -0.552 to -0.124, p = 0.002). The odds ratios (ORs) for vortioxetine for response and remission were 1.221 (95% CIs, 1.027 to 1.452, P = 0.024) and 1.052 (95% CIs, 0.853 to 1.296, P = 0.637), respectively. Discontinuation due to adverse events (AEs) (OR = 1.560, 1.006 to 2.419, p = 0.047) was marginally higher in vortioxetine than placebo treatment, whereas discontinuation due to any reason (OR = 0.971, 0.794 to 1.187, p = 0.771) and inefficacy (OR = 0.687, 0.380 to 1.243, p = 0.215) were not significantly different among treatment groups. Although our results suggest that vortioxetine may have a potential as an another treatment option for GAD (especially for severe GAD), they should be interpreted and translated into clinical practice with caution, as the meta-analysis was based on a limited number of RCTs.

Keywords: Efficacy; Generalized anxiety disorder; Meta-analysis; Safety; Tolerability; Vortioxetine.

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