Objective: To assess the effect of baseline body mass index (BMI) on efficacy and weight change in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with desvenlafaxine or placebo in a pooled, post hoc analysis.
Method: Adults with MDD were randomly assigned to placebo or desvenlafaxine (50 mg or 100 mg) in 8 short-term, double-blind studies and 1 longer-term randomized withdrawal study (the studies were published between 2007 and 2013). Change from baseline in 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17) total score at week 8 was analyzed in normal (BMI ≤ 25 kg/m(2)), overweight (25 kg/m(2) < BMI ≤ 30 kg/m(2)), and obese (BMI > 30 kg/m(2)) subgroups using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Weight change was analyzed in BMI subgroups using ANCOVA and a mixed-effects model for repeated measures.
Results: Desvenlafaxine 50 mg/d or 100 mg/d improved HDRS-17 scores significantly from baseline to week 8 (last observation carried forward) versus placebo in all BMI subgroups (normal: n = 1,122; overweight: n = 960; obese: n = 1,302; all P ≤ .0027); improvement was greatest in normal BMI patients. There was a statistically significant decrease in weight (< 1 kg) with short-term desvenlafaxine 50 mg/d and 100 mg/d versus placebo in all BMI subgroups (all P < .0001). In the randomized withdrawal study (n = 548), no statistically significant difference in weight was observed for desvenlafaxine versus placebo in any BMI subgroup. Baseline BMI predicted weight change in short-term and longer-term desvenlafaxine treatment.
Conclusions: Desvenlafaxine significantly improved symptoms of depression versus placebo regardless of baseline BMI. In all BMI subgroups, desvenlafaxine was associated with statistically significant weight loss (< 1 kg) versus placebo over 8 weeks, but no significant differences longer term.