Efficacy and tolerability of desvenlafaxine succinate treatment for menopausal vasomotor symptoms: a randomized controlled trial

Leon Speroff, Margery Gass, Ginger Constantine, Sophie Olivier et al.
Obstetrics and Gynecology 2008, 111 (1): 77-87

OBJECTIVE: To compare efficacy and safety of desvenlafaxine succinate (desvenlafaxine) with placebo for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms.

METHODS: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolled 707 healthy, postmenopausal women experiencing 50 or more moderate-to-severe hot flushes per week. Participants randomly received desvenlafaxine 50, 100, 150, or 200 mg or placebo daily. Trial duration was 52 weeks. Primary outcomes were change from baseline in average daily number of moderate-to-severe hot flushes and in daily hot flush severity score at weeks 4 and 12.

RESULTS: Six hundred twenty women with an average of 11 moderate-to-severe hot flushes per day at baseline completed at least one on-therapy evaluation for primary efficacy end points; 519 participants completed 12 weeks of treatment, and 368 completed the study. Desvenlafaxine 100 mg/d achieved a significantly greater reduction compared with placebo in average daily number of hot flushes at weeks 4 (P=.013) and 12 (P=.005), reaching a 64% decrease from baseline at week 12, and the 75% responder rate was significantly higher for desvenlafaxine 100 mg (50%) compared with placebo (29%; P=.003; number needed to treat=4.7) at week 12. Average daily severity of hot flushes was significantly lower in the desvenlafaxine 100-mg group compared with placebo at week 12 (P=.020). Desvenlafaxine-treated women reported significantly more treatment-emergent adverse events than placebo-treated women during the first week of therapy only.

CONCLUSION: Desvenlafaxine is an effective nonhormonal treatment for vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women. Its tolerability profile is consistent with that of other serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.



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