Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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The Seventh Prevention of Syncope Trial (POST VII)-A randomized clinical trial of atomoxetine for the prevention of vasovagal syncope: Rationale and study design.

BACKGROUND: Vasovagal syncope (VVS) is common, recurs, and is associated with markedly reduced quality of life, anxiety, and frequent injuries. The few pharmacological therapies for VVS proven to have a moderate benefit in reducing recurrences are limited to patients without coexisting conditions such as hypertension or heart failure. Although there is some data to suggest Atomoxetine, a norepinephrine reuptake transport inhibitor (NET), may be a promising treatment option, an adequately powered randomized placebo-controlled trial is needed.

STUDY DESIGN: POST VII is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study that will randomize 180 patients with VVS and at least 2 syncopal spells in the preceding year to a target daily dose of atomoxetine 80 mg daily or to a matching placebo, with an observation period of 6 months in each phase and with a 1-week washout period between phases. The primary end point will be the proportion of patients with at least one syncope recurrence in each arm analyzed with an intention-to-treat approach. The secondary end points include total syncope burden, quality of life, cost, and cost-effectiveness.

POWER CALCULATIONS: Assuming a 33% relative risk reduction in syncope recurrence with atomoxetine, and a dropout rate of 16%, the enrollment of 180 patients will give an 85% power of reaching a positive conclusion about atomoxetine, with P = .05.

CONCLUSIONS: This will be the first adequately powered trial to determine whether atomoxetine is effective in preventing VVS. If proven effective, atomoxetine might become the first-line pharmacological treatment for recurrent VVS.

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