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Effectiveness of Vortioxetine in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder Associated with Chronic Pain: An Observational Study in a Spanish Population.

Pain and Therapy 2024 April 30
INTRODUCTION: Chronic pain (CP) and depression/anxiety often coexist, worsening each other's symptoms. Treating this comorbidity is challenging. Tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors are the first-line treatment options for this comorbidity, although sometimes they are not effective and/or well tolerated by patients, and there is little clinical evidence that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are useful for controlling CP. The antidepressant vortioxetine, with a multimodal mechanism that may help reduce pain, has proven clinical efficacy in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). This study investigated vortioxetine's effectiveness for MDD and CP in clinical practice.

METHODS: This was a 3-month, multicenter, prospective, open-label, non-interventional pharmacoepidemiologic study. Patients (n = 64) with MDD (9-item Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9] score ≥ 15) and CP (visual analogue scale [VAS] score ≥ 4) were treated with vortioxetine for 3 months (initiated with 10 mg/day, with flexible dosing thereafter [5-20 mg/day]). VAS, Clinical Global Impression (CGI), and Patient Global Impression (PGI) scales were used at baseline and at 1 and 3 months. Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), PHQ-9 scale, and Satisfaction with Medicines Questionnaire (SATMED-Q) were used at baseline and at 3 months. Adverse Events (AEs) were recorded. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and Student's t-tests were used for paired data.

RESULTS: MDD patients showed a statistically significant improvement in VAS from baseline (mean [standard deviation (SD)]: 7.42 [0.69]) to 1 month (mean [SD]: 6.1 [0.81], P < 0.001) and 3 months (mean [SD]: 5.09 [1.26], P < 0.0001). Similarly, BPI and PHQ-9 scores showed significant improvement from baseline (mean [SD]: 6.20 [0.80] and 16.63 [1.47], respectively) to 3 months (mean [SD]: 4.73 [0.98] and 7.30 [2.60], P < 0.0001, respectively). Patients showed clinical improvement with CGI and PGI scales and reported being satisfied with the treatment in the SATMED-Q. A few mild EAs were registered.

CONCLUSION: Vortioxetine can relieve depressive and pain symptoms, with a good safety profile, in patients with MDD and CP.

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