Comparison of adjunctive use of aripiprazole with bupropion or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors/serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors: analysis of patients beginning adjunctive treatment in a 52-week, open-label study.

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BACKGROUND: This post hoc analysis assessed the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of long-term treatment with aripiprazole adjunctive to either bupropion or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)/serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).

METHODS: Data from de novo patients (did not participate in 2 previous studies) in a 52-week, open-label safety study of adjunctive aripiprazole after documented inadequate response to 1-4 antidepressant treatments (ADTs; SSRI, SNRI, or bupropion) were analyzed post hoc. Assessments included safety and tolerability, sexual functioning (Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Functioning Inventory [MGH-SFI]) and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S).

RESULTS: Forty-seven patients received bupropion plus aripiprazole and 245 received an SSRI/SNRI plus aripiprazole; 19 (40.4%) and 78 (31.8%), respectively, completed 52 weeks of treatment, and 46 and 242, respectively, received ≥1 dose of study medication (safety sample). Median time to discontinuation (any reason) was 184.0 days. Overall, 97.8% of patients in the bupropion group and 93.8% in the SSRI/SNRI group experienced ≥1 adverse event. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events were fatigue (26.1%) and somnolence (21.7%) with bupropion and fatigue (23.6%) and akathisia (23.6%) with an SSRI/SNRI. Mean change in body weight at week 52 (observed cases) was +3.1 kg for bupropion and +2.4 kg for an SSRI/SNRI. Treatment-emergent, potentially clinically relevant abnormalities in fasting glucose occurred in 8.3% of patients with bupropion and 17.4% with an SSRI/SNRI; for abnormalities in fasting total cholesterol, the incidence was 25.0% and 34.7%, respectively. Mean (SE) change from baseline in fasting glucose was 1.4 (1.9) mg/dL with bupropion and 2.7 (1.5) mg/dL with an SSRI/SNRI. Baseline MGH-SFI item scores indicated less severe impairment with bupropion versus an SSRI/SNRI; in both groups most MGH-SFI items exhibited improvement at week 52. Mean CGI-S improvement at week 52 (last observation carried forward) was -1.4 with bupropion and -1.5 with an SSRI/SNRI (efficacy sample).

CONCLUSIONS: There were no unexpected AEs with long-term adjunctive aripiprazole therapy when added to either bupropion or SSRIs/SNRIs, and symptom improvement was similar between ADT groups. Sexual functioning in patients with MDD on antidepressants was also modestly improved after adding aripiprazole.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00095745 (November 9, 2004).


Authors’ contributions

AHC, RAB, JJS, SVM and MET contributed to the conception and design of the analysis. MET was a study investigator and participated in data collection. RAB and JJS managed the analyses. SVM undertook the statistical analysis. All authors contributed to the analysis and interpretation of data, critically reviewed all drafts to provide important intellectual content, and made the decision to submit the manuscript. All authors have approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ information

John J. Sheehan, Sabrina Vogel Marler, Ronald Marcus, and Robert M. Berman were employees of Bristol-Myers Squibb when this study was performed.

Published online 2014 Jul 18. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-459