Vortioxetine for major depressive disorder, vasomotor, and cognitive symptoms associated with the menopausal transition

December 15, 2017

Authors: Marlene P Freeman, Laura J Cheng, Danna Moustafa, Abigail Davies, Alexandra Z Sosinsky, Betty Wang, Laura F Petrillo, Charlotte Hogan, Lee S Cohen

Journal: Annals of Clinical Psychiatry

Year Published: 2017


In a preliminary trial, we assessed the efficacy of vortioxetine for major depressive disorder (MDD) during the menopausal transition. Secondary outcomes included hot flashes (HFs), anxiety, and cognitive complaints.


Perimenopausal and early postmenopausal women with MDD (N = 27) received 8 weeks of open-label, flexible-dose treatment with vortioxetine. The Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) was the primary outcome measure. Secondary measures included: HF frequency, the Greene Climacteric Scale (GCS), Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MEN-QOL), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Cognitive and Physical Functioning Questionnaire (CPFQ), Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and Cogstate testing.


Of the 27 women, 24 (88.8%) were evaluated (≥1 follow-up), and 21 (77.8%) completed the study; 1 discontinued because of adverse effects. The mean MADRS score decreased significantly (P = .0001) from 31.3 (standard deviation [SD] = 5.5) at pretreatment to 8.1 (SD = 7.8) at posttreatment. The depression response rate (≥50% reduction in MADRS) and remission rate (final MADRS ≤10) were 75% and 70.8%, respectively. GCS, MEN-QOL, BAI, CPFQ, and DSST scores improved significantly (P = .0030, P = .0001, P = .0001, P = .0001, and P = .0133, respectively); Cogstate test scores did not. Frequency and severity of HFs improved significantly (P = .0291 and P = .0299, respectively).


These data support further study of vortioxetine for treating menopausal depression and associated symptoms.

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