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Effect Of Vortioxetine In Subjects With Major Depressive And Alcohol Use Disorders: A 6-month Retrospective Analysis

Marco Di Nicola, Maria Pepe, Isabella Panaccione, Lorenzo Moccia, Luigi Dattoli, Marzia Molinaro, Gabriele Sani, Luigi Janiri, Roger S. McIntyre

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Abstract Background Major depressive disorder (MDD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are highly comorbid, with greater clinical complexity and psychosocial impairment. Several antidepressants have been used in this population, with mixed results. This preliminary study aims to investigate the effects of the multimodal antidepressant vortioxetine in MDD + AUD subjects. Methods We retrospectively evaluated 57 MDD + AUD and 56 MDD outpatients, matched for baseline characteristics. Patients were assessed after 1, 3, and 6 months treatment with vortioxetine (10-20 mg/d, flexibly dosed) in combination with continuous psychosocial support. The primary outcome was improvement in depressive symptoms measured by the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale. We also investigated changes in anxiety, anhedonia, cognition, functioning, quality of life, and clinical global severity using the following instruments: Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale, Digit Symbol Substitution Test, Perceived Deficits Questionnaire-Depression, Functioning Assessment Short Test, Quality of Life Index, and Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale. Results Vortioxetine significantly improved mood in MDD + AUD patients (P < .001), with no differences when compared to MDD (P = .36). A substantial rate (45.6%) of comorbid subjects obtained clinical remission at endpoint (P = .36 vs MDD). We additionally observed baseline to endpoint improvements on all secondary outcomes (P < .001), with no significant difference between groups. Overall, vortioxetine was safe and well tolerated. Conclusions Given its effectiveness on mood, cognition, and functioning, its good safety and tolerability profile, and low potential for abuse, vortioxetine could represent a valid pharmacological intervention in MDD + AUD patients as part of an integrated therapeutic-rehabilitation program.