Acute and Continuation Treatment Adequacy With Venlafaxine Extended-Release Compared With Fluoxetin

Kristina S. Yu-Isenberg, Ph.D.; Christina L. Fontes, M.S.; George J. Wan, Ph.D.; Erika C. Geissler, R.N.; Ann S. M. Harada, Ph.D.


Pharmacotherapy. 2004;24(1) 

In This Article


Our analysis of pharmacy claims from a real-world setting showed that patients newly prescribed venlafaxine XR were significantly more likely to achieve treatment adequacy than were those newly prescribed fluoxetine. Given the well-documented findings related to inadequate dosage and duration of antidepressant therapy, there is a need for a more targeted approach to the selection of antidepressant regimen that may improve patient health outcomes. In addition to the traditional criteria of efficacy, safety, and tolerability of an anti-depressant, the effectiveness of the therapy in a real-world environment may be an important characteristic to consider when selecting an antidepressant agent. The effectiveness of the agent demonstrates how patients actually behave with respect to compliance and length of treatment. Thus, our measure of treatment adequacy as a proxy for optimal treatment may be an important factor that improves the selection of an antidepressant agent at the individual prescriber level.

Presented in part at the annual meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 20–23, 2002, and the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 7–10, 2003.


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