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1.  Efficacy comparison of duloxetine and SSRIs at doses approved in Japan 
Approved doses of antidepressants in Japan are usually lower than those in the USA and European Union, but to date meta-analyses comparing antidepressants have all used the higher doses approved in the USA and European Union and often have used indirect comparisons. The purpose of this study was to conduct an integrated database analysis of patient level data to compare the effects of duloxetine with those of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) at the doses approved in Japan.
Pooled data were analyzed from four randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that compared duloxetine at the dose range approved in Japan (40–60 mg/day) with other SSRIs (paroxetine 20 mg/day or escitalopram 10 mg/day) and placebo in patients with major depressive disorder. In total, 1,694 patients were included in the analysis (duloxetine, n=688; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, n=690; placebo, n=316). The primary outcome measure was the mean change from baseline at week 8 in 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD17) total and subscale scores.
Duloxetine and both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were superior to placebo in HAMD17 total score at week 8 in both the all-randomized group and the more severe subgroup (HAMD17 total scores ≥19). Duloxetine was superior to SSRIs in improving the HAMD17 Retardation subscale score (least squares mean difference [95% confidence interval]): all-randomized group, −0.33 [−0.60, −0.07], P=0.015; severe subgroup, −0.45 [−0.83, −0.07], P=0.020).
Within the dose range approved in Japan for patients with major depressive disorder, duloxetine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors demonstrated comparable overall efficacy, with a possible advantage for duloxetine in improving loss of energy and interest. To the best of our knowledge, this analysis is unique not only in evaluating dosages specific to Japan, but also in using individual patient data and the same endpoint across studies to allow for strictly direct head-to-head data comparisons as opposed to pooling direct and indirect comparisons.
PMCID: PMC4296960  PMID: 25624763
duloxetine; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; Japan; approved dosage; meta-analysis; major depressive disorder
2.  Switching to olanzapine long-acting injection from either oral olanzapine or any other antipsychotic: comparative post hoc analyses 
A considerable proportion of patients suffering from schizophrenia show suboptimal responses to oral antipsychotics due to inadequate adherence. Hence, they are likely to benefit from switching to a long-acting injectable formulation. These post hoc analyses assessed the clinical effects of switching to olanzapine long-acting injection (OLAI) from either oral olanzapine (OLZ) or other antipsychotics (non-OLZ).
Post hoc analyses were done based on two randomized studies (one short-term, one long-term) conducted in patients suffering from schizophrenia and treated with OLAI. The short-term study was an 8-week placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in acute patients, and the long-term study was a 2-year, oral olanzapine-controlled, open-label, follow-up of stabilized outpatients.
These analyses used data from 62 OLAI-treated patients (12 switched from OLZ, 50 from non-OLZ) from the short-term study and 190 OLAI-treated patients (56 switched from OLZ, 134 from non-OLZ) from the long-term study. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses of time to all-cause discontinuation of OLAI treatment did not differ significantly between OLZ and non-OLZ patients in the short-term study (P=0.209) or long-term study (P=0.448). Similarly, the proportions of OLZ and non-OLZ patients that discontinued OLAI were not statistically different in the short-term (16.7% versus 36.0%, respectively; P=0.198) or long-term (57.1% versus 47.8% respectively; P=0.238) studies. In the short-term study, no significant differences were detected between the patient groups in mean change in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score (−13.4 OLZ versus −20.8 non-OLZ; P=0.166). In the long-term study, mean change in PANSS total score (3.9 OLZ versus −3.6 non-OLZ; P=0.008) was significantly different between the non-OLZ and OLZ groups. Rates of treatment-emergent adverse events were similar in OLZ and non-OLZ groups per study.
These post hoc analyses suggest that no significant differences in clinical effectiveness were seen after switching from non-OLZ or OLZ to OLAI. However, these findings should be interpreted with care, due to small sample sizes and differences in patients’ clinical profiles.
PMCID: PMC3825698  PMID: 24235837
schizophrenia; olanzapine; long-acting injection; depot formulation
3.  Depression Treatment with Duloxetine and Reduction of Inability to Work 
Data on inability to work from an observational study in patients treated with duloxetine for major depressive disorder in clinical practice in Germany were collected. Ability to work was compared between baseline and up to 6 months after initiation of duloxetine. All patients with a working status at baseline other than retired or retired early were included. 2,825 patients were analyzed, 54.8% were able to work at baseline increasing to 83.8% at 6 months. Of those patients unable to work at baseline, 72.7% were able to work after 6 months. A relevant reduction of inability to work was also found for patient subgroups with moderate to severe pain at baseline and those with and without MDD pretreatment. As inability to work is one of the main cost drivers for depressive patients in Germany, the reduction of inability to work could potentially result in considerable cost savings for health insurance companies and society.
PMCID: PMC3419398  PMID: 22919474
4.  Psychometric properties of the quality of life scale Child Health and Illness Profile-Child Edition in a combined analysis of five atomoxetine trials 
Our aim was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the generic quality of life (QoL) scale Child Health and Illness Profile-Child Edition (CHIP-CE) by means of a combined analysis of atomoxetine clinical trials in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Individual patient-level data from five clinical trials were included in the combined analysis. Psychometric properties of the CHIP-CE were explored in terms of internal consistency and structure. Patients (n = 794) aged between 6 and 15 years (mean 9.7) with mean baseline ADHD Rating Scale of 41.8 ± 8.04 were included. On average, 0.7 (SD 2.23) items were missing for the whole CHIP-CE. The internal consistency of the CHIP-CE assessed by Cronbach’s alpha was good for all sub-domains at baseline and at endpoint. Considerable ceiling effects were only observed for the “restricted activity” sub-domain. No considerable floor effects were seen. The factor analysis supported the 12-factor solution for the sub-domains, but not the 5-factor solution for the domains. Our analyses were based on a large sample of non-US patients which allowed the measurement of clear changes in QoL over time. The results support that the CHIP-CE scale is psychometrically robust over time in terms of internal consistency and structure.
PMCID: PMC3220810  PMID: 21986814
Attention-deficit disorder with hyperactivity; Quality of life; Psychometrics; Factor analysis
5.  Differences between children and adolescents in treatment response to atomoxetine and the correlation between health-related quality of life and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder core symptoms: Meta-analysis of five atomoxetine trials 
To explore the influence of age on treatment responses to atomoxetine and to assess the relationship between core symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) outcomes.
Data Sources
Data from five similar clinical trials of atomoxetine in the treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD were included in this meta-analysis.
Study Selection
Atomoxetine studies that used the ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS) and the Child Health and Illness Profile Child Edition (CHIP-CE) as outcome measures were selected.
Treatment with atomoxetine.
Main Outcome Measures
Treatment group differences (atomoxetine vs placebo) in terms of total score, domains, and subdomains of the CHIP-CE were compared across age groups, and correlations between ADHD-RS scores and CHIP-CE scores were calculated by age.
Data of 794 subjects (611 children, 183 adolescents) were pooled. At baseline, adolescents showed significantly (p < 0.05) greater impairment compared with children in the Family Involvement, Satisfaction with Self, and Academic Performance subdomains of the CHIP-CE. Treatment effect of atomoxetine was significant in both age groups for the Risk Avoidance domain and its subdomains. There was a significant age-treatment interaction with greater efficacy seen in adolescents in both the Risk Avoidance domain and the Threats to Achievement subdomain. Correlations between ADHD-RS and CHIP-CE scores were generally low at baseline and moderate in change from baseline and were overall similar in adolescents and children.
Atomoxetine was effective in improving some aspects of HR-QoL in both age groups. Correlations between core symptoms of ADHD and HR-QoL were low to moderate.
PMCID: PMC3012018  PMID: 21134277
6.  Atomoxetine improves patient and family coping in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in Swedish children and adolescents 
This 10-week study assessed the efficacy of atomoxetine in combination with psychoeducation compared to placebo and psychoeducation in the improvement of Quality of Life in Swedish stimulant-naive children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. A total of 99 patients were treated with atomoxetine (49 patients) or placebo (50 patients) for 10 weeks and assessed regarding broader areas of functioning using the Quality of Life measures Child Health and Illness Profile-Child Edition (CHIP-CE), Family Strain Index [FSI; equivalent to the Family Burden of Illness Module used in the study], Appraisal of Stress in Child-Rearing (ASCR), Five to fifteen (FTF), “I think I am” (“Jag tycker jag är”), and Children’s Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) before and after the active treatment phase. Simultaneously, the patients’ parents participated in a 4-session psychoeducation program. A statistically significant difference in favor of atomoxetine was seen in the improvement from baseline to study endpoint for the CHIP-CE domains “Achievement” and “Risk avoidance”, for the FSI total score, for the ASCR section (I) domain “Child as a burden”, for all FTF domains except for “Language and Speech”, and for the CDRS-R total score. No difference between treatment groups was observed in the patient-assessed evaluation of self-esteem using the “I think I am” scale. Atomoxetine combined with psychoeducation had a positive effect on various everyday coping abilities of the patients as well as their families during 10 weeks of treatment, whereas the patients’ self-image and the parents’ image of the climate in the family were not significantly improved.
PMCID: PMC2770135  PMID: 19466476
ADHD; Atomoxetine; Quality of life; CHIP-CE; Broader efficacy
7.  Self-esteem in adolescent patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder during open-label atomoxetine treatment: psychometric evaluation of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and clinical findings 
To report on (1) psychometric properties of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES) studied in adolescents with ADHD, (2) correlations of SES with ADHD scale scores, and (3) change in patient-reported self-esteem with atomoxetine treatment. ADHD patients (12–17 years), treated in an open-label study for 24 weeks. Secondary analyses on ADHD symptoms (assessed with ADHD-RS, CGI, GIPD scales) and self-esteem (SES) were performed. One hundred and fifty-nine patients were treated. A dichotomous structure of the SES could be confirmed. Reliability and internal consistency were moderate to excellent. Highest coefficients were found for the correlation between SES and GIPD scores. Self-esteem significantly increased over time, accompanied by an improvement of ADHD symptoms and related perceived difficulties. The Rosenberg SES was shown to be internally consistent, reliable, and sensitive to treatment-related changes of self-esteem. According to these findings, self-esteem may be an important individual patient outcome beyond the core symptoms of ADHD.
PMCID: PMC2837234  PMID: 20234829
ADHD; Atomoxetine; Self-esteem; Self-confidence; Self-liking
8.  Atomoxetine treatment and ADHD-related difficulties as assessed by adolescent patients, their parents and physicians 
The degree of ADHD-related difficulties – reflecting overall impairment, social functioning, and quality of life – may be perceived differently by adolescent patients, parents and physicians. The primary aim of this study was to investigate ADHD-related difficulties during atomoxetine treatment, as perceived by the three different raters. Secondary objectives focused on effectiveness and tolerability of atomoxetine treatment in a population of adolescent patients with ADHD.
Adolescents with ADHD, aged 12–17 years, received open-label atomoxetine (0.5–1.2 mg/kg/day) up to 24 weeks. ADHD-related difficulties at various times of the day were rated using the Global Impression of Perceived Difficulties (GIPD) instrument. Inter-rater agreement was analyzed using Cohen's Kappa with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). ADHD-Rating Scale (ADHD-RS) and Clinical Global Impression Severity (GGI-S) scores were assessed by the investigator; and spontaneous adverse events, vital signs and laboratory parameters were collected for tolerability assessments.
159 patients received atomoxetine. Patients' baseline mean GIPD total ratings were significantly lower than parents' and physicians' scores (12.5 [95%CI 11.6;13.5] vs. 17.2 [16.2;18.2] and 18.8 [17.8;19.8]). For all raters, GIPD scores significantly improved over time. Changes were greatest within the first two weeks. Kappa coefficients varied between 0.186 [0.112;0.259] and 0.662 [0.529;0.795], with strongest agreements between parent and physician assessments, and significant improvements of patient/physician agreements over time (based on 95% CIs). ADHD-RS and CGI-S scores significantly improved over the course of the study (based on 95% CIs). Tolerability results were consistent with earlier reports.
ADHD-related difficulties were perceived differently by the raters in this open-label trial, but consistently improved during atomoxetine treatment. The GIPD instrument appeared sensitive to treatment-related change. These primarily quantitative findings may guide future studies to more systematically investigate the clinical and practical relevance of the differences observed. Additionally, in order to further validate these results, placebo- and comparator-controlled trials are recommended as well as inclusion of healthy controls and other patient populations.
Trial Registration
Clinical Trial Registry: NCT00191737
PMCID: PMC2746185  PMID: 19703299
9.  Morning and evening behavior in children and adolescents treated with atomoxetine once daily for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Findings from two 24-week, open-label studies 
The impact of once daily atomoxetine treatment on symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD may vary over the day. In order to capture such variations, two studies were undertaken in children and adolescents with ADHD using two instruments that capture morning and evening behavior and ADHD-related difficulties over the day. This secondary measure analysis builds on two primary analyses that were conducted separately for children and adolescents and also published separately.
In two open-label studies, ADHD patients aged 6–17 years (n = 421), received atomoxetine in the morning (target-dose 0.5–1.2 mg/kg/day) for up to 24 weeks. Morning and evening behavior was assessed using the investigator-rated Weekly Rating of Evening and Morning Behavior (WREMB-R) scale. ADHD-related difficulties at various times of the day (morning, during school, during homework, evening) were assessed using the Global Impression of Perceived Difficulties (GIPD) scale, rated by patients, parents and physicians. Data from both studies were combined for this secondary measure analysis.
Both WREMB-R subscores decreased significantly over time, the evening subscore from 13.7 (95% CI 13.2;14.2) at baseline to 8.0 (7.4;8.5) at week 2, the morning subscore from 4.3 (4.0;4.5) to 2.4 (2.2;2.6). Scores then remained stable until week 24. All GIPD items improved correspondingly. At all times of the day, patients rated ADHD-related difficulties as less severe than parents and physicians.
These findings from two open-label studies suggest that morning and evening behavior and ADHD-related difficulties in the mornings and evenings improve over time with once daily atomoxetine treatment.
PMCID: PMC2663547  PMID: 19203355
10.  Change in the direct cost of treatment for children and adolescents with hyperkinetic disorder in Germany over a period of four years 
In many developed countries, the treatment of hyperkinetic disorder (or ADHD) consumes a considerable amount of resources. The primary aim of this study was to determine change in the direct cost of treatment for children and adolescents with hyperkinetic disorder in Germany over time, and compare the cost with the cost of treatment for two physical disorders: epilepsy and asthma.
The German Federal Statistical Office provided data on the direct cost of treating hyperkinetic disorder, epilepsy and asthma in Germany for 2002, 2004, and 2006. The direct costs of treatment incurred by hyperkinetic disorder in these years were compared with those incurred by epilepsy and asthma.
The total direct cost of treatment for the hyperkinetic disorder was € 177 million in 2002, € 234 million in 2004, and € 341 million in 2006. The largest proportion of the cost was incurred by the age group < 15 years: € 158 million in 2002, € 205 million in 2004, and € 287 million in 2006. The direct cost of treatment for epilepsy in this age group was a total of € 157 million in 2002, € 155 million in 2004, and € 155 million in 2006. For asthma, the total direct cost of treatment in this age group was € 266 million in 2002, € 257 million in 2004, and € 272 million in 2006.
The direct cost of treatment for hyperkinetic disorder in the age group < 15 years increased considerably between 2002 and 2006. Over the same period of time and for the same age group, expenditure for epilepsy and asthma was more or less constant. The increase in expenditure for the treatment of hyperkinetic disorder may be due to increasing demand for diagnostic and therapeutic services and improved availability of such services. The study is limited by the difficulty of obtaining consistent data on the direct cost of treatment for both physical and psychiatric disorders in Germany.
PMCID: PMC2654853  PMID: 19175910
11.  Use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines in patients with psychiatric emergencies: Results of an observational trial 
BMC Psychiatry  2008;8:61.
Conventional antipsychotics augmented with benzodiazepines have been the standard acute treatment for psychiatric emergencies for more than 50 years. The inability of patients to give informed consent limits randomised, controlled studies. This observational study on immediate therapy for aggression and impulse control in acutely agitated patients (IMPULSE) evaluated the short-term effectiveness and tolerability of atypical and typical antipsychotic medications (AP) in a non-interventional setting.
This was a comparative, non-randomised, prospective, open-label, observational study. Treatment over the first 5 days was classified according to whether any olanzapine, risperidone, or haloperidol was included or not. Documentations (PANSS-excited component, CGI-aggression, CGI-suicidality, tranquilisation score) were at baseline (day 1) and days 2–6 after start of AP.
During the short treatment-period, PANSS-EC and CGI-aggression scores improved in all cohorts. 68.7% of patients treated with olanzapine, 72.2% of patients treated with risperidone, and 83.3% of patients treated with haloperidol received concomitant benzodiazepines (haloperidol vs. non-haloperidol: p < 0.001). More patients treated with olanzapine (73.8%) were fully alert according to a tranquilisation score and active at day 2 than patients treated with risperidone (57.1%) or haloperidol (58.0%).
Current medication practices for immediate aggression control are effective with positive results present within a few days. In this study, concomitant benzodiazepine use was significantly more frequent in patients receiving haloperidol.
PMCID: PMC2507712  PMID: 18647402
12.  Emotional well-being in children and adolescents treated with atomoxetine for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Findings from a patient, parent and physician perspective using items from the pediatric adverse event rating scale (PAERS) 
The objective of this analysis was to measure changes in items on the Pediatric Adverse Event Rating Scale (PAERS) that relate to emotional well-being of children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) during treatment with atomoxetine for up to 24 weeks from the perspective of the patient, the parent, and the physician.
Patients aged 6–17 years with ADHD were treated with atomoxetine (target dose 1.2 mg/kg/day). In the two studies on which this secondary analysis is based the PAERS was used to assess the tolerability of atomoxetine in children and adolescents. This scale has a total of 48 items. The ten items that reflect emotional well-being were selected to measure changes over time from a patient, parent, and physician perspective.
421 patients were treated with atomoxetine. 355 patients completed the 8-week treatment period, and 260 patients completed the 24-week treatment period. The ten items that reflect emotional well-being were grouped in five dimensions: depressed mood, self-harm, irritability/agitation, drowsiness, and euphoria. The scores of these dimensions decreased over time, both from a patient as well as from a parent and physician perspective. Only the dimension self-harm was extremely low at baseline and stayed low over time. The mean scores for the ten items depended on the rater perspective.
The emotional well-being of children and adolescents with ADHD improved in terms of depressed mood, irritability/agitation, drowsiness, and euphoria during treatment with atomoxetine for up to 24 weeks.
PMCID: PMC2430545  PMID: 18507848
13.  Global impression of perceived difficulties in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Reliability and validity of a new instrument assessing perceived difficulties from a patient, parent and physician perspective over the day 
The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a brief scale developed to assess the degree of difficulties in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The Global Impression of Perceived Difficulties (GIPD) scale reflects overall impairment, psychosocial functioning and Quality of Life (QoL) as rated by patient, parents and physician at various times of the day.
In two open-label studies, ADHD-patients aged 6–17 years were treated with atomoxetine (target-dose 0.5–1.2 mg/kg/day). ADHD-related difficulties were assessed up to week 24 using the GIPD. Data from both studies were combined to validate the scale.
Overall, 421 patients received atomoxetine. GIPD scores improved over time. All three GIPD-versions (patient, parent, physician) were internally consistent; all items showed at least moderate item-total correlation. The scale showed good test-retest reliability over a two-week period from all three perspectives. Good convergent and discriminant validity was shown.
GIPD is an internally consistent, reliable and valid measure to assess difficulties in children with ADHD at various times of the day and can be used as indicator for psychosocial impairment and QoL. The scale is sensitive to treatment-related change.
PMCID: PMC2423352  PMID: 18507847
14.  Effectiveness and medication acceptance of olanzapine disintegrating tablets compared to standard olanzapine tablets in acutely treated psychiatric patients 
This study compared effectiveness and acceptance of orally disintegrating olanzapine tablets (ODT) with standard-coated tablets (SOT) in acutely ill psychiatric patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals for emergency treatment.
Large, prospective, observational study at hospital emergency units across Germany in patients with a diagnosis or tentative diagnosis of acute schizophrenia treated with ODT or SOT. Clinical (CGI-S and CGI-I) outcomes, attitudes towards medication (Nursing Assessment of Medication Acceptance, NAMA) scale, suicidal ideation, and adverse events were assessed at start of treatment and after 2 weeks.
Both olanzapine formulations, ODT (N = 247) and SOT (N = 207), showed similar effectiveness after 2 weeks. CGI-I improved in 92.1% of patients (ODT: 91.8%, SOT: 92.3%). In patients receiving both formulations suicidal ideations were reduced (ODT from 53.9% to 20.6%, SOT from 51.2% to 22.7%). ODT was preferably given to severely ill (SOT: 49.8%, ODT: 64.4%) and aggressive patients. Adverse events were reported for 6.5% of ODT- and 2.9% of SOT-patients. This difference was possibly caused by the characteristics of patients receiving ODT.
This non-randomized, observational study shows comparable outcomes and tolerability in patients treated with both olanzapine formulations. In an acute treatment setting, orally disintegrating tablets were preferably used for more severely ill and aggressive patients with low medication acceptance.
PMCID: PMC2779125  PMID: 19956444
olanzapine; acute treatment; schizophrenia; observational study

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