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Effexor (R) XR achieved long-term remission in 67 percent of recurring depression patients

Philadelphia, PA, May 21, 2002 Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), announced today that 67 percent of patients with depression maintained remission of their symptoms, a critical milestone on the way to recovering from their disease, after a year of therapy with the antidepressant Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl), according to data from a multicenter trial presented at the American Psychiatric Associations (APA) annual meeting. For patients with recurrent major depression who achieve remission, continuing with Effexor XR is particularly effective in maintaining that remission, said lead investigator Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Reunette W. Harris Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. Given these data, people suffering from recurrent depression and their health care providers can aim to virtually eliminate depression symptoms, rather than settle for a mere response to treatment. All of the patients had previously achieved remission during six months of Effexor XR therapy, in the first stage of the study. They were then asked to participate in a second, 12-month double-blind placebo-substitution phase in which neither the investigators nor the patients knew who received the drug or a placebo until the end of the trial.

During the open-label first stage of the study, 43 percent of patients reached remission after eight weeks of therapy; this rose to 53 percent at the end of six months. The researchers defined remission as a score of seven or less on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D17), a standard depression rating scale. During the second stage of the study, investigators found a significantly higher percentage of patients maintained their remission among the 106 members of the Effexor XR group compared to the 107 participants receiving a placebo at each monthly observation point after the first month of treatment. At the end of 12
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Contact: Doug Petkus, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
610-902-7336
Porter Novelli
21-May-2002


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