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Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2016 Apr 19;12:951-9. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S104050. eCollection 2016.

The efficacy and safety of multiple doses of vortioxetine for generalized anxiety disorder: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Neurology, The Affiliated Hospital of Luzhou, Medical College, Luzhou, People's Republic of China.
Department of Neurosurgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Luzhou, Medical College, Luzhou, People's Republic of China.



Vortioxetine is a novel antidepressant approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder by the US Food and Drug Administration in September 2013. This meta-analysis assessed the efficacy and safety of different doses of vortioxetine for generalized anxiety disorder of adults.


PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and Clinical Trials databases were searched from 2000 through 2015. The abstracts of the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association and previous reviews were searched to identify additional studies. The search was limited to individual randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and there was no language restriction. Four RCTs met the selection criteria. These studies included 1,843 adult patients. Results were expressed as odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The data were pooled with a random-effects or fixed-effects model.


The results showed that multiple doses (2.5, 5, and 10 mg/d) of vortioxetine did not significantly improve the generalized anxiety disorder symptoms compared to placebo (OR=1.16, 95% CI=0.84-1.60, Z=0.89, P=0.38; OR=1.41, 95% CI=0.82-2.41, Z=1.25, P=0.21; OR=1.05, 95% CI=0.76-1.46, Z=0.32, P=0.75, respectively). We measured the efficacy of 2.5 mg/d vortioxetine compared to 10 mg/d, and no significant differences were observed. The common adverse effects included nausea and headache. With increased dose, nausea was found to be more frequent in the vortioxetine (5 and 10 mg/d) group (OR=2.99, 95% CI=1.31-6.84, Z=2.60, P=0.009; OR=2.80, 95% CI=1.85-4.25, Z=4.85, P<0.00001, respectively), but no significant differences were observed for headache.


The results showed no significant improvement in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder for vortioxetine compared to placebo, and nausea was more frequent with higher doses. So the current evidences do not support using vortioxetine for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Few RCTs were included in our meta-analysis, and more studies are needed to verify our results in the future.


generalized anxiety disorder; meta-analysis; placebo; vortioxetine

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