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Vol. 24, No. 1, 2007
Issue release date: June 2007
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2007;24:36–41

A Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Randomized Study of Venlafaxine in the Treatment of Depression in Dementia

de Vasconcelos Cunha U.G. · Lopes Rocha F. · Ávila de Melo R. · Alves Valle E. · de Souza Neto J.J. · Mendes Brega R. · Magalhães Scoralick F. · Araújo Silva S. · Martins de Oliveira F. · da Costa Júnior A.L. · Xavier Faria Alves V. · Sakurai E.
aGeriatric Unit and bPsychiatric Unit, Governador Israel Pinheiro Hospital, and cStatistical Department, Federal University, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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Background/Aims: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of venlafaxine in the treatment of major depression in dementia. Methods: Thirty-one outpatients who had dementia and major depression participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week, flexible dose clinical trial. The screening measures were Cornell Scale for depression in dementia, DSM-IV for depression and dementia and Mini-Mental State Examination. The outcome measures were response rate, Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating scale and Clinical Global Impressions. Results: The percentage of patients defined as Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating scale responders was approximately the same in the placebo and in the venlafaxine groups. Clinical Global Impressions showed no significant difference between the groups. The reasons for dropouts show borderline significance between the two groups. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of adverse events between the venlafaxine and placebo-treated groups. Conclusions: Our data do not support the hypothesis that venlafaxine improves mood in elderly demented patients.

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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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