Selective Orexin Receptor Antagonists as Novel Augmentation Treatments for Major Depressive Disorder: Evidence for Safety and Efficacy From a Phase 2B Study of Seltorexant

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Abstract

There is a large unmet need for effective treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), an often chronic/recurrent disorder that affects 1 in 5 adults during their lifetime in the United States. Clinicians and individuals with MDD often rely on augmentation approaches given the low rate of remission with the initial antidepressant treatment. Therefore, the report by Savitz and colleagues on the safety and efficacy of seltorexant is of great interest because it provides initial evidence for the antidepressant potential of drugs targeting orexin neurotransmission. Findings of this study suggest that seltorexant 20 mg is more effective than placebo, especially in individuals with moderate or insomnia symptoms at baseline. Given that insomnia is a common feature of depression, orexin 2 receptor antagonists may serve as important new treatment alternatives for people with MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-88
Number of pages4
JournalThe international journal of neuropsychopharmacology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 12 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antidepressant
  • insomnia
  • major depressive disorder
  • Orexin
  • Seltorexant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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