More than 6,000 healthcare professionals gathered at the 24th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress in Paris to discuss new data on Agomelatine, a new and innovative antidepressant developed by Les Laboratoires Servier – France.
Prof. Sidney Kennedy, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Canada and Prof. Dan Stein, Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, presented new results at the conference, highlighting the powerful efficacy of Agomelatine in the treatment of anxiety amongst depressed patients when compared with other commonly prescribed antidepressants. The beneficial effects of Agomelatine were even more pronounced in the highly anxious depressed patients.
Dr. Adel Karrani, Assistant Head of Psychiatry at Rashid Hospital in Dubai highlighted the significance of these results, explaining: “The drug trials indicate that depressed patients with anxiety will experience increased benefits from this medication. Agomelatine through its innovative mode of action targets the core symptoms of depression including anxiety. This is positive news for those currently suffering from the debilitating effects of anxiety.”
This new data relates to an analysis of six large multicenter studies, each with a duration between six and eight weeks, involving a total population of almost 2,000 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Among these, more than 900 patients were classified as severely anxious.
Of the significance of this new drug to the Dubai market, Dr. Karrani highlighted: “Approximately 10-15 percent of the population is diagnosed with depression, and I would estimate that we receive no fewer than 4,000 cases of anxiety and depression in our clinic at Rashid Hospital each year.
“With a proven efficacy, Agomelatine doesn’t share the side effects commonly associated with the traditional antidepressants, including sexual dysfunction, weight gain and sleeplessness, Agomelatine offers a promising alternative,” he explained.
Another benefit to patients will undoubtedly be the fast onset of action. Agomelatine was found to significantly reduce anxiety scores as early as the second week of treatment; traditional antidepressants take between six to eight weeks to offer full benefits.
Agomelatine is the first antidepressant that restores the circadian rhythms which is profoundly disturbed in depressed patients, therefore offering a totally innovative approach to depression treatment.
Agomelatine is registered and available in Europe since 2009 and has been registered by the ministry of health in Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, and will soon be available for the treatment of adult patients suffering from MDD across the Gulf countries.