Depression affects millions of people. The disorder can create havoc in the individual and everyone around them. While there are effective drug treatments, many have undesirable side effects. In addition, for some unknown reason the conventional antidepressants gradually stop working. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies are continuously developing newer and better drugs. (1)
Now there is a report from a phase ll clinical study that the stimulant drug (Vyvnase) used to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder, may help improve cognitive function in adults with depression.
Vyvnase (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is currently approved by the FDA for use in adults and children with ADHD.
The recent study conducted by the manufacturer of the drug showed that some patients achieved partial or full remission of depression symptoms and improved cognitive function when Vyvnase was added to their daily treatment regimen.
The specific results of the 36-patient study have not been released but summary of the study indicates that the drug was significantly superior to placebo. The randomized study ran for nine weeks. The dose of Vyvnase ranged from 20 to 70 mg per day over the first six weeks. Following this the optimal dose was continued for three more weeks.
Only four patients dropped out of the drug study because of adverse effects. The four events that led to the four people dropping out include loss of consciousness, skin rash, suicidal ideations and worsening of depression.
Other side effects of Vyvnase include diminished appetite, trouble sleeping, profuse sweating and lethargy.
The company has now submitted its results for an expanded study and hopefully will seek approval by the FDA for treatment of depression.
For the consumer this is good news but one should always be cautious about new drugs. In my opinion when companies perform their own studies, the results are usually positive and negative results are usually hidden. In addition, the study only lasted nine weeks and it is not known if the positive cognitive function is sustained. Vyvnase is also relatively expensive with each pill costing anywhere from $3-4.