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Lundbeck announces positive data from the COMPLETE study

Johan Luthman

Lundbeck announces a new study that finds reduction in emotional blunting for people living with Major Depressive Disorder when treated with vortioxetine.

In total, 150 patients were enrolled in the study called COMPLETE. A significant improvement in symptoms of emotional blunting as measured by Oxford Depression Questionnaire (ODQ) was observed after only one week of treatment; a benefit that continued to increase up until the end of study.

“Blunted emotions are well-recognized to have functional consequences on patients’ social, family and work life. It is a severe symptom to people who are seeking full recovery from Major Depressive Disorder. We are pleased to be able to share such positive data with the wider neuroscience community,” says Johan Luthman, EVP Research and Development, Lundbeck.


50% of the patients reported they did not experience this symptom anymore

Patients in the study had been treated at adequate dose for at least six weeks with either an SSRI or SNRI and suffered from emotional blunting prior to entering this 8-week open-label study. After eight weeks of treatment with vortioxetine, 50% of the patients reported they did not experience this symptom anymore. A significant improvement in patients psychosocial functioning as measured by the Sheehan Disability Scale (work, family and social life) was also observed.

Based on the mechanism of actions, in particular modulation of 5-HT3 and the downstream positive effect on dopamine, the results of this study appear to support that vortioxetine may have a positive effect on emotional blunting. The results are encouraging as they show that emotional blunting potentially can be addressed by switching medication and lead to a significant improvement in their overall functioning in daily life.

Photo of Johan Luthman: Lundbeck