Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2020 Aug;18(3):423-433. 10.9758/cpn.2020.18.3.423.

Agomelatine for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


Despite multiple drugs available, a large proportion of patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) do not show adequate response and remission. Thus, additional novel pharmacological agents are needed to increase treatment option for GAD. We aimed to investigate efficacy and safety of agomelatine in the treatment of GAD by conducting a meta-analysis.
An extensive search of multiple databases and clinical trial registries were conducted. Mean change in total scores on Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) from baseline to endpoint was our primary outcome measure. Secondary efficacy measures included response and remission rates, as defined by a 50% or greater reduction in HAM-A total scores and a score of 7 or less in HAM-A total scores at study endpoint respectively.
Four published double blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trials were included in this meta-analysis. Agomelatine more significantly (standardized mean difference = −0.56, 10.9758/cpn.2020.18.3.423 = 0.004) improved HAM-A total scores than placebo. The odds ratios (ORs) of agomelatine over placebo for response and remission rates were 3.75 (p < 0.00001) and 2.74 (p < 0.00001), respectively. Agomelatine was generally well tolerated with insignificance in dropout rate, somnolence, headache, nasopharyngitis, and dizziness compared with placebo. However, agomelatine showed significantly higher incidence of liver function increment (OR = 3.13, p = 0.01) and nausea (OR = 3.27, p = 0.02).
We showed that agomelatine may be another treatment option in patients with GAD. However, the results should be interpreted and translated into clinical practice with caution because the meta-analysis was based on limited numbers of clinical trials.


Agomelatine; Anxiety disorder; Clinical trial; Treatment; Meta-analysis
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