But wait, how much of an effect are we talking about? Did Depakote outshine placebo by a large margin? One is left wondering about this point, as the authors did not report the effect size of the difference between groups. I calculated the effect sizes (d) and here is what I found for each measure: MRS: .229; MSS: .233; BIS: .235. Remember that the generally used criteria are d = .2 (small), d = .5 (medium), d = .8 (large). According to conventional standards, then, we’re talking small beans here. An advantage for Depakote that was very small in size. Depakote also resulted in a significant increase in body weight (1.8 kg) compared to placebo (.5 kg). 1.8 kg in three weeks? Keep gaining weight at that rate over a year and you’re looking at Zyprexa!The authors acknowledged no ghostwriters, but considering that four of the authors work for Abbott (the maker of Depakote), I suppose they didn’t need to hire out to find a friendly writer. How else do you explain that there is no discussion of the wimpy gains in comparison to placebo? Ahhhh, when industry and science collide...
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
In the latest Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, there is a trial of divalproex (Depakote ER) for mania. These patients were all hospitalized, so we’re talking about a relatively severe group of patients. The 21-day study used the following measures: Mania Rating Scale (MRS), Manic Syndrome Scale (MSS), and Behavior and Ideations Scale (BIS). The authors noted that there was a statistically significant difference found between Depakote and placebo on all three measures.
Posted by CL Psych at 10/24/2006 05:39:00 AM