Working… Menu

Study of Placebo Without Deception Versus Standard Antidepressant for Major Depressive Disorder

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01650740
Recruitment Status : Terminated (Poor recruitment results.)
First Posted : July 26, 2012
Last Update Posted : December 23, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Tracking Information
First Submitted Date  ICMJE July 24, 2012
First Posted Date  ICMJE July 26, 2012
Last Update Posted Date December 23, 2014
Study Start Date  ICMJE August 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date August 2014   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Current Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: July 24, 2012)
>= 50% improvement in Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) Scores (MADRS Response) [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
Original Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Same as current
Change History
Current Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: July 24, 2012)
  • MADRS remission [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
  • Credibility and Expectancy Scale (CES) [ Time Frame: Baseline ]
Original Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Same as current
Current Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Original Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Descriptive Information
Brief Title  ICMJE Study of Placebo Without Deception Versus Standard Antidepressant for Major Depressive Disorder
Official Title  ICMJE A Randomized Trial of Sequenced Treatment Using Placebo Without Deception Followed by Open-Label Antidepressant Versus Immediate Open-Label Antidepressant Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder
Brief Summary In recent years, there has been growing evidence that antidepressants are only marginally effective compared to placebo for mild to moderate depression. In other words, although many people improve when they take antidepressant medications, almost as many get better with placebo pills. One possible solution to this problem would be to give patients a trail of a placebo prior to giving them an antidepressant, however there are ethical issues with doing this deceptively. New evidence from other placebo-responsive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome shows that people may benefit from placebos even if they know they are taking them. This study aims to determine whether giving placebos without deception to people with major depressive disorder followed by the option to switch to an antidepressant is an effective strategy. There will be 3 groups of subjects. The first group is a standard treatment arm and will receive duloxetine, an antidepressant. The second will be given a placebo with the option to switch to duloxetine if they do not improve. The third group will receive supportive clinical visits the option to switch to duloxetine if they do not improve. This design will allow us to determine whether a sequenced treatment of a placebo without deception and then the option to switch to an antidepressant is a viable strategy. It will also help us to determine to what degree the benefit comes from the ritual of receiving and taking the placebo tablet versus the benefit of visits with a doctor alone. The primary hypothesis is that there will be a less than 5% difference between response rates after 12 weeks in the sequenced placebo-then-antidepressant treatment group (both subjects who have remained on placebo as well as those who have switched to the antidepressant will be considered as one group) compared to the immediate antidepressant therapy group.
Detailed Description Not Provided
Study Type  ICMJE Interventional
Study Phase  ICMJE Not Applicable
Study Design  ICMJE Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Condition  ICMJE Major Depressive Disorder
Intervention  ICMJE
  • Drug: Duloxetine
    30 mg daily x 1 week followed by 60 mg daily
    Other Name: cymbalta
  • Drug: placebo
    small placebo capsule (30 mg duloxetine equivalent) x 1 week followed by 60 mg equivalent capsule daily
  • Other: Study visits only
    Weekly visits x 4 weeks followed by visits every 2 weeks
Study Arms  ICMJE
  • Experimental: Open-label duloxetine
    12 week treatment with duloxetine
    Intervention: Drug: Duloxetine
  • Experimental: Open-label Placebo
    4 weeks of open label placebo with option to continue or switch to duloxetine for remaining 8 weeks.
    Intervention: Drug: placebo
  • Experimental: Supportive clinical management
    4 weeks of supportive clinical management visits with option to continue or switch to duloxetine for remaining 8 weeks.
    Intervention: Other: Study visits only
Publications * Not Provided

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Recruitment Information
Recruitment Status  ICMJE Terminated
Actual Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: December 19, 2014)
Original Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: July 24, 2012)
Actual Study Completion Date  ICMJE November 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date August 2014   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Eligibility Criteria  ICMJE

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Provision of written informed consent
  • Diagnosis of major depressive disorder, currently depressed as determined by DSM-IV diagnostic criteria (confirmed using the MINI)
  • Both females and males, aged 18 to 65 years
  • Outpatient status
  • Female patients of childbearing potential must have a negative urine human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) test at enrolment and must be taking or willing to take some acceptable form of birth control during the course of the study if they are or plan to be sexually active
  • A grade 8 English comprehension, the ability to understand and comply with the requirements of the study and capable of providing informed consent
  • 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) score of 14-22 at screening and at baseline

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of a past hypomanic, manic or mixed state.
  • Current or past psychotic symptoms
  • Substance or alcohol dependence at enrolment (except dependence in full remission, and except for caffeine or nicotine dependence), as defined by DSM-IV criteria
  • Opiates, amphetamine, barbiturate, cocaine, cannabis, or hallucinogen abuse by DSM-IV criteria within 4 weeks prior to enrolment
  • Any pervasive developmental disorder (according to DSM-IV criteria)
  • Diagnosis of dementia (according to DSM-IV criteria)
  • Is at significant risk for suicide, as defined by a score of ≥ 2 on the suicide item of the MADRS, any suicidal ideation with intent or a plan within the 3 months prior to study entry or in the opinion of the investigator.
  • Any history of lifetime suicide attempts
  • Current treatment with an antidepressant medication
  • Treatment with an antipsychotic, mood stabilizer or other psychoactive medication within a period of 5 half-lives of the medication prior to baseline visit
  • Known intolerance, hypersensitivity or lack of response to duloxetine as judged by the investigator
  • A history of treatment resistant depression (defined as 2 or more failed lifetime trials of antidepressant medication as judged by the investigator)
  • Currently undergoing psychotherapy that was initiated within the past 3 months
  • Significant medical condition that would contraindicate the use of duloxetine or that is untreated and would need urgent attention (as determined by treating physician)
  • Medical conditions that would significantly affect absorption, distribution, metabolism, or excretion of duloxetine
  • Unstable or inadequately treated medical illness (e.g. congestive heart failure, angina pectoris, hypertension) as judged by the investigator
  • Any clinically significant deviation from the reference range in clinical laboratory test results as judged by the investigator
  • Pregnancy (or female of child-bearing age not using adequate contraception) or lactation
  • A positive β-hCG test at enrolment
  • Involvement in the planning and conduct of the study
  • Previous enrolment or randomisation of treatment in the present study
  • Participation in another drug trial within 4 weeks prior enrolment into this study or longer in accordance with local requirements
Sex/Gender  ICMJE
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Ages  ICMJE 18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Accepts Healthy Volunteers  ICMJE No
Contacts  ICMJE Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Listed Location Countries  ICMJE Canada
Removed Location Countries  
Administrative Information
NCT Number  ICMJE NCT01650740
Other Study ID Numbers  ICMJE 081-2012
Has Data Monitoring Committee Yes
U.S. FDA-regulated Product Not Provided
IPD Sharing Statement  ICMJE Not Provided
Responsible Party Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Study Sponsor  ICMJE Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Collaborators  ICMJE Not Provided
Investigators  ICMJE Not Provided
PRS Account Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Verification Date December 2014

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP