Pharmacopsychiatry 2015; 48(02): 65-71
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1398509
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Driving Performance and Psychomotor Function in Depressed Patients Treated with Agomelatine or Venlafaxine

A. Brunnauer
1  kbo-Inn-Salzach-Klinikum, Psychiatric Hospital, Wasserburg/Inn, Germany
2  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany
3  Institute for Psychological Medicine (IPM), Haag i. OB, Germany
,
V. Buschert
1  kbo-Inn-Salzach-Klinikum, Psychiatric Hospital, Wasserburg/Inn, Germany
,
M. Fric
1  kbo-Inn-Salzach-Klinikum, Psychiatric Hospital, Wasserburg/Inn, Germany
,
G. Distler
1  kbo-Inn-Salzach-Klinikum, Psychiatric Hospital, Wasserburg/Inn, Germany
,
K. Sander
1  kbo-Inn-Salzach-Klinikum, Psychiatric Hospital, Wasserburg/Inn, Germany
,
F. Segmiller
2  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany
,
P. Zwanzger
1  kbo-Inn-Salzach-Klinikum, Psychiatric Hospital, Wasserburg/Inn, Germany
,
G. Laux
2  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany
3  Institute for Psychological Medicine (IPM), Haag i. OB, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 16 October 2014
revised 05 December 2014

accepted 08 December 2014

Publication Date:
02 February 2015 (eFirst)

Abstract

Objective: We conducted a randomized case-control study in depressive inpatients to assess the effects of agomelatine and venlafaxine on psychomotor functions related to driving skills and on driving performance in an on-road driving test.

Method: 40 depressed inpatients treated with agomelatine (n=20) or venlafaxine (n=20) were tested before pharmacological treatment (t0), and on days 14 (t1) and 28 (t2). 20 healthy subjects were examined in the same time schedule to control for retest effects in psychomotor measures. Additionally, participants were rated in a standardized on-road driving test on day 28 by a licensed driving instructor, who was blind with respect to treatment, diagnosis and test results.

Results: After 4 weeks of treatment (t2) with agomelatine or venlafaxine, patients showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms, and a distinct improvement in psychomotor functions. Controlling for retest effects in psychomotor measures, data indicate, that both patient groups significantly improved in tests measuring reactivity and stress-tolerance. Furthermore, prior discharge to outpatient treatment (day 28), 72.5% of patients were labeled abundantly fit to drive in the on-road driving test by a licensed driving instructor. However, patients did not reach the performance level of healthy controls in functional domains tested. Significant differences between treatment groups were not observed.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that depressed inpatients treated with agomelatine or venlafaxine show a better test performance on tasks related to driving skills than do untreated depressives and could predominantly be rated as fit to drive on an actual driving test prior discharge to outpatient treatment.