Duloxetine for the treatment of major depressive disorder in older patients.

The efficacy and safety of duloxetine, a dual reuptake inhibitor of serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE), were evaluated in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and associated pain symptoms in patients age 55 and older.
Efficacy data were obtained from patients age > or =55 who participated in two identical, multicenter, double-blind studies in which patients with MDD were randomized to receive placebo (N=43) or duloxetine (60 mg/day; N=47) for 9 weeks. The primary efficacy measure was the mean change in Ham-D-17 total score. Pain symptoms were assessed with visual-analog scales. Safety data for patients age > or =55 were pooled from six randomized, 8- or 9-week, double-blind studies of duloxetine in which patients with MDD were randomized to receive placebo (N=90) or duloxetine (40 mg/day-120 mg/day; N=119).
The combined results of these two investigations found that duloxetine was significantly superior to placebo for mean change in Ham-D-17 total score. The estimated probability of remission for duloxetine-treated patients (44.1%) was also significantly higher than that for placebo (16.1%). Reductions in overall pain, back pain, and pain while awake were also significantly greater for duloxetine than placebo. The rate of discontinuation due to adverse events was significantly higher for duloxetine-treated patients (21.0%) than placebo (6.7%). Abnormal elevations in vital signs at endpoint were not significantly different from placebo.
In these two investigations, duloxetine 60 mg/day was an efficacious treatment for MDD and also alleviated pain symptoms in depression patients age 55 and older.
AuthorsJ Craig Nelson, Madelaine M Wohlreich, Craig H Mallinckrodt, Michael J Detke, John G Watkin, John S Kennedy
JournalThe American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (Am J Geriatr Psychiatry) Vol. 13 Issue 3 Pg. 227-35 (Mar 2005) ISSN: 1064-7481 [Print] United States
PMID15728754 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Thiophenes
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Depressive Disorder, Major (drug therapy)
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain (drug therapy)
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Thiophenes (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Treatment Outcome

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