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The role of duloxetine in the treatment of anxiety disorders

Authors De Berardis D, Serroni N, Carano A, Scali M, Valchera A, Campanella D, D’Albenzio A, Di Giuseppe B, Moschetta FS, Salerno RS, Ferro FM

Published 10 October 2008 Volume 2008:4(5) Pages 929—935

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S2546


Domenico De Berardis1,2,3, Nicola Serroni2, Alessandro Carano1,4, Marco Scali1,4, Alessandro Valchera5, Daniela Campanella1,2, Alessandro D’Albenzio1, Berardo Di Giuseppe2, Francesco Saverio Moschetta2, Rosa Maria Salerno1, Filippo Maria Ferro1

1Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, “G. D’Annunzio” University of Chieti, Italy; 2National Health Service, Department of Mental Health, SPDC Teramo, Italy; 3ITAB, Institute for Advanced Biomedical Technologies, “G. D’Annunzio” University Foundation, Chieti, Italy; 4National Health Service, Department of Mental Health, ASUR Marche 8, Civitanova Marche, Italy; 5Division of Psychiatry, “S. Giuseppe” Clinic, Ascoli Piceno, Italy

Abstract: Anxiety disorders (ADs) are the most common type of psychiatric disorders, with a mean incidence of 18.1% and a lifetime prevalence of 28.8%. Pharmacologic options studied for treating ADs may include benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants (TCA), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), noradrenergic and specific serotonergic drug (NaSSA) and dual-reuptake inhibitors of serotonin and norepinephrine (SNRIs). In this context, the development of SNRIs (venlafaxine and duloxetine) has been particularly useful. As a dual-acting intervention that targets two neurotransmitter systems, these medications would appePar promising for the treatment of ADs. The purpose of this review was to elucidate current facts and views about the role of duloxetine in the treatment of ADs. In February 2007, duloxetine was approved by FDA for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The results of trials evaluating the use duloxetine in the treatment of GAD are supportive on its efficacy even if further studies on long-term use are needed. Apart from some interesting case reports, no large studies are, to date, present in literature about duloxetine and other ADs such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Therefore, the clinical efficacy and the relative good tolerability of duloxetine may be further investigated to widen the therapeutic spectrum of ADs.

Keywords: anxiety disorders, duloxetine, serotonin, noradrenaline, efficacy, tolerability

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