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      Response to duloxetine in chronic low back pain: exploratory post hoc analysis of a Japanese Phase III randomized study

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          Duloxetine is efficacious for chronic low back pain (CLBP). This post hoc analysis of a Japanese randomized, placebo-controlled trial ( ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01855919) assessed whether patients with CLBP with early pain reduction or treatment-related adverse events of special interest (TR-AESIs; nausea, somnolence, constipation) have enhanced responses to duloxetine.

          Patients and methods

          Patients (N = 456) with CLBP for ≥6 months and Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) average pain severity score of ≥4 were randomized (1:1) to duloxetine 60 mg/day or placebo for 14 weeks. Primary outcome was change from baseline in BPI average pain severity score (pain reduction). Subgroup analyses included early pain reduction (≥30%, 10%–30%, or <10% at Week 4) and early TR-AESIs (with or without TR-AESIs by Week 2). Measures included changes from baseline in BPI average pain severity score and BPI Interference scores (quality of life; QOL), and response rate (≥30% or ≥50% pain reduction at Week 14).


          Patients with ≥30% early pain reduction (n = 108) or early TR-AESIs (n = 50) had significantly greater improvements in pain and QOL than placebo-treated patients (n = 226), whereas patients with 10%–30% (n = 63) or <10% (n = 48) pain reduction did not; patients without early TR-AESIs (n = 180) had significant improvements in pain at Week 14. Response rates (≥30%/≥50% pain reduction) were 94.4%/82.4%, 66.7%/49.2%, and 25.0%/18.8% for patients with ≥30%, 10%–30%, and <10% early pain reduction, respectively, 74.0%/64.0% for patients with early TR-AESIs, 67.2%/54.4% for patients without early TR-AESIs, and 52.2%/39.4% for placebo.


          Early pain reduction or TR-AESIs may predict which CLBP patients are most likely to respond to duloxetine with improvements in pain and QOL.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Interpreting the clinical importance of group differences in chronic pain clinical trials: IMMPACT recommendations.

          An essential component of the interpretation of results of randomized clinical trials of treatments for chronic pain involves the determination of their clinical importance or meaningfulness. This involves two distinct processes--interpreting the clinical importance of individual patient improvements and the clinical importance of group differences--which are frequently misunderstood. In this article, we first describe the essential differences between the interpretation of the clinical importance of patient improvements and of group differences. We then discuss the factors to consider when evaluating the clinical importance of group differences, which include the results of responder analyses of the primary outcome measure, the treatment effect size compared to available therapies, analyses of secondary efficacy endpoints, the safety and tolerability of treatment, the rapidity of onset and durability of the treatment benefit, convenience, cost, limitations of existing treatments, and other factors. The clinical importance of individual patient improvements can be determined by assessing what patients themselves consider meaningful improvement using well-described methods. In contrast, the clinical meaningfulness of group differences must be determined by a multi-factorial evaluation of the benefits and risks of the treatment and of other available treatments for the condition in light of the primary goals of therapy. Such determinations must be conducted on a case-by-case basis, and are ideally informed by patients and their significant others, clinicians, researchers, statisticians, and representatives of society at large.
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            Identifying important outcome domains for chronic pain clinical trials: an IMMPACT survey of people with pain.

            This two-phase study was conducted to identify relevant domains of patient-reported outcomes from the perspective of people who experience chronic pain. In Phase 1, focus groups were conducted to generate a pool of patient outcome-related domains and their components. The results of the focus groups identified 19 aspects of their lives that were significantly impacted by the presence of their symptoms and for which improvements were important criteria they would use in evaluating the effectiveness of any treatment. Phase 2 was conducted to examine the importance and relevance of domains identified from a much larger and diverse sample of people with chronic pain. A survey was developed and posted on the American Chronic Pain Association website. Participants were asked to rate the importance of each item or domain identified by the focus groups on a scale of 0 to10 (i.e., 0="not at all important" and 10="extremely important"). The survey was completed by 959 individuals. The results indicate that all 19 aspects of daily life derived from the focus groups were considered important with a majority of respondents indicating a score of 8 or greater. In addition to pain reduction, the most important aspects were enjoyment of life, emotional well-being, fatigue, weakness, and sleep-related problems. Chronic pain clearly impacts health-related quality of life. The results of the two phases of the study indicate that people with chronic pain consider functioning and well-being as important areas affected by the presence of symptoms and as appropriate targets of treatment. These multiple outcomes should be considered when evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of chronic pain treatments.
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              SNRIs: their pharmacology, clinical efficacy, and tolerability in comparison with other classes of antidepressants.

              The class of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) now comprises three medications: venlafaxine, milnacipran, and duloxetine. These drugs block the reuptake of both serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine with differing selectivity. Whereas milnacipran blocks 5-HT and norepinephrine reuptake with equal affinity, duloxetine has a 10-fold selectivity for 5-HT and venlafaxine a 30-fold selectivity for 5-HT. All three SNRIs are efficacious in treating a variety of anxiety disorders. There is no evidence for major differences between SNRIs and SSRIs in their efficacy in treating anxiety disorders. In contrast to SSRIs, which are generally ineffective in treating chronic pain, all three SNRIs seem to be helpful in relieving chronic pain associated with and independent of depression. Tolerability of an SNRI at therapeutic doses varies within the class. Although no direct comparative data are available, venlafaxine seems to be the least well-tolerated, combining serotonergic adverse effects (nausea, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal problems) with a dose-dependent cardiovascular phenomenon, principally hypertension. Duloxetine and milnacipran appear better tolerated and essentially devoid of cardiovascular toxicity.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                04 September 2017
                : 10
                : 2157-2168
                [1 ]Medical Affairs Department
                [2 ]Clinical Research Development
                [3 ]Biostatistics Department, Shionogi & Co. Ltd, Osaka
                [4 ]Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Toshinaga Tsuji, Medical Affairs Department, Shionogi & Co. Ltd, 12F, Hankyu Terminal Building, 1–4 Shibata, 1-Chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0012, Japan, Tel +81 66 485 5210, Fax +81 66 375 5780, Email toshinaga.tsuji@ 123456shionogi.co.jp
                © 2017 Tsuji et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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