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      Review of duloxetine in the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain

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          Abstract

          Duloxetine is a balanced selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) which, in 2004, became the first agent to receive regulatory approval for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy in the US. This compound has no other significant receptor or channel activities other than the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition mechanisms and works to diminish or control the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Duloxetine has no known neuroprotective or other effects which prevent the development of neuropathy in patients with diabetes. The purpose of this review article is to discuss the background of painful diabetic neuropathy, the pharmacology of duloxetine, and its safety and efficacy in clinical trials and long-term observations. The authors will also comment on its use in clinical practice. Results from controlled clinical trials reveal that duloxetine administered at 60 mg qd or 60 mg bid is efficacious in treating diabetic neuropathic pain relative to placebo. Positive treatment outcomes are also seen for other measures of pain and quality of life. A minor but statistically significant increase in blood glucose compared with placebo treated patients has been observed in controlled clinical trials. Otherwise, controlled and open-label clinical studies have demonstrated a high degree of safety and tolerability for the compound. These findings provide support for the proposed role of serotonin and norepinephrine as key mediators of the descending pain inhibition pathways of the brain stem and spinal cord.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Neuropathic pain: aetiology, symptoms, mechanisms, and management.

          We highlight current theories about peripheral neuropathic pain and show that progress in management is contingent on targeting treatment not at the aetiological factors or the symptoms but at the mechanisms that operate to produce the symptoms. This approach will require substantial progress in our understanding of the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain, the development of accurate diagnostic tools to discover what mechanisms contribute to the pain syndrome in an individual, and effective treatments aimed specifically at the mechanisms.
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            Duloxetine vs. placebo in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy.

            The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy and safety of duloxetine, a balanced and potent dual reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine, in the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. Serotonin and norepinephrine are thought to inhibit pain via descending pain pathways. In a 12-week, multicenter, double-blind study, 457 patients experiencing pain due to polyneuropathy caused by Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomly assigned to treatment with duloxetine 20 mg/d (20 mg QD), 60 mg/d (60 mg QD), 120 mg/d (60 mg BID), or placebo. The diagnosis was confirmed by a score of at least 3 on the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument. The primary efficacy measure was the weekly mean score of the 24-h Average Pain Score, which was rated on an 11-point (0-10) Likert scale (no pain to worst possible pain) and computed from diary scores between two site visits. Duloxetine 60 and 120 mg/d demonstrated statistically significant greater improvement compared with placebo on the 24-h Average Pain Score, beginning 1 week after randomization and continuing through the 12-week trial. Duloxetine also separated from placebo on nearly all the secondary measures including health-related outcome measures. Significantly more patients in all three active-treatment groups achieved a 50% reduction in the 24-h Average Pain Score compared with placebo. Duloxetine treatment was considered to be safe and well tolerated with less than 20 percent discontinuation due to adverse events. Duloxetine at 60 and 120 mg/d was safe and effective in the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain.
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              A randomized controlled trial of duloxetine in diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain.

              Serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE) are involved in pain modulation via descending inhibitory pathways in the brain and spinal cord. To assess the efficacy of duloxetine, a dual reuptake inhibitor of 5-HT and NE, on the reduction of pain severity, as well as secondary outcome measures in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP). In this double-blind study, patients with DPNP and without comorbid depression were randomly assigned to treatment with duloxetine 60 mg once daily (QD), duloxetine 60 mg twice daily (BID), or placebo for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the weekly mean score of 24-hour average pain severity on the 11-point Likert scale. Secondary measures and health outcome measures were also assessed. Duloxetine 60 mg QD and 60 mg BID demonstrated improvement in the management of DPNP and showed rapid onset of action, with separation from placebo beginning at week 1 on the 24-hour average pain severity score. For all secondary measures for pain (except allodynia), mean changes showed an advantage of duloxetine over placebo, with no significant difference between 60 mg QD and 60 mg BID. Clinical Global Impression of Severity and Patient's Global Impression of Improvement evaluation demonstrated greater improvement on duloxetine- vs placebo-treated patients. Duloxetine showed no notable interference on diabetic controls, and both doses were safely administered. This study confirms previous findings that duloxetine at 60 mg QD and 60 mg BID is effective and safe in the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Vasc Health Risk Manag
                Vascular Health and Risk Management
                Vascular Health and Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6344
                1178-2048
                December 2007
                : 3
                : 6
                : 833-844
                Affiliations
                [1 ]simpleMercy Health Research Ryan Headache Center St. Louis, MO, USA
                [2 ]simpleDepartment of Family Medicine Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
                2350145
                18200804
                © 2007 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
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                Review

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