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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 29

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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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            Comparative affinity of duloxetine and venlafaxine for serotonin and norepinephrine transporters in vitro and in vivo, human serotonin receptor subtypes, and other neuronal receptors.

            The blockade of serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE) transporters in vitro and in vivo by the dual 5-HT/NE reuptake inhibitors duloxetine and venlafaxine was compared. Duloxetine inhibited binding to the human NE and 5-HT transporters with K(i) values of 7.5 and 0.8 nM, respectively, and with a K(i) ratio of 9. Venlafaxine inhibited binding to the human NE and 5-HT transporters with K(i) values of 2480 and 82 nM, respectively, and with a K(i) ratio of 30. Duloxetine inhibited ex vivo binding to rat 5-HT transporters and NE transporters with ED(50) values of 0.03 and 0.7 mg/kg, respectively, whereas venlafaxine had ED(50) values of 2 and 54 mg/kg, respectively. The depletion of rat brain 5-HT by p-chloramphetamine and depletion of rat hypothalamic NE by 6-hydroxydopamine was blocked by duloxetine with ED(50) values of 2.3 and 12 mg/kg, respectively. Venlafaxine had ED(50) values of 5.9 and 94 mg/kg for blocking p-chloramphetamine- and 6-hydroxydopamine-induced monoamine depletion, respectively. Thus, duloxetine more potently blocks 5-HT and NE transporters in vitro and in vivo than venlafaxine.
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              Pharmacology of spinal adrenergic systems which modulate spinal nociceptive processing.

               Tony L. Yaksh (1985)
              Spinopetal pathways may be activated by a variety of brainstem manipulations including microinjections of morphine which are known to modulate spinal nociceptive processing. Based on the ability of these manipulations to release spinal noradrenalin; the ability to reverse the antinociceptive effects by intrathecal adrenergic antagonists and the fact that intrathecal injections of noradrenalin mimic the antinociceptive effect, it appears that the descending modulation may be mediated by descending noradrenergic systems. Examination of the spinal receptor systems with intrathecally administered agents indicates that spinal alpha, but not beta adrenergic receptor agonists produce a powerful analgesia as measured on a variety of reflex and operant measures in mouse, rat, cat, primate and man. On the basis of agonist and antagonist structure-activity relationships it appears that a significant effect can be produced in the absence of any detectable effect on motor function by the occupation of spinal alpha 2 receptors. Distinguishable alpha 1 receptors also appear "analgetically-coupled," but their effects are uniformly contaminated by signs of cutaneous hyperreflexia at doses required to produce analgesia. The ordering of potency with which intrathecal adrenergic antagonists reverse the effects of intrathecal noradrenalin is indistinguishable from that of the reversal by these intrathecal agents of the antinociceptive effects evoked by brainstem morphine. This suggests that the population of spinal receptors acted upon by exogenously administered adrenergic agonists and endogenously released noradrenaline have indistinguishable characteristics.
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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 ]Mercy Health Research Ryan Headache Center St. Louis, MO, USA
                [2 ]Department of Family Medicine Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Timothy Smith Mercy Health Research and Ryan Headache Center, 12680 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141, USA Tel +1 314 251 8890 Email tsmith@ 123456stlo.mercy.net
                Article
                2350145
                18200804
                © 2007 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
                Categories
                Review

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