Duloxetine (Celexa) improves generalized anxiety disorder

47 percent benefited, versus 28 percent for placebo
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The results of a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry indicate that treatment with duloxetine, sold under the trade name Cymbalta, improves functioning and enhances the quality of life in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.

Dr. Jean Endicott, of Columbia School of Medicine, New York, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of duloxetine in patients with generalized anxiety disorder who participated in three studies.

In one study, the investigators conducted a 9-week fixed-dose trial of duloxetine treatment (60 or 120 mg) compared with placebo. In the other two studies, researchers compared a 10-week flexible dose of duloxetine treatment (60 to 120 mg) with placebo. The trials involved a total of 1,163 patients.

The improvement in patients treated with duloxetine was significantly greater compared with improvements in those treated with placebo, according to the results of tests that measured overall functioning, work performance, social life, and family and home responsibilities.

At the end of treatment, duloxetine patients were more likely to obtain a global functioning score of 5 or less, which is in the normal range of individuals without a psychiatric disorder, Endicott and colleagues report. “Across the studies, approximately 47 percent of duloxetine-treated patients and 28 percent of placebo-treated patients achieved this outcome.”

Compared with placebo-treated patients, those treated with duloxetine also reported greater increases in quality of life, well-being and health.

The team concludes: “The consistency of duloxetine’s efficacy in improving role functioning…demonstrates its ability to impact these essential patient outcomes associated with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.”

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, April 2007.

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited.

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