Duloxetine is effective in treating depression in multiple sclerosis patients: An open-label multicenter study

Claudio Solaro, Roberto Bergamaschi, Cristiana Rezzani, Margit Mueller, Erika Trabucco, Valeria Bargiggia, Francesca Dematteis, Alessandra Mattioda, Vincenzo Cimino, Domenico Restivo, Francesco Patti, Paola Cavalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Duloxetine hydrochloride, a dual reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine, was evaluated for its therapeutic efficacy, safety, and tolerability in the treatment of depression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Lifetime depression prevalence approaches 50% in MS patients.The aim of the study was to assess the safety and efficacy of duloxetine for treatment of depression in MS patients. METHODS: An open-label study evaluated the efficacy of 12 weeks of duloxetine administration (maximal dose = 60 mg/d) in MS patients with clinical depression. The Beck scale score variation after 4 (T1) and 12 (T2) weeks of treatment was used for the primary outcome measurement, whereas secondary outcome was measured using the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale. Safety was evaluated by recording treatment-related adverse events, monitoring vital signs, and recording frequency and reasons for interruption or discontinuation of treatment. RESULTS: Seventy-five patients were enrolled in the study. Sixty-three patients completed the study by continuing duloxetine treatment for 12 weeks (T2). Twelve subjects dropped out of the study because of adverse effects or noncompliance. Nausea was the most common adverse event reported. A significant reduction in the Beck Depression Inventory and Modified Fatigue Impact Scale scores, after both 4 and 12 weeks of therapy, was observed. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that duloxetine is well tolerated, safe, and effective in reducing depression and fatigue in MS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-116
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Depression
  • Duloxetine
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology


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