Duloxetine in Affective Disorders: a Naturalistic Study on Psychiatric and Medical Comorbidity, Use in Association and Tolerability Across Different Age Groups

Bernardo Dell’Osso*, Giulia Camuri, Cristina Dobrea, Massimiliano Buoli, Marta Serati, A Carlo Altamura
Department of Psychiatry, University of Milan; Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via Francesco Sforza, 20122 Milano, Italy

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© Dell’Osso et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychiatry, Università degli Studi di Milano, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via F. Sforza 35, 20122 Milano, Italy; Tel: 02-55035994; Fax: 02-50320310; E-mail:



Duloxetine, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), is currently approved in many countries for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The present naturalistic study was aimed to investigate tolerability of Duloxetine in a sample of patients with affective disorders and psychiatric/medical comorbidity, comparing tolerability in monotherapy versus polytherapy and across different age groups.


The sample included 165 patients, affected by anxiety and/or mood disorders with or without comorbidity, who had been taken Duloxetine for at least 1 month. Sample variables were collected through a retrospective chart review.


Most common primary diagnoses were MDD (49.1 %), Bipolar Disorder (BD) (15.7 %) and GAD (5.5%). The 40 % of the sample had psychiatric comorbidity: in particular, anxiety disorders (15.8 %) (GAD 7.9%, Panic Disorder –PD- 7.3%) and personality disorders (9.1%) as the most frequent ones. With respect to medical comorbidities (68% of the sample), hypertension (12.1%) and diabetes (7.3%) were the most common ones. Mean duration of treatment and dosage of Duloxetine were, respectively, 11 months (± 9.1) and 70 mg/day (± 28.6). The 68 % of the sample received Duloxetine in association with other drugs. Minor side-effects, in particular drowsiness and gastrointestinal problems, were reported by 15 % of the sample. No difference in terms of tolerability across distinct groups, divided on the basis of mono- vs polytherapy as well as of different age, was found.


Duloxetine, mostly administered in patients with affective disorders with psychiatric/ medical comorbidity and in association with other drugs, appeared to be well tolerated, showing limited rates of side effects of mild intensity. Further naturalistic studies are warranted to confirm present results.

Keywords:: Affective disorders, Duloxetine, medical comorbidity, psychiatric comorbidity, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tolerability.