Duloxetine hydrochloride is a norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) in the central nervous system. It is highly protein bound, quickly metabolized by the liver and largely distributed throughout the tissues. According to the U.S. Library of Medicines National Institutes of Health, it is indicated for those who suffer from general anxiety disorder (GAD). Historically, patients who suffer from GAD showed marked improvement in baseline assessments with an oral dosage of 60 to 120 milligrams per day. Longer-term duloxetine hydrochloride of 60 to 120 milligrams daily has also demonstrated efficacy in relieving GAD. Typically, it is a well-tolerated drug with minimal side effects. Often, it is the first-line treatment for GAD.
Clinical Studies of Duloxetine Hydrochloride
In four clinical studies with a placebo control, duloxetine hydrochloride was found to improve patient functioning when assessed with the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and Sheehan Disability Scale. In these phase III trials, patients were given 60 to 120 milligrams of duloxetine hydrochloride daily over a 10 week period. The mean scores showed significant short-term efficacy when compared to placebo.
Another clinical study entailed GAD patients over a 10 week and 52 week period. Both time periods revealed positive results. Most patients were able to achieve remission with 60 to 120 milligrams of duloxetine hydrochloride per day. The most common side effects included dry mouth, constipation and dizziness.
Statistics reveal that approximately 6.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with GAD every year. Symptoms persist for about six months and generally include fatigue, poor sleep, chronic anxiety, poor concentration and excessive irritability. This disorder can be brought on by the everyday stresses of life and also stressful events, such as a death in the family or loss of a job. In addition, GAD is a chronic condition with both remission and exacerbation.