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Duloxetine: to be avoided in all cases

Despite its unfavourable risk-benefit balance, duloxetine is marketed for a range of indications.

Duloxetine is a psychotropic drug marketed for various conditions (depression, neuralgia, stress urinary incontinence), despite its unfavourable risk-benefit balance.

In September 2008, duloxetine was licensed in some countries (and may soon be in France) for a new indication: fibromyalgia. However, clinical trials have shown that duloxetine does not give patients suffering from this condition any tangible or lasting relief.

On the contrary, duloxetine exposes patients to numerous neuropsychiatric, digestive, urinary and other adverse effects, as well as dose-dependent increases in blood pressure and hepatic damage. It is also likely to interact with many drugs.

Furthermore, we do not know whether or not duloxetine causes malformations in the embryo, and it is feared that newborns exposed to the drug in the 3rd term of pregnancy will suffer from withdrawal syndrome.

Duloxetine should be avoided in all cases.

©Prescrire November 2008

Source: "Duloxétine (Cymbalta°). A éviter aussi dans la "fibromyalgie"" Rev Prescrire 2008; 28 (300): 730.

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