What is the role of duloxetine in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA)?

Updated: Oct 12, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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The selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor duloxetine has been found to be effective in treating osteoarthritis pain. [82] For example, in patients with knee osteoarthritis who had persistent moderate pain despite optimized NSAID therapy, a randomized, double-blind trial found significant additional pain reduction and functional improvement with duloxetine as compared with placebo. [83]

However, duloxetine was also associated with significantly more nausea, dry mouth, constipation, fatigue, and decreased appetite than placebo was. [83] To date, trials of duloxetine in osteoarthritis have been short in duration (10-13 weeks), and studies comparing duloxetine directly with other therapies have not been performed.

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