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In New Study, Duloxetine Was Equally Effective, Regardless of,Switch Method, in Reducing Painful Symptoms in Ssri Non- or,Partial-responders with Depression

SAN DIEGO, California, 23 May 2007 - The antidepressant duloxetine hydrochloride was equally effective in reducing painful symptoms in depressed patients who did not respond, or responded only partially, to treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), regardless of whether those patients were switched from an SSRI abruptly or gradually.1 This new data was presented today at the American Psychiatric Association’s 160th Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif.

Between 30-50 percent of individuals treated with a given antidepressant do not respond to that treatment.2,3 As a result, physicians often need to switch patients from one antidepressant to another. Although this is a common clinical scenario, there are relatively few published studies to guide physicians on how to switch patients from one antidepressant to another.

“Recent data suggests the more antidepressants an individual has tried, the less likely they are to benefit from a new antidepressant.4 Therefore it is important to maximise the chance of remission earlier in the treatment pathway,” said Prof. Angel L. Montejo, Psychiatry Research Coordinator, University Hospital of Salamanca, Spain. “These results demonstrate that a switch to duloxetine results in a significant decrease in the painful symptoms in patients with depression and was well tolerated regardless of the switch method used.”

The new results are based on several secondary endpoints from a study comparing the efficacy, safety and tolerability of two switch methods in 368 patients who remained depressed despite taking an SSRI for at least six weeks.5 Participants were randomized to either abrupt discontinuation of their SSRI (the Direct Switch, or DS group) or to a gradual/tapered discontinuation of their SSRI (the Start-Taper Switch, or STS group). Both groups began taking duloxetine 60 mg/day at the beginni
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