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Depression & Anxiety

From the Current Issue

New Drug Approval
FDA Approves Cymbalta for Major Depression

The FDA recently approved duloxetine (Cymbalta) for treating major depression.

Duloxetine is believed to work by blocking reabsorption, or reuptake, of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, allowing these chemicals to persist at higher levels in the brain.

Four trials in a total of 1,059 adults with major depression found the drug was superior to placebo in improving symptoms of depression. The safety of the drug was evaluated in trials including 2,418 patients. The most common side effects reported included nausea, dry mouth, constipation, poor appetite, fatigue, sleepiness, and increased sweating. As with most other antidepressants, patients beginning therapy with or changing dosages of duloxetine should be monitored for suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Patients with uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma should not take the drug, and it should not be taken along with antidepressant drugs known as monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, the manufacturer warns.

The recommended daily dosage of duloxetine is 40 to 60 mg, given in one or two doses.

Approved by the FDA
August 4, 2004


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Depression & Anxiety

The Depression and Anxiety White Paper from The Johns Hopkins White Papers series is an annual, in-depth report written by Hopkins physicians.



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