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Keywords:

  • anxiety;
  • functioning;
  • duloxetine

Objective

This was a flexible-dosed study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of duloxetine 30–120 mg once daily in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in older adult patients.

Methods

Patients with GAD, who were at least 65 years of age, were randomly assigned to double-blind treatment with either duloxetine (N = 151) or placebo (N = 140). The primary efficacy measure was the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) total score, and the primary endpoint was at week 10. Global functioning was assessed by the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Safety and tolerability was assessed by the occurrence of treatment-emergent adverse events, serious adverse events, laboratory analyses, and vital signs. Analyses were conducted on an intent-to-treat basis.

Results

The overall baseline mean HAM-A total score was 24, and SDS global score was 14. Completion rates were 75% for placebo and 76% for duloxetine. At week 10, duloxetine was superior to placebo on mean changes from baseline in HAM-A total scores (−15.9 vs. −11.7, p < 0.001) and in SDS global scores (−8.6 vs. −5.4, p < 0.001). Treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in ≥5% of duloxetine-treated patients and twice the rate than with placebo including constipation (9% vs. 4%, p = 0.06), dry mouth (7% vs. 1%, p = 0.02), and somnolence (6% vs. 2%, p = 0.14).

Conclusion

Duloxetine treatment was efficacious in the improvement of anxiety and functioning in older adult patients with GAD, and the safety profile was consistent with previous GAD studies. © 2014 The Authors. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.