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Duloxetine suicide fears challenged

A new meta-analysis has challenged fears that duloxetine might raise the risk of suicidal behaviour.

The study, funded by the drug's manufacturer Eli Lilly, found it did not increase suicidal risk in patients with major depressive disorder.

The safety of duloxetine is subject to 'ongoing monitoring' in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

But the analysis of 12 placebo-controlled trials, published in December's Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, found no difference in incidence of suicide-related events with duloxetine or placebo.

There were 1,812 suicide-related events in patients prescribed duloxetine, against 1,814 in placebo-treated patients. It also reduced symptoms by 9.6 per cent and suicidal ideation by 4.25 per cent, as measured by the Hamilton depression scale.

Dr David Perahia, a medical adviser at Lilly UK, wrote: 'We found no evidence of an increas-ed risk of suicidal behaviour or ideation during treatment with duloxetine compared with placebo.'

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