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Assessment of Falls in Older Patients Treated With Duloxetine: A Secondary Analysis of a 24-Week Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Objective: To assess fall events in older depressed patients during treatment with duloxetine.
Method: Post hoc analysis of solicited fall events collected at each study visit using a questionnaire during a 24-week, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 4 trial (November 2006 to November 2009). Older outpatients (≥ 65 years) with major depressive disorder (DSM-IV criteria) were randomly assigned to duloxetine 60 mg/d (n = 249) or placebo (n = 121) for the 12-week acute phase, after which the duloxetine dose could be increased to 120 mg/d and nonresponding placebo patients could be switched to duloxetine 60 mg/d. Between-treatment differences in percentages of patients with fall events were compared by Fisher exact test. Exposure-adjusted incidence rates (EAIRs) of falls per patient-year were also estimated.
Results: In the acute phase, 17.3% of patients treated with duloxetine 60 mg versus 11.6% treated with placebo (P = .170) experienced a fall event. Over 24 weeks, the percentage of patients with a fall while taking duloxetine 60 mg versus placebo was 24.0% versus 15.7% (P = .078), and the percentage was significantly higher in patients taking duloxetine regardless of dose (25.3%) than with placebo (15.7%, P = .045). Between-treatment differences in EAIRs over 12 weeks (0.26; 95% CI, −0.20 to 0.72) and over 24 weeks (0.27; 95% CI, −0.10 to 0.65) were not significant.
Conclusions: Direct assessment of fall events greatly increases the number of falls reported by patients. Although the EAIR of falls per patient-year associated with duloxetine was not significant in this trial, clinicians should remain vigilant about the possibility of falls in older patients with duloxetine or any antidepressant treatment.
Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2013;15(1):doi:10.4088/PCC.12m01419
© Copyright 2013 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
Submitted: May 30, 2012; accepted September 17, 2012.
Published online: January 3, 2013.
Corresponding author: Tina M. M. Oakes, PhD, Eli Lilly and Company, Drop Code 1542, Indianapolis, IN 46285 (firstname.lastname@example.org).