Does Pain Improve Earlier than Mood in Depressed Patients with Painful Physical Symptoms Treated with Duloxetine

Pharmacopsychiatry, 05/18/2012

In duloxetine–responders to both pain and mood, self–rated pain improved slightly earlier than self–rated mood. The short temporal dissociation between pain and mood improvement might be explained by an earlier conscious perception of pain than mood changes.


  • Data were obtained within a prospective 6-month multi-centre naturalistic study in adult out-patients with depressive episodes treated with duloxetine (flexible doses: 30-120 mg/day).
  • Pain and mood were assessed daily by visual analogue scales.
  • For responders (n=622) “time to 50% pain response” and “time to 50% mood response” were determined by counting the earliest day between day 0 and 27, at which the patient achieved 50% improvement.


  • Mean time to 50% pain response (mean 6.3 days, SD 5.3) was significantly shorter than time to 50% mood response (mean 7.6 days, SD 6.0, mean difference 1.3 days, SD 6.4; p<0.0001).

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