The effects of supratherapeutic doses of duloxetine on blood pressure and pulse rate

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2007 Jun;49(6):384-93. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e31804d1cce.


The effects of supratherapeutic dosages of duloxetine, a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, on blood pressure and pulse rate were assessed in a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 117 healthy women aged 19 to 74 years. Dosages were escalated from 60 mg twice daily (BID) to 200 mg BID over 16 days. Vital signs were monitored at baseline, before morning dosing, and sequentially at steady state. Duloxetine produced increases in supine systolic and diastolic blood pressures, which reached maximums of approximately 12 mm Hg and approximately 7 mm Hg above baseline, respectively, during dosing at 120 mg BID and then stabilized. Supine pulse rate increased gradually with dose, reaching 10 to 12 bpm above baseline after 4 days of dosing at 200 mg BID. Duloxetine caused changes in orthostatic blood pressures and pulse rate that reached plateau values after 3 to 4 days of dosing at 160 mg BID and were generally not associated with subjectively reported orthostatic-related adverse events. All vital signs normalized by 1 to 2 days after study drug discontinuation. Prehypertensive subjects may become hypertensive upon initial duloxetine dosing, but this can be predicted from predose blood pressure. Short-term supratherapeutic duloxetine dosages up to 200 mg BID are not well tolerated but are generally not associated with severe, clinically important adverse events. Overall, the types of adverse events reported in this study were similar to those in other studies of duloxetine in healthy subjects.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / blood
  • Thiophenes / administration & dosage
  • Thiophenes / adverse effects*
  • Thiophenes / blood
  • United States


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Thiophenes
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride