Objective: This post hoc analysis was aimed to summarize the efficacy and tolerability of duloxetine as represented by number needed to treat (NNT) and number needed to harm (NNH) to provide a clinically useful assessment of the position of duloxetine among current agents used to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP).
Methods: Data were pooled from three 12-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group studies in which patients received 60 mg duloxetine either QD or BID or placebo. NNT was calculated based on rates of response (defined as >or=30% and >or=50% reductions from baseline in the weekly mean of the 24-hour average pain severity scores); NNH was calculated based on rates of discontinuation due to adverse events (AEs).
Results: Patients receiving duloxetine 60 mg QD and 60 mg BID had NNTs (95% CI) of 5.2 (3.8-8.3) and 4.9 (3.6-7.6), respectively, based on last observation carried forward; NNTs of 5.3 (3.8-8.3) for 60 mg QD and 5.7 (4.1-9.7) for 60 mg BID were obtained based on baseline observations carried forward. The NNHs (95% CI) based on discontinuation due to AEs were 17.5 (10.2-58.8) in the duloxetine 60-mg QD group and 8.8 (6.3-14.7) in the 60-mg BID group.
Conclusion: These post hoc results suggest that duloxetine was effective and well tolerated for the management of DPNP and further support the importance of duloxetine as a treatment option for clinicians and patients to assist with the management of DPNP.