Cholestatic jaundice induced by duloxetine in a patient with major depressive disorder

Psychiatry Investig. 2010 Sep;7(3):228-30. doi: 10.4306/pi.2010.7.3.228. Epub 2010 Aug 30.


Duloxetine is a balanced and potent serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and has adverse effects that are commonly associated with such drugs, including nausea, dry mouth, constipation, insomnia, and dizziness. Recently, duloxetine-induced liver injury has also been observed in patients with preexisting liver disease or chronic alcohol use. We investigated the effects of duloxetine in a healthy young adult with major depressive disorder (MDD) but no risk factors, and found that his total bilirubin level increased to 3.3 mg/dL and he developed jaundice after 5 months of duloxetine treatment. Discontinuation of duloxetine treatment saw his total bilirubin level decrease to 1.8 mg/dL. Thus, the administration of duloxetine might induce liver injury in a patient with MDD. However, the limitations of this single case report must be acknowledged. Although the cause of hepatic dysfunction in this case remains to be elucidated, clinicians should monitor liver function carefully after duloxetine treatment. Further investigations with a larger sample are needed.

Keywords: Duloxetine; Hepatic dysfunction; Hepatotoxicity; Liver injury; Major depressive disorder.