Predictors of Duloxetine Adherence and Persistence in Patients With Fibromyalgia

J Pain Res. 2012;5:193-201. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S31800. Epub 2012 Jun 22.


Objectives: Adherence to medication for the treatment of fibromyalgia (FM) is predictive of lower overall health-care costs, and thus a lower burden on both patients and providers. The objectives of this study were to examine the predictors of adherence to and persistence with duloxetine therapy among commercially insured FM patients, and to identify subgroups of patients with high duloxetine persistence and adherence.

Study design: This cross-sectional, retrospective study analyzed medical and pharmacy records over 1 year for patients in the US aged 18-64 years with FM who initiated (no prior 90-day use) duloxetine treatment in 2008.

Methods: Adherence to duloxetine was measured by medication possession ratio (MPR), with high adherence defined as MPR ≥ 0.8. Persistence was defined as the duration of therapy from the index date to the earliest of: the ending date of the last prescription, the date of the first gap of >15 days between prescriptions, or the end of the study period (12 months). Demographic and clinical predictors of adherence were examined via multiple logistic regression (MLR), and subgroups of duloxetine-persistent and -adherent patients were identified using classification and regression trees (CART).

Results: Among 4660 duloxetine patients, 33% achieved high adherence. Factors associated with high adherence from MLR included older age, North Central and Northeast regions, prior venlafaxine, pregabalin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), or other antidepressant use, or comorbid dyslipidemia or osteoarthritis (all P < 0.05). CART analysis revealed that patients with prior antidepressant use, aged ≥46, or prior osteoarthritis had higher MPR (all P < 0.05), and patients aged ≥45 with a history of SSRI, venlafaxine, or anticonvulsant use had longer duration of therapy (all P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Patients with high adherence to and persistence with duloxetine were significantly older and had prior antidepressant use.

Keywords: duloxetine; fibromyalgia; medication adherence; medication persistence; subgroup analysis.