Duloxetine-induced rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder: a case report

BMC Psychiatry. 2017 Nov 21;17(1):372. doi: 10.1186/s12888-017-1535-4.


Background: Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been reported to induce the symptoms of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) or to exacerbate REM sleep without atonia. With this case report, we found an association between typical RBD and duloxetine, a serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor.

Case presentation: We present a case of a 62-year-old woman who experienced enactment behaviors with violent dreams that were associated with increased tonic or phasic chin electromyography activity during REM sleep after treated with duloxetine. RBD symptoms were gradually reduced and completely ceased after discontinuation of duloxetine for 37 days.

Conclusion: The current case appears to be the first observation of duloxetine-induced RBD. We describe features of RBD induced by duloxetine that are similar and different from that induced by tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Keywords: Duloxetine; Polysomnography; Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride / administration & dosage
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride / adverse effects*
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / chemically induced*
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / diagnosis
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Sleep, REM


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride