The Antidepressant Duloxetine Inhibits Platelet Function and Protects against Thrombosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • While cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death, major depressive disorder (MDD) is the primary cause of disability, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. Interestingly, there is evidence that CVD is more prevalent in people with MDD. It is well established that neurotransmitters, namely serotonin and norepinephrine, are involved in the biochemical mechanisms of MDD, and consequently, drugs targeting serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake, such as duloxetine, are commonly prescribed for MDD. In this connection, serotonin and norepinephrine are also known to play critical roles in primary hemostasis. Based on these considerations, we investigated if duloxetine can be repurposed as an antiplatelet medication. Our results-using human and/or mouse platelets show that duloxetine dose-dependently inhibited agonist-induced platelet aggregation, compared to the vehicle control. Furthermore, it also blocked agonist-induced dense and -granule secretion, integrin IIb3 activation, phosphatidylserine expression, and clot retraction. Moreover duloxetine-treated mice had a significantly prolonged occlusion time. Finally, duloxetine was also found to impair hemostasis. Collectively, our data indicate that the antidepressant duloxetine, which is a serotonin-norepinephrine antagonist, exerts antiplatelet and thromboprotective effects and inhibits hemostasis. Consequently, duloxetine, or a rationally designed derivative, presents potential benefits in the context of CVD, including that associated with MDD.

published proceedings

  • Int J Mol Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Lozano, P. A., Alarabi, A. B., Garcia, S. E., Boakye, E. T., Kingbong, H. T., Naddour, E., ... Alshbool, F. Z.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Lozano, Patricia A||Alarabi, Ahmed B||Garcia, Sarah E||Boakye, Erica T||Kingbong, Hendreta T||Naddour, Elie||Villalobos-GarcĂ­a, Daniel||Badejo, Precious||El-Halawany, Medhat S||Khasawneh, Fadi T||Alshbool, Fatima Z

publication date

  • January 2022