A study published this week in Arthritis Research and Therapy shows that duloxetine is a safe and effective treatment for fibromyalgia, and it also improves quality of life.
In the study, A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial of duloxetine in Japanese fibromyalgia patients, 393 Japanese citizens with confirmed diagnoses of fibromyalgia were split into two groups: One group (n=196) received duloxetine and the other group (n=197) received a placebo.
Based on a Last Observation Carried Forward (LOCF) analysis, data showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in the change of average pain scores at 14 weeks.
Duloxetine treatment also showed improved outcomes in nearly all secondary and post hoc analyses, including quality of life.
According to the study, “the treatment was generally well tolerated. Somnolence, nausea, and constipation were the most common treatment-emergent adverse events in the duloxetine group. The discontinuation rates due to treatment-emergent adverse events were similar in both groups.”
Duloxetine, which is also known as Cymbalta, is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety. For people with chronic pain, Cymbalta is used to treat diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain), arthritis, back pain and, of course, fibromyalgia. The drug is associated with improving sleep, increasing energy, and decrease nervousness.
Duloxetine is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), which works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain. For people with fibromyalgia, duloxetine may help manage widespread muscle pain, incredible tiredness and challenges with sleep.
While fibromyalgia is poorly understood, it is a common and sometimes debilitating condition. Many researchers believe fibromyalgia’s underlying problem is a neural one, where the nervous system fires signals inappropriately. They believe duloxetine calms the nervous system by increasing the natural substances of serotonin and norepinephrine.