Cymbalta for fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder. It causes pain and tenderness in the muscles. It is more common in women than men. About 6 million Americans are said to have this condition. The National Fibromyalgia Association has reported that patients with fibromyalgia experience deep muscular aching, twitching, throbbing, stabbing and shooting pain and it migrates to all parts of the body with variation in intensity. These patients also report neurological complaints such as tingling and burning, and numbness. The exact causes of fibromyalgia are unknown. However, it is believed that abnormalities in the neurotransmitters of the brain, namely, serotonin and norepinephrine cause this disease. Approved treatment for fibromyalgia is not available. Here comes the part to be played by Cymbalta. Cymbalta is a balanced and potent Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI). Cymbalta treats depression and neuropathy pain. Yet, Cymbalta is not an approved medicine for treating fibromyalgia.

In the women treated with Cymbalta for their fibromyalgia, more than half of them showed significant improvement in pain. The doses prescribed for them were 60 mg per day or 60 mg twice a day. This women population contained patients with major depression and without depression. This came to the limelight from the data presented by the American College of Rheumatism (ACR). This institution has reported that the effects of Cymbalta were striking, when fibromyalgia patients were treated with it. Cymbalta improved the quality of life of these patients significantly, says ACR. These patients were in such a condition that even the hug of a beloved person was not tolerable to them. The effect of Cymbalta on pain was independent of the effect on mood and the response rates did not differ much with the patients having major depression and without depression.

The study findings reveal that more than 50 per cent of the patients receiving 60 mg of Cymbalta, once or twice a day, responded to this treatment after twelve weeks, when compared to the one-third of the patients taking a sugar pill. The patients taking Cymbalta also showed a sustained response to its treatment. They had improvements in their functions, as measured on the Sheehan Disability Scale. Cymbalta reduced 75 to 87 per cent of pain in them. Cymbalta also relieved them of the pain at tender points, caused by fibromyalgia. However, the adverse events related to treatment-emergent were more common in patients receiving 60 mg of Cymbalta once or twice a day, when compared to those treated with a sugar pill. Also, these patients were more likely to stop taking Cymbalta due to its side effects, when compared to those treated with placebo. The most common side effects caused by taking Cymbalta in these patients were nausea, decreased appetite, constipation, dry mouth, increased sweating, diarrhea, anorexia and nasopharyngitis. The patients taking 60 mg of Cymbalta twice a day had sleepiness and feeling jittery in common.

In general, patients receiving antidepressants should be kept under close observation for depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior. The family members of these patients should watch them carefully. They should call the doctor immediately if they notice any sudden symptoms such as panic, anxiety, agitation, irritability, difficulty sleeping, aggressiveness, restlessness, hyperactivity or overexcitement. The patients should also be observed when the dosage is changed. Remember, Cymbalta is not for everyone. If you are allergic to duloxetine or any other ingredient in Cymbalta, you should not take it. If you were on Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) in the recent past, or, are taking thioridazine, or if you have uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma, you should not take this drug. If you have problems related to liver or kidney, or if you regularly consume large amounts of alcohol, consult your doctor before starting Cymbalta. Pregnant women should first consult their doctor and then start Cymbalta if prescribed for them. Cymbalta is not recommended for nursing women. Also, do not discontinue Cymbalta without consulting your doctor.