cymbalta articles

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by fibrobutterfly, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Cymbalta Provided Sustained Pain Relief for Women with Fibromyalgia
    19 Oct 2004

    Study shows improvement in pain unrelated to effect on mood and presence of major depression

    The antidepressant Cymbalta? (duloxetine HCl; pronounced sim-BAWL'-tuh), a dual-reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine, 60 mg once or twice daily, significantly reduced pain in more than half of women treated for fibromyalgia, with and without major depression, according to 12-week data presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

    These data are being presented one month after another study, in which Cymbalta also significantly reduced pain in women with fibromyalgia versus placebo, was published in Arthritis and Rheumatism.

    "The results in these study patients were very striking in the degree of reduction of pain, which is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. In addition, Cymbalta significantly improved these patients' quality of life and overall functioning, as measured by quality of life and disability scales," said Lesley M. Arnold, M.D., University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, who presented the study. "For many, the pain of fibromyalgia makes them so sensitive to being touched that even a hug from a loved-one can be intolerable."

    In the study, Cymbalta's effect on pain was independent of any effect on mood, and there was no significant difference in response rates between patients in the study with and without major depression.

    Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles and soft tissue of nearly 6 million Americans, predominantly women.1 According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, patients often experience a deep muscular aching, throbbing, twitching, stabbing and shooting pain that "knows no boundaries, migrating to all parts of the body and varying in intensity." Neurological complaints, such as numbness, tingling and burning, are often present and add to the discomfort of the patient.

    While the cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, it has been linked to abnormalities in the brain's neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, the same neurotransmitters believed to play a role in major depressive disorder, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain and stress urinary incontinence.1

    There is no approved treatment for fibromyalgia. Cymbalta, a balanced and potent serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, is proven to help treat the emotional and painful physical symptoms of depression. It also is the only approved treatment for management of pain caused by diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage. Cymbalta is not approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

    Study Findings

    More than half of patients treated with 60 mg of Cymbalta, once or twice daily, responded to treatment after 12 weeks, compared with one-third of those taking a sugar pill.

    Patients treated with 60 mg of Cymbalta, once or twice daily, were significantly more likely to experience a sustained treatment response than those treated with a sugar pill (44 percent, 43 percent and 19 percent, respectively).

    Patients treated with 60 mg of Cymbalta, once or twice daily, had functional improvements on the Sheehan Disability Scale which measures disability at work, in family life and in social life, that were significantly greater than those of patients taking a sugar pill.

    Cymbalta 60 mg once or twice daily directly reduced pain (75.7 and 87.5 percent, respectively) more than the indirect effect attributed to improvement in depressive symptoms (24.4 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively).

    Cymbalta 60 mg twice a day also relieved the pain associated with tender points often associated with fibromyalgia.

    Treatment-emergent adverse events were more common in patients treated with Cymbalta 60 mg once or twice daily, than in those treated with a sugar pill (79.2 percent). Events were typically mild to moderate in severity.

    Patients taking Cymbalta 60 mg once or twice daily were more likely to discontinue because of side effects than those taking placebo (21.2 percent, 23.3 percent and 11.7 percent respectively).

    The most common side effects for patients taking Cymbalta (occurring in at least 5 percent of patients and at twice the rate for those receiving placebo) were nausea, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, nasopharyngitis, increased sweating and anorexia. In addition, for patients taking Cymbalta 60 mg twice daily, sleepiness and feeling jittery were common side effects.


    In a 12-week, double blind study, patients were randomized to receive Cymbalta 60 mg once (n=118) or twice daily (n=116), or placebo (n=120). The primary outcome measure was Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) 24-hour average pain severity score (score range: 0 [no pain] -10 [pain as bad as you can imagine]). Response to treatment was defined as a 30 percent reduction in the BPI 24-hour average pain score. Secondary outcome measures included remaining BPI pain and interference scores, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), the tender point pain threshold and tender point number, Clinical Global Impression of Severity (CGI-Severity), Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-Improvement), and the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression.

    About Cymbalta

    Cymbalta is indicated for the treatment of major depression and the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain, both in adults. As Cymbalta has not been studied in children, Lilly discourages its use in those under 18.

    Cymbalta should not be confused with Symbyax? (pronounced SIMM-bee-ax), a medicine for bipolar depression also marketed by Lilly. Symbyax is a combination of olanzapine, the active ingredient in Zyprexa?, and fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac?. Symbyax is available in capsules of 6 mg/25 mg (olanzapine/fluoxetine), 12 mg/25 mg, 6 mg/50 mg and 12 mg/50 mg. Cymbalta is available in 20 mg, 30 mg and 60 mg capsules.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/30/2008]
  2. Treatments for Fibromyalgia
    This article is an extract from the ebook Freedom From Fibromyalgia!

    Fibromyalgia And Cymbalta
    There are some medications that either work like a charm or simply don’t work at all with no grey area in between. Cymbalta, one of the latest fibromyalgia medications, seems to be just such a drug. In fact, studies have even found that Cymbalta, for fibromyalgia patients, works better for women than it does for men.

    Cymbalta, an antidepressant, has been prescribed for adults (anyone over 18, as there have been no scientific research studies to determine the effects of using Cymbalta in children) for both depression and fibromyalgia. According to the manufacturers of Cymbalta, the antidepressant targets both serotonin and norepinephrine, both of which have been found to be lacking in those with fibromyalgia. Taking Cymbalta, fibromyalgia patients, particularly women, have found a reduction of symptoms.

    According to a study conducted by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, over 50 percent of all fibromyalgia patients who participated in the study, who were administered a 60 milligram dose of Cymbalta once or twice daily, showed improvements in their symptoms after three months of taking the medication. Furthermore, by taking Cymbalta, some fibromyalgia patients saw improvements in the first month.

    By taking Cymbalta, fibromyalgia patients were able to better function because of an easing of many of the symptoms, including pain and depression, of fibromyalgia. Interestingly, while men only accounted for eleven percent of all participants in the study, they showed the least amount of improvement with little or no lessening of fibromyalgia symptoms.

    Why Cymbalta works better for women than for men has not yet been determined. However, those fibromyalgia patients who had success with Cymbalta saw improvements from between one week and one month from the start of their treatments. Understand, however, that the effects vary from patient-to-patient, and it may be shorter, or even longer, for the medication to kick in.

    If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, you’ll want to discuss that with your doctor as it’s not possible to take the Cymbalta by breaking or chewing the capsule. Additionally, when taking the Cymbalta, fibromyalgia patients should considering eating a small snack or a meal right before or directly after taking a dose.

    While the manufacturers of Cymbalta insist it is okay to take the medication with or without food, taking Cymbalta, for some fibromyalgia patients, on an empty stomach may lead to increased side effects. Your doctor should be able to tell you the best time and the best way (with or without food) to take your doses.

    Side effects of Cymbalta, for fibromyalgia patients, may include dry mouth, nausea, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, and sweating. With time, however, when taking Cymbalta, fibromyalgia patients will notice the side effects dissipate. However, if you’re concerned about the side effects, talk with your doctor. Make sure he or she knows about all other medications – both prescribed and over-the-counter – you are taking.

    Additionally, never stop taking Cymbalta without first consulting your doctor. Stopping suddenly could result in side effects such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Your doctor can advise you if it’s safe to simply stop taking the Cymbalta for fibromyalgia, or you should gradually wean yourself off of the medication.

    Taking Cymbalta, fibromyalgia patients should monitor their symptoms closely, as they should when prescribed any antidepressant. Be aware that in some cases, Cymbalta can make depression worse, rather than alleviating it, so if you begin to feel more depressed – when you were only moderately or not depressed previously – talk with your doctor immediately.

    Because there’s no guarantee that any medication is going to work, ask your doctor if he or she can give you any samples of Cymbalta. That way, if the medication works, you can fill your prescription, and if it doesn’t, you’re not out any money. Since you can suffer from side effects if you miss several doses, you’ll also want to make sure you refill your prescription before you run out. By taking Cymbalta, fibromyalgia patients have found their symptoms vastly improve.

    Keep in mind that by taking Cymbalta, fibromyalgia patients aren’t going to find a miracle cure. Rather, Cymbalta has worked for alleviating the symptoms of some fibromyalgia patients. Discuss your medication options with your doctor and whether he thinks Cymbalta would be a good fit for you.

    © Health Research Today

    Read the rest of this article in Freedom From Fibromyalgia!

  3. Study Conducted To Determine The Role Of Cymbalta In Fibromyalgia
    General Background About Fibromyalgia: On the basis of the data collected, fibromyalgia takes its toll between three and six percent of the population. Fibromyalgia mainly affects women and as a symptom complex, it causes headaches, fatigue and other related complications. Why fibromyalgia occurs is still not clearly known, but as elaborated by the studies, they are linked to abnormal amounts of the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine, which are also associated with depression and pain perception. The researchers thought that the drugs that are used for depression can be used for the patients who are suffering from fibromyalgia, because the patients who were suffering from fibromyalgia also had problems with depression.

    Purpose Of The Study: The basis of conducting the research was that the researchers wanted to know whether the drug, Cymbalta, which is an antidepressant drug, whose generic name is duloxetine can help the patients who are suffering from fibromyalgia.

    Planning Out The Study: In order to conduct the study the researchers enrolled about 200 patients from around the country and after that the patients were divided into two equal groups. The researchers planned that they would give Cymbalta to one group for about 12 weeks and the other group will be given a sugar pill as a placebo for about the same amount of time.

    Filling Out Of Questionnaires By Participants: The participants completed the questionnaires, which was based on the amount of pain and discomfort that the disease caused them at the beginning of the study. After that they filled out the questionnaire at the end of each of the first two weeks, as well as every second week for the remaining 12 weeks of the study. Along side measuring the pain level, they also checked the participants for depression.

    Results Of The Study: The results of the study were quite astonishing for the researchers. They found out that women who took Cymbalta had significantly less pain and discomfort than those who took the placebo. The men who only made about 11 percent of the participants in the study showed that there were no effects from taking the medication compared to a placebo. The ratio of the men in the study was low because fibromyalgia occurs four times more in women than in men. The women who were taking the drug had greatly decreased levels of pain after taking the drug for about the 12-week period of time. Hence this study proved really beneficial to find the relationship between Fibromyalgia and Cymbalta.

    How Can It Change The Lives Of People: If you are a person suffering from fibromyalgia, then you can very clearly understand as to how your life is miserable with this disease and how much you want to get rid of it from your life and you know that there are people out there working for you to come up with ways to cure this condition whose cause is not yet known. Thus the drug, Cymbalta, can greatly reduce the pain in individuals suffering from fibromyalgia thus enhancing their quality of lives and taking the misery out so they could lead their lives to the max. In other words, we can call this drug, a miracle drug, which can bring a new dawn in the lives of the sufferers.

    Drawback Of The Research: Since this research was conducted only for about 12 weeks, it is not known as to how the drug would benefit if it were taken for a longer period of time in patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

    Views Of Doctors On Fibromyalgia-Cymbalta Relationship: Dr. Lesley M. Arnold, M.D. from University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, said that “Cymbalta significantly improved these patients' quality of life and overall functioning, as measured by quality of life and disability scales."

    The designer of the study mentioned above, Dr. Raskin said that, “Duloxetine showed a direct effect of 75% to 85% improvement in pain reduction. About sixty milligrams a day was the effective dose and that is similar to what we have seen with duloxetine for peripheral neuropathic diabetic pain."

    In his other words he added, "Very notably, duloxetine showed an effect on relief of the 'tender point' pain of fibromyalgia, which is one of the diagnostic criteria for the condition." He further continued that "It is a truly objective finding among studies in which findings are often rather subjective. Here you see changes in a standard and objective measure of pain. This is really quite a unique finding."

    Bottom Line for cymbalta and fibromyalgia relationship
    This is a remarkable research in treating the problems of fibromyalgia. Now this drug, Cymbalta, ensures that people who are going through a miserable life of suffering fibromyalgia will have a break in their symptoms and they will be able to lead a better quality of life. In the above article, we have thoroughly discussed a lot of different aspects supporting the relationship of fibromyalgia and Cymbalta. We hope that those of you who are going through this problem will come to read this article and will open the doors of betterment in your life.

  4. I like this line in the third article, and find it true for me anyways lately. MISERABLE life , how true. Suffering is more like it also.

    "Now this drug, Cymbalta, ensures that people who are going through a miserable life of suffering fibromyalgia will have a break in their symptoms and they will be able to lead a better quality of life. "