Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia

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Cymbalta belongs to a class of medications known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). The FDA originally approved Cymbalta to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder, as well as diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. The FDA approved Cymbalta in 2008 for the management of fibromyalgia in adults.

What it is

Cymbalta, or duloetine hydrochloride, is a prescription medicine approved to treat several conditions, including depression, peripheral diabetic neuropathy pain (defined as nerve pain that occurs in the hands, feet, arms, or legs related to diabetes), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), chronic musculoskeletal pain like arthritis or back pain, and fibromyalgia.

Effectiveness

Because fibromyalgia is often accompanied by depression, some researchers believe that SNRIs like Cymbalta may be an effective choice for someone with fatigue or depression in conjunction with his or her fibromyalgia-related pain. SNRIs affect specific chemicals within the brain known as serotonin and norepinephrine. While it isn’t clear just how Cymbalta works in treating fibromyalgia, but it may help alleviate the pain associated with this condition by blocking the nerve pain signals in the brain or spinal cord.

Side Effects

Cymbalta could affect your libido, and in very few people, has caused suicidal ideation. Typical side effects include:

  • • Nausea
  • • Vomiting
  • • Dry mouth
  • • Constipation
  • • Loss of appetite
  • • Dizziness

Many of these side effects may improve over time.

How to take it

A typical dose of Cymbalta is 60 mg per day. It can take up to four weeks for SSNRI's to reach full effect. As with many medications, you should not stop taking this medication abruptly without speaking to your health care provider.


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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.

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