Duloxetine (Cymbalta), a drug commonly used to treat depression by Eli Lilly, has been found to effective in reducing low back pain.
Duloxetine, when given in 60 mg strength once daily significantly reduced chronic low back pain, as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) average pain rating, according to a new study.
The duloxetine study involved a total of 401 patients in a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
In the study, duloxetine-treated patients experienced a statistically significantly greater improvement on BPI average pain scale compared with placebo in chronic low back pain.
“Chronic low back pain affects a significant number of people. In fact, research suggests that the incidence of the condition may be as high as 48 percent,” said Vladimir Skljarevski, M.D., lead study author and a neurologist and senior medical director at Lilly Research Laboratories.
According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists beyond acute pain or beyond the expected time for an injury to heal.
Eli Lilly presented the data at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) in San Antonio, Texas.
Serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain and spinal cord are believed to both mediate core mood symptoms and help regulate the perception of pain.
Based on preclinical studies, duloxetine (Cymbalta) is a balanced and potent reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine that is believed to potentiate the activity of these chemicals in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). While the mechanism of action of Cymbalta is not known, scientists believe its effects on depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as its effect on pain perception, may be due to increasing the activity of serotonin and norepinephrine in the central nervous system.
Duloxetine (Cymbalta) is approved in the United States for the treatment of major depressive disorder, the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain and the management of fibromyalgia, all in adults (18+).
Duloxetine (Cymbalta) is not approved for use in pediatric patients.
Duloxetine (Cymbalta) is approved to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, and to manage diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.
The most common side effects of Duloxetine (Cymbalta) include nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, and constipation.
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