A recent study evaluated the effects of the drug duloxetine on fatigue in fibromyalgia
The study was conducted
on 530 patients, mostly middle-aged women belonging to Caucasian or Hispanic
race. The included patients suffered
from symptoms like moderate to severe fatigue, moderately severe pain, sleep
difficulties, musculoskeletal stiffness and mild to moderate anxiety and
depression. Patients were assessed
every 4 weeks using Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI) scales. These scales took into consideration five
aspects of fatigue - General Fatigue, Physical Fatigue, Mental Fatigue, Reduced
Activity, and Reduced Motivation. In
addition, the patients were also assessed for other features that are
associated with fatigue using Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) average pain, scales
to rate anxiety, depressed mood, bothered by sleep difficulties, and
musculoskeletal stiffness. Side effects
of the treatment related to fatigue were also assessed.
researchers found that treatment with duloxetine significantly improved various
dimensions of fatigue
. Significant improvements were
noted in the MFI scale, BPI pain, anxiety, depressed mood, and stiffness during
the first 12 weeks of the study. The
improvements continued even at the end of 24 weeks of treatment with duloxetine.
Some patients were initially treated with a placebo
or an inert drug during the first 12 weeks and were later switched to
duloxetine. These patients showed a
significant improvement in fatigue-related symptoms at the end of the study.
The researchers reported side effects of fatigue and
either excessive or reduced sleep.
researchers concluded from the study that duloxetine results in improvement of
various dimensions of fatigue when used in fibromyalgia patients
1. Improvement in multiple dimensions of fatigue in patients with
fibromyalgia treated with duloxetine: secondary analysis of a randomized,
placebo-controlled trial; Lesley. M. Arnold et al; BMC Arthritis & Research