According to a recent study researchers say the antidepressant duloxetine, also known as Cymbalta, may significantly reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia in women . Duloxetine works by stopping the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, two of the brain's neurotransmitters that are linked to mood.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder that is characterized by body pain, muscle tenderness, headaches, sleep disturbances, and fatigue. The condition is nearly six-times more common in women than it is in men.
For the study more than 200 men and women with the disorder participated in the study . Nearly 90 percent of these patients were women. About half of the participants received 60 milligrams of duloxetine twice a day, while the other half received a placebo.Researchers say the women in the study reported significant improvement in symptoms, while the men did not. The female patients treated with duloxetine reported improvements in pain and tenderness. However, the men did not report any significant changes.
Researchers say the reasons for the sex differences is unclear , however they say that the male subgroup was small, reflecting the much higher prevalence of fibromyalgia in women and they say that the results of the study may not be generalizable to all men with fibromyalgia.
In conclusion researchers say their results suggest that duloxetine improves pain and tenderness, the hallmark characteristics of fibromyalgia and the effect of duloxetine on the reduction of pain appears to be independent of its effect on mood.