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Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia Treatment


Benefits of Cymbalta

In clinical trials, Cymbalta significantly and quickly improved pain. More than half of the patients with fibromyalgia said they felt much better within one week.  Pain relief may be greater in patients who also have existing depression, although those without depression also have a significant improvement in symptoms.

Other benefits of Cymbalta:

  • Pain relief is proven to be significant for at least least three months of treatment. However treatment should be based on your individual response.
  • Less pain allows you to get back to your daily routine.
  • Better sleep leads to improved quality of life.
  • More refreshing sleep allows muscle tissues to heal.

Also, SNRIs often have less bothersome side effects than tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline), which are sometimes prescribed to those with fibromyalgia.

Side Effects

The most common side effects for Cymbalta are:

  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

Other side effects that may occur include:

  • Decreased appetite (may include anorexia)
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Increased sweating
  • Jitters, nervousness, or restlessness (agitation)
  • Urinary hesitation

You may feel dizzy upon standing when you first start taking Cymbalta or when your dose is increased. This is due to a drop in blood pressure, and is known as orthostatic hypotension. Your health care provider may want to check your blood pressure from time to time while you are taking Cymbalta.

Risks and Warnings

Cymbalta and other antidepressants may increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors in people under age 24. After you are prescribed Cymbalta, your doctor will monitor you closely for unusual behavior changes, new or worsening signs of depression, or suicidal thoughts.

Cymbalta may cause a drop in salt (sodium) levels in the blood, a potentially life-threatening condition called hyponatremia. Older adults, particularly those who take diuretics ("water pills") are more likely to develop this complication. Hyponatremia can cause headaches, confusion, weakness, and in severe cases can lead to fainting, seizures, coma, and death.

Some patients taking Cymbalta have developed liver problems. In rare cases, this has lead to liver failure and death. Contact your health care provider immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms while taking Cymbalta:

  • Dark colored urine
  • Itching
  • Pain in the right, upper belly area
  • Unexplained flu-like symptoms
  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
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