Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Pain Management Health Center

Font Size

FDA Approves Cymbalta for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Cymbalta Effectively Treats Osteoarthritis and Chronic Low Back Pain, Studies Show
By Katrina Woznicki
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Nov. 5, 2010 – A drug used to treat depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy has been approved by the FDA for a new use -- to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain, including pain caused by osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain.

The drug is sold under the brand name Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride) and is manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co., a major pharmaceutical company based in Indianapolis. Chronic low back pain is one of the most common forms of musculoskeletal pain, and finding an effective treatment can sometimes be challenging.

The approved dose for chronic musculoskeletal pain is a 60-milligram capsule taken once a day, swallowed whole; it does not have to be timed with meals.

"Up to three-quarters of the population experience chronic pain at some time in their lives," Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a prepared statement."This approval means that many of those people now have another treatment option."

Clinical trials showed that taking Cymbalta significantly reduced chronic pain, compared with a placebo. More than 29,000 patients used Cymbalta in clinical trials, including people with osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain.

The most common side effects among Cymbalta users were nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, drowsiness, constipation, fatigue, and dizziness. There were serious side effects as well, including liver damage, hives, rashes, swelling in the face, pneumonia, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts and behavior. These more serious side effects have occurred in less than 1% of patients taking Cymbalta.

Since its approval in 2004, an estimated 30 million people have used Cymbalta.

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
illustration of nerves in hand
lumbar spine
Woman opening window
Man holding handful of pills
Woman shopping for vegetables
Sore feet with high heel shoes
acupuncture needles in woman's back
man with a migraine