Cymbalta and Fibromyalgia

Recent studies on treating fibromyalgia with Cymbalta suggest that the medication may help to alleviate symptoms, regardless of whether the person taking the drug also has depression. Cymbalta was not initially licensed for this use. but the FDA has recently approved it as a fibromyalgia treatment.

Does Cymbalta Help Fibromyalgia?

Cymbalta® (duloxetine hydrochloride) is a prescription medicine approved to treat the following conditions:


You may find information stating that Cymbalta is not approved to treat fibromyalgia, since it was not initially approved for this use. However, such information is outdated, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Cymbalta for fibromyalgia.

Treating Fibromyalgia With Cymbalta

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. People with this condition have "tender points" on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them. Other fibromyalgia symptoms may include:
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Morning stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
  • Problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called "fibro fog").
Cymbalta is part of a class of drugs called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs for short. SNRIs affect specific chemicals within the brain known as serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin and norepinephrine are two of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
Although it is not entirely clear how Cymbalta works to treat fibromyalgia, it may help block the nerve pain signals in the spinal cord or brain, which may help alleviate the pain associated with this condition.
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