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Duloxetine for the management of fibromyalgia syndrome

Authors Scholz BA, Hammonds CL, Boomershine C

Published 21 July 2009 Volume 2009:2 Pages 99—108

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S4462

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Beth A Scholz, Cara L Hammonds, Chad S Boomershine

Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

Abstract: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a widespread pain condition associated with a wide range of additional symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety and stiffness. Duloxetine is one of three medications currently FDA approved for use in FMS management. Duloxetine is a mixed serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that functions by increasing central nervous system levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. This review is a primer on use of duloxetine in FMS management and includes information on pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, a review of the three duloxetine FMS treatment trials currently in publication, a discussion of the safety and tolerability of duloxetine, and patient-focused perspectives on duloxetine use in FMS management. Duloxetine has proven efficacy in managing pain and mood symptoms in adult FMS patients with and without major depressive disorder. However, due to side effects, duloxetine must be used with caution in patients with fatigue, insomnia, gastrointestinal complaints, headache, cardiovascular disease, bleeding-risk, and in those 24 years of age and younger due to risk of suicidality. Duloxetine use should be avoided in patients with liver disease or alcoholics. As with all medications, duloxetine is best used as part of an individualized regimen that includes nonpharmacologic modalities of exercise, education and behavioral therapies.

Keywords: fibromyalgia, duloxetine, SNRI, safety

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