Doctors hope an antidepressant will offer much needed relief for those with Fibromyalgia. It’s a painful, chronic disease affecting up to six million Americans.
There’s no cure or FDA approved treatment for Fibromyalgia.
But researchers have found an old drug that seems to relieve the pain.
Karen Smaby loves cooking for her family. But, she didn’t always have the energy to pull a meal together. “There were some days I literally couldn’t get out of bed,” she says.
Karen is among the three to six million Americans coping with Fibromyalgia — a disease that causes chronic pain in many parts of the body.
“It’s like having the flu and having been in an auto accident where you had like tensed up really bad and all your muscles ached,” says Karen.
University of Cincinnati Dr. Lesley Arnold is studying the use of the anti-depressant Cymbalta, also called Duloxetine. “The most important thing is they reported a reduction in pain,” says Dr. Arnold.
Patients like Karen also said they had more energy and could function better. “There’s like this low level of depression that goes along with it. I think partially because you do feel so miserable all the time, and that’s completely gone,” says Karen.
Although 90-percent of Fibromyalgia sufferers are women, the men in the study did not see a major change. But researchers aren’t sure exactly why.
“Women in general in normal situations synthesize serotonin at a lesser rate than men, so women may be more susceptible because of that,” says Dr. Arnold.
Meanwhile, Karen’s finally happy to have the energy to do simple tasks, like cook a meal.
Dr. Arnold says Cymbalta does have some mild side effects, such as nausea, constipation and drowsiness. Suicidal thoughts can also be a side effect of anti-depressants for children and teens. But dr. Arnold says no one in the study reported that.
Source: Ivanhoe. Log on to www.ivanhoe.com for more information.
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