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Duloxetine is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of fibromyalgia and painful diabetic neuropathy at doses of 60 mg daily. Duloxetine has been shown to significantly improve the symptoms of chronic pain associated with these disorders, as measured by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Brief Pain Inventory scores, the Clinical Global Impressions Scale, and other various outcome measures in several placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, multicenter studies. Symptom improvement generally began within the first few weeks, and continued for the duration of the study. In addition, the efficacy of duloxetine was found to be due to direct effects on pain symptoms rather than secondary to improvements in depression or anxiety. Adverse events including nausea, constipation, dry mouth, and insomnia, were mild and transient and occurred at relatively low rates. In conclusion, duloxetine, a selective inhibitor for the serotonin and norepinephrine transporters, is efficacious in the treatment of chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia or diabetic neuropathy, and has a predictable tolerability profile, with adverse events generally being mild to moderate.


Alan Wright, Kyle E Luedtke, Chad Vandenberg. Duloxetine in the treatment of chronic pain due to fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy. Journal of pain research. 2011;4:1-10

PMID: 21386950

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