Drugs – Duloxetine (Cymbalta): Depression & Pain Relief

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This detailed leaflet talks about anxiety, depression and pain in M.E. and how they can be managed. It features the drug duloxetine and reviews the evidence for its use as a symptom-relieving medication.

What is Duloxetine?

Duloxetine (trade name = Cymbalta) is a drug that has several uses. It is normally used to treat more severe cases of depression. But it is also sometimes used to treat a generalised anxiety disorder and for stress incontinence. It can also be helpful for pain relief.

How does Duloxetine help with pain?

As with other types of antidepressant medication – low dose  amitriptyline for example – duloxetine has been shown to help some people with pain, including both neuropathic/nerve pain and fibromyalgic pain.

Where there is evidence that a drug can be a safe and  effective option in FM, as is the case with duloxetine, it could also be of value for some people with ME/CFS. Like gabapentin and lyrica, duloxetine is therefore an option for pain management that your doctor may decide to consider.

Telephone Helpline

The ME Association telephone helpline – ME Connect – is available every day of the year, during the hours of 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. Please phone: 0344 576 5326 if you have any questions or would simply like to talk to someone who is there to listen.

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