Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New treatment for fibromyalgia

09.09.2004


Study demonstrates effectiveness of the antidepressant duloxetine for improving symptoms and relieving pain



Fibromyalgia is a chronic, incapacitating musculoskeletal disorder. Nearly six times more common in women than in men, fibromyalgia is marked by widespread body pain and muscle tenderness, often accompanied by headaches, sleep disturbances, and fatigue. While its cause remains a mystery, fibromyalgia has been linked to abnormalities in the brain’s neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine--chemicals key to mood and widely recognized for their role in depression. Not all patients with fibromyalgia, however, have depression or respond to antidepressants. Treatment studies of the other types of antidepressant drugs, including selective serotonin uptake inhibitors and tricyclic agents, have had mixed results.

A new and different antidepressant, duloxetine, works by inhibiting the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. In a recent clinical trial conducted for the treatment of fibromyalgia--one of the largest ever--duloxetine was shown to reduce pain and improve a range of disease symptoms, significantly and safely. The results, published in the September 2004 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, offer the promise of relief for women with fibromyalgia.


"Our results suggest that duloxetine improves pain and tenderness, the hallmark characteristics of fibromyalgia," states Lesley M. Arnold, M.D., who coordinated the research at 18 centers, including the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Indiana University Medical School, and Harvard Medical School. "The effect of duloxetine on the reduction of pain," Dr. Arnold further notes, "appears to be independent of its effect on mood."

To test duloxetine’s effectiveness on the range of symptoms, researchers recruited 207 patients, all meeting the American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia. Like the majority of those with this disease, the majority of the participants--89 percent--were women. 87 percent of the subjects were Caucasian and the mean age was 49. Just over a third of the patients--38 percent--had been diagnosed with depression. On a random basis, the patients were prescribed one of two treatments for a course of 12 weeks. About half, 104 individuals, received 60 milligrams of duloxetine twice a day. The remaining 103 patients were given a placebo. Both groups were evaluated and scored, using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and other standard measures, for improvements in their condition.

In various measures of disease--from pervasive pain to tiredness to tenderness--the female fibromyalgia patients treated with duloxetine improved significantly over those treated with a placebo. One of the most dramatic changes was in the reduction of the number of tender points--places on the body where it hurts to touch--and the increase of pressure pain threshold. Women with or without depression receiving duloxetine benefited emotionally and physically, reporting improvements in general mood, ability to function, and overall enjoyment of life.

For the study’s 23 men, however, duloxetine did little to change their condition. Although researchers reported some evidence of improvement in tender point measures among duloxetine-treated men over their placebo-treated counterparts, it was not statistically significant. "The reasons for the sex differences in response are unclear," Dr. Arnold observes. "Because the male subgroup was small, reflecting the much higher prevalence of fibromyalgia in women, the results of the study may not be generalizable to all men with fibromyalgia. There may also be sex differences in fibromyalgia that affect treatment response."

As Dr. Arnold notes, further research is needed on larger samples of not only men but also other groups with fibromyalgia to evaluate duloxetine’s effectiveness.

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>