Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New treatment for fibromyalgia


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:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>