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Antidepressant Duloxetine for Treatment of Back Pain – Not!

The FDA has approved duloxetine hydrochloride (Cymbalta, manufactured by Eli Lilly) an antidepressant, to treat chronic back pain and osteoarthritis pain. The FDA granted the new indication based on results of four double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trails in which patients randomized to duloxetine reported a greater reduction compared with the placebo group. 

In addition to its use for treatment of depression, duloxetine is approved for treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, generalized anxiety disorder, and fibromyalgia.

Are you ready for this?: The most common side effects reported in the back pain and osteoarthritis trials were nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, drowsiness, constipation, fatigue, and dizziness. Other serious side effects, which occurred in less than 1% of patients, included liver damage, allergic reactions such as hives, rashes and/or swelling of the face, pneumonia, depressed mood, suicide, and suicidal thoughts and behavior. I have patients who come in with insomnia, drowsiness, constipation, fatigue, and dizziness as there chief complaints – who needs additional side effects.

Here’s my thoughts – try the anti-inflammatory diet, UltraInflamX 360, and fish oils for 12 weeks and feel the improvement without the side effects.

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