Cymbalta is indicated for the management of fibromyalgia (FM).
Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety. Fibromyalgia can develop on its own or along with other musculoskeletal conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
According to Eli Lilly, the drug's manufacturer, the recommended dose for Cymbalta is 60 mg administered once daily. Treatment should begin at 30 mg once daily for 1 week, to allow patients to adjust to the medication before increasing to 60 mg once daily. Some patients may respond to the starting dose. There is no evidence that doses greater than 60 mg/day confer additional benefit, even in patients who do not respond to a 60 mg dose, and higher doses are associated with a higher rate of adverse reactions.
Fibromyalgia is recognized as a chronic condition. The efficacy of Cymbalta in the management of fibromyalgia has been demonstrated in placebo-controlled studies up to 3 months. The efficacy of Cymbalta was not demonstrated in longer studies; however, continued treatment should be based on individual patient response.
Eli Lilly fails to mention "withdrawal" as a symptom of discontinuing Cymbalta. Withdrawal symptoms are defined as abnormal physical or psychological features that follow the abrupt discontinuation of a drug that has the capability of producing physical dependence. Withdrawal is a term referring to the feelings of discomfort, distress, and intense craving for a substance that occur when use of the substance is stopped. These physical symptoms occur because the body had become metabolically adapted to the substance. The withdrawal symptoms can range from mild discomfort resembling the flu to severe withdrawal that can actually be life threatening.
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