Eli Lilly & Co. said its Cymbalta antidepressant has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain.


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Lilly's Cymbalta OK'd to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain

November 5th, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS – Eli Lilly & Co. said its Cymbalta antidepressant has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Lilly reported Thursday that the new Cymbalta (duloxetine HCl) indication, the fifth cleared by the FDA, has been established in studies in patients with chronic low back pain and chronic pain due to osteoarthritis. The non-narcotic pain reliever is meant to be taken once daily by people with those pain conditions.

"It's important that people with chronic musculoskeletal pain have different treatments available to them because responses to medications can be highly individualized," commented Robert Baker, M.D., global development leader for psychiatry and pain disorders at Lilly. "This is why we are happy to be able to provide doctors and patients with a new option."

Although the exact way Cymbalta works to reduce chronic musculoskeletal pain is unknown, it's believed that the drug helps lessen pain by enhancing the body's natural pain suppressing system by increasing the activity of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain and spinal cord, according to Lilly.

"People with chronic musculoskeletal pain often struggle to find a medication that works for them. The approval of Cymbalta for chronic musculoskeletal pain by the FDA gives doctors another option to help an underserved and suffering group of patients," stated Michael Clark, M.D., director of the Chronic Pain Treatment Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 27 U.S. million adults, and 70% to 85% of adults experience low back pain at some time, with some reports estimating that 2% to 10% of these people eventually experience chronic low back pain.

Lilly said Cymbalta is approved in the United States for the treatment of major depressive disorder, the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

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