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Adrienne Dellwo

Which Drugs Work Best for Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

By April 30, 2010

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Research Brief

A new study compared the safety and effectiveness of the three FDA-approved fibromyalgia drugs -- Cymbalta (duloxetine), Savella (milnacipran) and Lyrica (pregabalin).

Researchers compared side effects as well as effects on pain, sleep disturbance, depression, and fatigue.

Symptom Management

  • Pain: Cymbalta and Lyrica were superior to Savella
  • Sleep Disturbance: Cymbalta and Lyrica were superior to placebo; Savella was not superior to placebo
  • Depression: Cymbalta was the best against depression; Lyrica was not superior to placebo
  • Fatigue: Lyrica and Savella fared better than placebo; Cymbalta was not superior to placebo
  • Short-term efficacy: All 3 drugs have evidence of short-term efficacy, meaning up to 6 months

Side Effects

Researchers compared the risk of the most common side effects of these drugs.

  • Headache and nausea: Lyrica had the lowest risk
  • Diarrhea: Cymbalta had the greatest risk

For more information on these drugs, including side effects and how they work, see:

Learn more or join the conversation!


Photo © Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images

April 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm
(1) Jen says:

I have taken cymbalta and it did not change how I felt at all. In fact it drove my blood pressure dangerously high, which is a known side effect. I was then switched to another ssri and I saw little difference betweent them. It took about 3 weeks for my blood pressure to return to the low-end of normal where it usually is.

March 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm
(2) rosemary harwood says:

I have, at great expense, taken Cymbalta for Depression. It has not only had NO, I mean NO, effect on my depression or my very serious fibromyalgia, so as of last week, my doctor has halved the amount to wean me off it.

August 14, 2012 at 3:58 am
(3) Amanda says:

Ive been taking Cymbalta for a few yrs now for severe depression and fibromyalgia. Even thought I still deal with chronic pain and depression on a daily basis I know theres improvement due to Cymbalta. Ive tried to wean myself off before because I hate having to take all the meds I have to take. I noticed an increase in my pain, fatigue and my depression without it. I know everyone has different results with every drug but Im fortunate to be on Cymbalta.

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