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Medication duloxetine helps reduce pain from chemotherapy
Date:4/2/2013

The initial treatment consisted of taking 1 capsule daily of either 30 mg of duloxetine or placebo for the first week and 2 capsules of either 30 mg of duloxetine or placebo daily for 4 additional weeks.

The researchers found that at the end of the initial treatment period, patients in the duloxetine-first group reported a larger decrease in average pain (average change score, 1.06) than those in the placebo-first group (average change score 0.34). The observed average difference in the average pain score between the duloxetine-first and placebo-first groups was 0.73. Of the patients treated with duloxetine first, 59 percent reported any decrease in pain vs. 38 percent of patients treated with placebo first. Thirty percent of duloxetine-treated patients reported no change in pain and 10 percent reported increased pain.

The authors note that the results suggested that patients who received platinums (oxaliplatin) may have experienced more benefit from duloxetine than those who received taxanes.

Pain-related quality-of-life improved to a greater degree for those treated with duloxetine during the initial treatment than for those treated with placebo.

"In conclusion, 5 weeks of duloxetine treatment was associated with a statistically and clinically significant improvement in pain compared with placebo. Exploratory analyses raise the possibility that duloxetine may work better for oxaliplatin-induced rather than taxane-induced painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy," the researchers write.


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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
The JAMA Network Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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