- In a Chinese randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate pain relief in patients with osteoarthritis (OA), the depression medication duloxetine (Cymbalta), a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, provided better pain relief than placebo.
Why this matters
- More treatment options for OA pain are needed.
- A 13-wk randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded, multicenter trial to evaluate safety and effectiveness of duloxetine 60 mg for chronic OA pain.
- Knee or hip OA was diagnosed with American College of Rheumatology clinical and radiographic criteria.
- Primary outcome was pain severity by Brief Pain Inventory 24-h Average Pain score.
- At baseline, there were 205 patients in the treatment group and 202 in placebo group.
- Funding: Eli Lilly and Company.
- The treatment group reported less pain; the least-squares mean change from baseline to endpoint was −2.23 for duloxetine and −1.73 for placebo (P=.001).
- Adverse events resulted in 9.0% discontinuing duloxetine treatment, compared with 4.5% discontinuation in the control group (P=.109).
- Short study duration.