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Dr-A-Greene
Dr-A-Greene, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Why do Pristiq and Cymbalta get rid of the pain syndrome and

Resolved Question:

Why do Pristiq and Cymbalta get rid of the pain syndrome and muscle stiffness I have had since I was 35? I am now 65. Me and my mother have both had this for decades. These medicines were discovered by me in 2006 out of desperation during a severe traumatic event in my life. What is wrong with my brain that these medicines work on? We always called this pain syndrome fibromyalgia.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.

There is no generic for Cymbalta yet (Duloxetine), which is manufactured by Eli Lilly. Although sometimes the manufacturer has discounts and programs for people that can't afford the medication - you might want to check in to that. As soon as the patent expires, you will be able to find generics, although I'm not sure when that will be. As for why it works for your symptoms, there are several theories:

1) it is thought that Cymbalta (and drugs like it) affect nociceptors (nerve endings found in the skin throughout the body that detect pain). It is theorized that Cymbalta stops these receptors from sending messages to each other, thus dampening the pain signals.

2) chronic pain and depression go hand in hand. Even low level depression/anxiety can highten a person's experience of pain. Thus, an anti-depressant (which Cymbalta is) can help with mood, which in turn helps with the person's subjective experience of pain.

I hope this helps - if you have any more questions, please ask.

Thanks!

Dr. G.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I have never really considered myself badly depressed overall, but I know at the age of sixteen and on through high school I did have mood problems off and on. Socially, I have always enjoyed the company of others and have a great sense of humor, but I have never wanted to go out and seek the company of others. I have always done it out of obligation, but I never avoided it. I always worked and did well interacting with co-workers and aquaintances and friends. I also could be grumpy if pushed too far for casual chit-chat by my husband but not by friends and others. I did not have a lot of mental stamina. Tired all the time and short of tollerance would describe me, especially the last twenty years. The soreness of my muscles and the tiredness kept me inactive. I did not want to move. If that was depression, I had it, but that was never what I considered depression. I was tired and sore but functional and even successful. It wasn't until I took the Effexor and other meds that I realized what potential I really had. I knew it was in me all through the years, but I couldn't pull it out to my satisfaction. On the meds I am feeling fabulous. I began to be much more active and enthused and my smarts came flowing out especially verbally with ease in finding the descriptive words I needed to say what I needed to say. I have great body strength which I could not use with all the pain. I am very happy most of the time now. Something else unusual that has happened is that as long as I am taking this medication, I lose my acid reflux, my rhynitis (sp), and most importantly the swelling in my legs and feet are always down superbly in the mornings. This medicine truly has been a miracle for me. So, perhaps I have always been depressed since my early teens, but only feeling that tiredness and extreeme muscle soreness were my problems. Will I need to be on the medicine the rest of my life? I don't feel I can accept anything less. Thanks so much for your help. Phyllis
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.

No problem Phyllis! The advances in medicine, especially in the SNRI category (Cymbalta, Effexor, etc) is absolutely amazing. What's interesting about Cymbalta and some others is that they also have antihistamine effects (less allergies) and they reduce the tingling and numbness some people experience in their extremities - both of which you described. Thus, it sounds like these really are miracle drugs for you! You know, I don't think there's anything wrong with being on these types of medications for as long as you want to if they help you to have a better quality of life. For instance, I would never advise someone to stop taking cholesterol medications or asthma treatments as they enhance the quality of the lives of those who take them. It's possible to live with both conditions unmedicated, but why? Chronic pain, fatigue, and (possibly) depression are exactly the same in my mind. When they go untreated, the patient feels worse and in the end those are the types of things that shorten our longevity and our happiness. Good for you for finding something that works and sticking with it. Those are the qualities of a person who wants to get the most out of life - not settle for what they feel they have to live with. You are an inspiration.

Take good care,

Dr. G.

Dr-A-Greene, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience: Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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