(HealthDay News) — Duloxetine is effective in reducing pain in patients with painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, according to a study published online April 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Noting that duloxetine is an effective treatment for painful diabetic neuropathy, Ellen M. Lavoie Smith, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues randomly assigned 231 adult cancer patients with painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy to either duloxetine followed by placebo or placebo followed by duloxetine for a total of five weeks each.
The researchers found that the mean decrease in average pain scores was significantly higher for patients who received duloxetine as their initial treatment. Pain decreased at some level among 38 percent of patients who initially received placebo compared with 59 percent of patients who initially received duloxetine.
“Among patients with painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, the use of duloxetine compared with placebo for five weeks resulted in a greater reduction in pain,” the authors write.
The drug and placebo were supplied by Eli Lilly. One author reported pending institutional grants from Genentech.