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December 13, 2010

Depression drug ease pain from breast cancer treatment

Can a depression drug act effective to reduce pain from breast cancer treatment? Well as a matter of fact Yes, because Scientists 've found that a drug, commonly used to treat depression & anxiety disorder, can effectively reduce joint & muscle pain associated with a breast cancer treatment.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center studied women, who were taking aromatase inhibitors - a type of drug designed to block the production of estrogen - which fuels some breast cancers. About half of women taking these drugs experience aches & pains in their joints & muscles that cannot be adequately relieved by o'er-the-counter painkillers. Up to 20% of these women 'll stop taking an aromatase inhibitor because of this pain.

The study author N Lynn Henry says "Since women typically take these drugs for five years, it is important that the side effects not interfere too much with their quality of life, or they'll be less likely to continue taking the medicine, which may lead to a greater chance of their breast cancer returning." The study looked at the drug duloxetine, or Cymbalta, which is used to treat depression & generalised anxiety disorder. It's also been shown to work in multiple other chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia & more recently, osteoarthritis. It is believed to decrease pain through its actions in the central nervous system.

Of 29 patients evaluated, nearly three-quarters reported that their pain had decreased by at least 30%. On average, after eight weeks of treatment, pain scores declined 61%. Only one in five patients stopped taking duloxetine because of side effects. The author also presented the initial results of the study on Saturday at the 33rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
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