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Cymbalta (duloxetine HCl)

Approved: August 4, 2004
Company: Eli Lilly
Treatment for: Depression

Quick Info About Cymbalta
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Cymbalta (duloxetine HCl; pronounced SIM-BALL-TA), judging it a safe and effective treatment for major depressive disorder. Cymbalta, a balanced and potent reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine, has been studied in more than 6,000 adults with major depression worldwide. Its approval gives healthcare professionals and patients a long-awaited new option for treating the broad range of emotional and physical symptoms of depression.

More Information
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the highly anticipated drug is both safe and effective in treating major depression.Some analysts believe dual-action drugs like Cymbalta and Effexor will increasingly take market share from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, such as Prozac. Eli Lily has also said that a big advantage of Cymbalta is that it appears able to treat some of the physical pain associated with depression, such as backache and neck pain.

Lilly will start shipping Cymbalta capsules soon to wholesalers and expects the drug to be in 80 percent of the nation's pharmacies by the end of the month. Cymbalta will have an average wholesale price of $2.85 for the recommended daily dose of one 60 mg capsule, a price that's comparable to leading antidepressants, said Lilly President Sidney Taurel.

Like Prozac, Cymbalta comes out of Lilly's neuroscience research labs in Indianapolis. One of Prozac's three discoverers, David Wong, also played a key early role in developing Cymbalta, said Dr. John R. Hayes, a former product team leader for Cymbalta. Cymbalta, whose scientific name is duloxetine, was nearly shelved in the 1980s after early tests showed it wasn't much more effective than a placebo, or sugar pill. Only after upping the dose was the drug's effectiveness clear, said Dr. John R. Hayes, a former product team leader for Cymbalta.

Two years ago, Cymbalta was named the most promising new drug of this decade by Decision Resources, a Massachusetts drug research firm. Eli Lilly has also said that Cymbalta has few side effects. They include nausea, which apparently affects about 20 percent of users, usually in the first week or two of use.

For more information, please visit the official Cymbalta website.
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