Results from a recent randomized controlled trial conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Turin indicate that in patients with Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) duloxetine is an effective drug to reduce psychological symptoms associated with the condition, and that acetyl L-carnitine can also improve most of the symptoms associated with FMS. The study is published online in the journal Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic condition that causes pervasive musculoskeletal pain, sleep and mood disturbances, and extreme fatigue. Recent evidence strongly supports that many psychological distress features influence FMS and most patients use antidepressants to treat these associated psychological disturbances. In their study titled “A randomized controlled trial comparing duloxetine and acetyl L-carnitine in fibromyalgic patients: preliminary data,” a team of researchers from the Department of Neuroscience, University of Turin in Italy conducted a randomized, controlled trial in order to compare the effects of duloxetine and acetyl L-carnitine on depressive symptoms, pain, anxiety and well-being in patients with anxiety FMS.
A total of 65 women that were diagnosed with FMS by a rheumatologist were enrolled in the study from 2011 and 2012. The patients were randomized in two study groups. The first group received duloxetine 60 mg every day, and the second group received acetyl L-carnitine 1500 mg every day (500 mg t.i.d.) A psychiatrist examined the efficacy of the drugs and also the occurrence of adverse side events at baseline, and at four and twelve weeks follow-up.
The researchers observed that both drug agents were effective and provided an overall clinical improvement in the depressive symptoms and in pain. However, the results revealed that none of the drugs were able to improve anxiety symptoms. The results also showed that both compounds were effective in improving the physical element of quality of life, however, results showed that only duloxetine was able to improve the psychological element of quality of life in patients with FMS.
Based on the study’s results, the researchers concluded that although it is necessary to conduct other studies to validate these results, the findings strongly suggest that duloxetine is an effective drug to improve some of the psychological distress symptoms that women with FMS have. The research team also concluded that acetyl L-carnitine is an effective drug and is able to improve depressive symptoms, the quality of life and the pain associated with FMS.