As we age, things begin to wear and combinations of ailments become more common. It's not unusual to find depressed patients with chronic pain, arthritis and back problems. Today, the FDA approved Cymbalta (duloxetine) to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain, including discomfort from osteoarthritis and chronic lower back pain.
This is potentially important, because it is pharmacologically elegant. What does this mean? It may mean that some patients with multiple medical challenges can treat several painful issues AND their depression with a single pill. Since we already know that taking pills (adherence) becomes more difficult and expensive as the pill burden increases, the cost of one pill may work to treat what could have required several pills.
While there are benefit to risk decisions with any medicine, it looks like Cymbalta may now help the suffering from depression and added painful conditions with a single daily dose.