Report: Cymbalta may provide chemotherapy relief

April 2, 2013 2:06:45 PM PDT
An antidepressant may offer new relief for those suffering painful side effects of chemotherapy.

It's something about 20 to 40 percent of cancer patients experience.

And it can cause all kinds of symptoms from tingling, numbness, a shooting or burning sensation and even sensitivity to temperature.

But in a new report, an antidepressant called duloxetine, known by the brand name Cymbalta, seems to help a significant amount of patients feel better.

Here's what doctors are telling the Journal of the American Medical Association:

"There was 41 percent of patients who did not respond but for the majority it is an effective treatment and this is great because to date there have been no studies that have demonstrated that really anything works," said Dr. Ellen Lavoie Smith, University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Those receiving duloxetine also reported an improved quality of life and better daily functioning.