Antidepressant Targets Two Brain Chemicals

New users should be monitored closely, FDA says

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FRIDAY, Aug. 06, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Eli Lilly's Cymbalta (duloxetine), a new adult antidepressant.

Cymbalta belongs to a newer class of antidepressants that targets norepinephrine and serotonin, two brain chemicals associated with depression.

It's the first antidepressant to be approved for sale in the United States since the FDA started to investigate whether antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide, according to the Associated Press.

Cymbalta initially wasn't part of the investigation, but it gained attention in February when a college student taking part in clinical studies of the drug hanged herself at the research facility. Lilly has insisted there's no evidence that the drug was to blame.

The FDA approved Cymbalta for treatment of major depression for up to nine weeks. As with similar medications, the drug will carry a label warning doctors and caregivers that patients should be closely monitored when they start taking Cymbalta or change doses.

Cymbalta should be on pharmacy shelves later this month. Visit the drug's Web site to learn more.

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