Today I received information from the Prescriber's Letter (a pharmicological newsletter) about a new medication FDA approved for Fibromyalgia. It is called Lyrica. However, results of clinical trials showed only modest efficacy in pain relief compared to placebo. In addition, this efficacy can decrease after weeks or months. Lyrica has already been used for neuropathic pain and partial onset seizures. The exact mechanism of action of Lyrica is unknown. It is proposed that the binding to the alpha-2-delta subunit of the calcium channel decreases calcium influx at nerve terminals and reduces the release of several neurotransmitters, including glutamate, norepinephrine, and substance P. Simply put, it stops the neurotransmitter release which results in pain relief.
Studies showed that only about 28% of patients experienced a 50% reduction of pain. For 25% of patients that experienced pain relief, they loss that relief after a month. Also they say that a dose of Lyrica ranges from 75mg twice daily to 225mg twice daily but the higher doses don't generally see an increase in pain relief just an increase in side effects, although a few people who took the drug at the higher doses did see a further decrease in pain. A few of the most common side are sleepiness, dizziness and "brain fog". Keep in mind this drug is new for treatment of fibromyalgia and has not been studied beyond 6 months.
I don't want to sound negative about this new drug, I am just repeating what is given in the newsletter. They recommend this drug only as a second and third line drug, to use only when other treatment fails. I hope this information helps and I truly hope if you try Lyrica, it works for you.
Published On: July 31, 2007