Prescribed medications are a key component of most fibromyalgia treatment plans. Since there are currently only three FDA approved medications for fibromyalgia , many medications are prescribed off-label. That means the drug is prescribed for a use other than that for which it is approved. Since numerous studies have been published showing that various medications can be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, physicians are able to prescribe those medications off-label. Keep in mind that no single medication works for every fibromyalgia patient. Also, FM patients are often more sensitive to medications than the average person, so great care and consideration should be taken when prescribing drugs for fibromyalgia. Sometimes it’s necessary to start with lower doses to prevent adverse reactions. Since it’s frequently a matter of trial and error, it’s important for the patient and the doctor to work together to find the bes...
A new study published in the October 2012 issue of Pain Medicine investigated the burden of illness and treatment patterns in 1,700 patients with fibromyalgia from July 2008 through May 2010 in 58 care settings in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Despite the fact that only three drugs have received FDA approval for the treatment of FM ( Lyrica , Cymbalta and Savella ), investigators discovered that the patients in the study were taking 182 different prescription medications and using 17 nonpharmacologic treatments.
The top 11 drugs or drug classes being prescribed included:
Cymbalta (duloxetine) – 26.8%
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – 26.6%
Lyrica (pregabalin) – 24.5%
Opioids – 24.2%
Ultram (tramadol) – 15.3%
Benzodiazepines – 15.2%
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – 13.1%
Flexaril (cyclobenzaprine) – 12.9%
Nonbenzodiazepine sedative/hypnotics – 12.9%
Neurontin (gabapentin) &nd...
According to study results presented Monday, May 1 at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting, a significant number of fibromyalgia patients treated with Pfizer’s Lyrica (generic name pregabalin) experienced a 50 percent or more reduction in pain. They also reported significant improvements in overall health status and outcomes, including measures such as physical function and ability to perform everyday tasks. The 14-week placebo-controlled study included 745 patients with fibromyalgia who were randomized into four groups. One group received a placebo while the other three groups received 300mg, 450mg, or 600mg of Lyrica daily. Of those patients taking 600mg of Lyrica a day, 30 percent said their pain was cut in half or better; 27 percent of those taking 450mg a day and 24 percent of those taking 300mg also reported a similar level of pain relief. Of those taking the placebo, 15 percent reported pain reduction of 50 percent or better.&nb...
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