FROM OUR EXPERTS
On those days when we’re having a bad flare or wondering if we’ll ever find a pain medication that helps, it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s frustrating to have an illness that is often described as “mysterious,” for which there are no FDA-approved medications, and about which some doctors still question its very existence. When all we can see is how far we have to go, it helps to gain some perspective by looking at just how far we’ve come. Ten years ago, when I told people I had fibromyalgia, their response was usually, “What’s that? I’ve never heard of it.” Now they not only say they’ve heard of it, they usually tell me about someone they know who has it. Although it may not seem like it if you’re still trying to find a good doctor, we’ve also made progress with medical professionals. Today most doctors at least know what FM is. Unfortunately a few still don’t believe in it in spite of all the research proving that it is a real physi...
Although Xyrem (sodium oxybate) failed to gain FDA approval for the treatment of fibromyalgia, it is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat the sleep problems that commonly accompany FM. Thus far, Xyrem only has FDA approval to reduce attacks of muscle weakness (cataplexy) and treat daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy.
This week the FDA reminded both healthcare professionals and patients that the combined use of Xyrem with alcohol or central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs can markedly impair consciousness and may lead to severe breathing problems (respiratory depression). The use of alcohol with Xyrem is a new contraindication added to the Xyrem label.
In addition to alcohol, medications that should be avoided when taking Xyrem include:
Sedating antidepressants or antipsychotics
The use of Xyrem along with these products or other CNS depressants increase...
This month, the media carried reports of a scientific study that challenged the notion of serotonin’s role in depression, which in turn casts doubts about the use of SSRI antidepressants to treat the illness.
The similar wording of these reports suggests that the reporters were engaging in a copy-and-paste of the same press release. Let’s go beyond the press release ...
First, the monoamine hypothesis ...
Serotonin is a monoamine class of neurotransmitter. Monoamine refers to the neurotransmitter’s chemical composition. Two other monoamines (falling into a subclass called catecholamines) include dopamine and norepinephrine.
As we know, neurotransmitters act as chemical signals between neurons. Neurons, in turn, organize into complex pathways that prompt specific thoughts and emotions and reactions. Serotonin is strongly linked to mood, and - make no mistake about this - no study is about to unseat that notion.
You should know
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