Latest by Karen Lee Richards

Unusual "Prescriptions:" Strange Advice from Health Professionals

All month I’ve been writing on serious subjects, so I thought it might be fun to end the month on a somewhat lighter note. Over the years, I’ve heard all kinds of unusual advice that health care professionals have given to patients. Some of the advic...

What Happened to the National Fibromyalgia Association?

Over the past several months, I’ve received questions from a number of you asking what happened to the NFA, why their phones seemed to be disconnected, and what was going to happen with your magazine subscriptions. I’ve been trying to get answers for ...

Positive Expectations Boost Pain-Relieving Effects of Opioids

When your doctor prescribes a new pain medication for you, do you expect it to relieve your pain? Or are you skeptical, thinking it’s probably not going to help much? According to a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, your ...

Flu Shots: Should You Get One if You Have Fibromyalgia?

Every year as flu season nears, fibromyalgia and ME/CFS patients wrestle with the question of whether or not to get a flu shot. Unfortunately, there is not a simple one-size-fits-all answer. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that every...

Some Fibromyalgia Patients Experience Reverse-Placebo Effects

We’ve all heard of the placebo effect - when a patient so strongly believes a new treatment will work that they experience improvement even though the treatment may not be real. Did you know that there is also a nocebo effect? It’s the opposite of a ...

New York Medicaid Changes Restrict Access to Fibromyalgia and Other Medications

I just received a news release indicating that if you live in the state of New York and are on Medicaid, access to your medications may be restricted in less than a week. As a part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign plan, prescription benef...

My Search for a Fibromyalgia-Friendly Bra

This isn’t a subject I would normally discuss in a public forum, yet here I am talking about bras for the second time in six weeks. Last month when I wrote Dressing With Fibromyalgia: Do Your Clothes Cause You Pain? several of you commented that, lik...

FDA Announces Medtronic Pain Pump Recall

On Monday, the FDA announced that Medtronic has issued a Class I recall of their SynchroMed II Implantable Infusion Pump, models 8637-20 and 8637-40, distributed between May 2004 and July 8, 2011. These are the same pumps for which an alert was issue...

Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Promising Fibromyalgia Treatment Possibility

A pilot study published online this month in the journal Pain Medicine evaluated the safety and effectiveness of vagus nerve stimulation for patients with treatment-resistant fibromyalgia. The vagus nerve is actually a pair of nerves, also known as t...

Extended-Release Hydrocodone on the Horizon

Last week Zogenix, Inc., a pharmaceutical company that develops products for treating central nervous system disorders and pain, announced positive results from its pivotal Phase 3 efficacy study of Zohydro (hydrocodone bitartrate) extended-release c...