Latest by Karen Lee Richards

8 Dos and Don'ts for Opioid Safety

These tips will help protect the person for whom the medication is prescribed, but it will also go a long way in helping to prevent prescription drug abuse.

Are You an Artist in Pain?

The PAIN Exhibit is seeking art about chronic pain.** PAIN Exhibit, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is "to educate healthcare providers and the public about chronic pain through art and to give a voice to the many who suffer in s...

Study Shows Alcohol May Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Based on previous studies reporting the positive effects of alcohol on chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers at the Mayo Clinic decided to examine the association between alcohol consumption and symptom severity and quality of life (QOL) ...

Does the Movie "Identity Thief" Make Fun of Fibromyalgia?

It was recently brought to my attention that fibromyalgia plays a role in the movie Identity Thief starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. The question is - does the movie ridicule the diagnosis and demean people who have it or is it used approp...

Finally! A Diagnostic Blood Test for Fibromyalgia

Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure I would ever have the opportunity to write about an actual laboratory test for fibromyalgia in my lifetime. But before I organize a parade to celebrate, I have a few questions that are as yet unanswered. The test–called t...

Are Cymbalta and Savella Helpful or Harmful for Fibromyalgia?

Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Savella (milnacipran) were the second and third medications to receive FDA approval for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Both are serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). According to a new review published in ...

Low-Dose Naltrexone Continues to Test Well for Fibromyalgia

In April 2009 I told you about a pilot study in which low-dose naltrexone (LDN) showed great promise as a fibromyalgia treatment. Then in March 2012, I reported on a slightly larger low-dose naltrexone study that had even better results for patients ...

Early Menopause Associated with Greater Fibromyalgia Pain and Sensitivity

A study published in the February 2013 Clinical Rheumatology journal examined whether an estrogen deficit caused by early-onset menopause contributes to pain sensitivity in fibromyalgia. Study Design and Results In this study, pain sensitivity was as...

FDA Panel Recommends More Restrictions on Hydrocodone

The all-out effort to make all opioid pain-relieving medications more difficult to get continues. Last week an FDA panel voted 19 to 10 to reclassify medications that contain hydrocodone - like Vicodin and Lortab - from Schedule III drugs to Schedule ...

MSG May Make Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse

A study published in the November-December 2012 issue of Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology found that monosodium glutamate (MSG) contributed to worsening symptoms in some fibromyalgia patients. MSG is a flavor enhancer used in many of the packag...