ACR: Pregabalin May Help Fibromyalgia Patients

Seizure drug safe, effective in fibromyalgia patients

FRIDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Pregabalin may offer extended pain relief for fibromyalgia patients, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Washington, D.C.

Leslie J. Crofford, M.D., of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and colleagues conducted an initial six-week study of 1,051 patients taking 300, 450 or 600 mg of pregabalin daily. By six weeks, 663 patients showed a 50 percent or greater reduction in pain and were "much" or "very much improved."

Of these patients, 566 were randomized to receive pregabalin or placebo in a 26-week double-blind study. One-fourth of participants who received placebo reported a worsening of symptoms by day 7 compared to day 34 among those taking pregabalin. By the end of the six months, 61 percent of patients in the placebo group had stopped responding compared to 32 percent of patients in the pregabalin group. Side effects included dizziness, somnolence, sinusitis, joint pain and anxiety.

"Pregabalin demonstrated durability of pain relief associated with fibromyalgia syndrome by significantly delaying time to loss of therapeutic response versus placebo," the researchers conclude.


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