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Fighting Back against Fibromyalgia

Photo of Leslie CroffordUniversity of Kentucky physician Leslie Crofford, a professor of rheumatology in the College of Medicine, has recently published results from a study of a drug that reduces the pain of fibromyalgia and improves sleep. The article appeared last spring in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and sleep problems. It’s hard to treat, and most patients continue to have persistent symptoms even after pain management interventions. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown.

“Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition affecting as many as six million Americans, yet there is no approved treatment that relieves its core symptoms,” says Crofford, the Gloria W. Singletary Chair and director of the Center for the Advancement of Women’s Health. “This is the first study suggesting that the drug Lyrica may be effective in reducing the pain of fibromyalgia and improve some of its other symptoms such as sleep problems and fatigue.”

The benefit with Lyrica was demonstrated as early as the first week of treatment. Overall, a significantly greater number of patients receiving Lyrica (450 mg per day) rather than a placebo experienced a reduction of pain, significant improvement in the quality of sleep and reduced fatigue. The eight-week trial included 529 patients with fibromyalgia.

In Brief section as pdf (6 pages)