U-M-tested Drug Relieves Pain of Fibromyalgia
Photo: Gregory Fox
Pregabalin, a drug developed by Pfizer, Inc., and tested at the University
of Michigan, could help reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia, according
to study data presented in October 2002 by U-M researcher Leslie Crofford, M.D.,
at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.
“Fibromyalgia syndrome is highly debilitating for patients and difficult
to treat,” says Crofford, the study’s lead investigator and an associate
professor of internal medicine-rheumatology in the U-M Medical School. “This
study is encouraging, because pregabalin was shown to provide significant relief
from the symptoms most troublesome to patients.”
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal
pain. It also is frequently associated with fatigue and sleep disturbances.
The syndrome is estimated to affect 2 percent of the population, or 5.6 million
Americans, and occurs most often in women.
The U-M study included 529 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Patients received
either a placebo or pregabalin at doses of 150, 300 or 450 milligrams for eight
weeks. Patients kept records of their pain levels in detailed daily diaries.
Pregabalin-treated patients who received 450 mg/day doses showed statistically
significant improvements in pain compared to those who received the placebo.
Twenty-nine percent of pregabalin-treated patients reported at least a 50 percent
reduction in pain, compared with 13 percent of patients who received the placebo.
In addition, pregabalin significantly improved sleep quality and lessened fatigue.
Read the complete story
General information on fibromyalgia syndrome
U-M fibryomyalgia research