New drug for pain for fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by EllenComstock, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Hi, Everyone:

    I have a good friend in Texas who sent me an article from the Houston Chronicle. She thought I would be interested. Am going to type out part of the article (can't type for a long time these days) as I think others are interested in keeping up with the latest research on fibromyalgia:

    "A new drug may be able to thwart the nerve signals that scientists now believe trigger the pain in fibromyalgia. This is a real breakthrough, not only because it works, but it proves fibro can be treated, said Dr. Leslie Crofford, a rheumatologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who has studied the new drug, pregabalin.

    The syndrome, which affects an estimated 5.6 million Americans, mostly women, is characterized by pervasive muscle aches and pain so intense that many people are unable to work or perform the simplest tasks. Because the syndrome can't be diagnosed with conventional laboratory tests, such as blood tests or CAT scans, and is resistant to treatment, some physicians have thought sufferers were hypochondriacs or simply depressed.

    Patients got a bad rap because doctors felt they didn't want to get better, said Crofford, and that there was nothing that could make them get better.

    The underlying cause of this condition is unknown. But newer, more precise imaging tools can now map out the nerve pathways in the brain that are responsible for pain. This has given scientists some insights into why fibromyalgia sufferers are so exquisitely sensitive.

    Pregabalin reduces the release of specific brain chemicals, such as flutamate and noradrenaline, that may cause pain, said Terry Griesling, a neurology researcher with Pfizer, Inc., the company that makes pregabalin. This is our best understanding of what is happening, she said.

    Early studies of the drug demonstrated that it was effective in controlling pain due to nerve damage, such as that suffered by people with shingles and by diabetics with hand and foot pain. Because scientists suspect fibromyalgia is caused by a similar mechanism, the decision was made to test it for fibromyalgia.

    In a recent eight-week study of pregabalin in 529 fibromyalgia patients, 29 percent of the pregabalin-treated volunteers reported at least a 50 percent reduction in pain, and their sleep quality and fatigue levels significantly improved. Patients who took the highest doses of the drug had the best responses.

    Pregabalin has already completed tests as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, nerve pain and epilepsy. Pfizer hopes to file for approval from the Food and Drug Administration for those uses within 12 months, according to a spokesman. The drug could be on the market as early as 2004. Once it's approved, doctors can also prescribe it for other conditions, such as fibromyalia."

    Sorry this is so long-tried to condense it without taking out any valuable info. It sounds like this won't help everyone, but even helping some people would be wonderful. Thought everyone could use some encouraging info-even though it's not a cure, just easing the pain would be great.

  2. LynneH

    LynneH New Member

    If everyone goes to the Home page of this site, there's an article on this very subject! I think the home page is important...they are always updating it with the latest information coming out.