Pregabalin Effective in Treating Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Pregabalin Effective in Treating FM

    In the April issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism, lead researcher Dr. Leslie Crofford and her team published the results of their study of pregabalin as a treatment for fibromyalgia.

    “Pregabalin works by inhibiting the excitability of neurons, and we believe that pain transmitting neurons are activated in FMS patients,” explains Crofford. “It also blocks the release of pain transmitting substances. We thought it was quite likely to work, but the hard part was convincing the company that a large study could be done in FMS patients.”

    In the end, the researchers were able to set up a multi-center, double-blind, randomized clinical trial testing the effects of placebo with 150-, 300-, and 450-mg daily doses of pregabalin on pain, sleep, fatigue, and quality of life in more than 500 FM patients.

    They discovered that the 450-mg dose significantly reduced the average severity of pain and improved health-related quality of life. Doses of 450- and 300-mg significantly improved sleep quality and fatigue.

    “I was not surprised that the medication worked well in FMS patients,” says Crofford. “Pregabalin is known to relieve pain, improve sleep, and reduce anxiety in animals. In addition, we knew that pregabalin was effective in patients with neuropathic pain, such as post-herpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy.”

    The most frequent adverse effects were dizziness and drowsiness. She notes that doses higher than 450-mg are being tested now, and that researchers will have to balance out pain relief benefits with the side effects.

    “Since pregabalin has a completely different mechanism from most commonly used drugs for FMS, we believe that this work will expand options for our patients,” she says. “It is now quite clear from this and other studies that FMS can be treated effectively and that this group of patients, in whom current treatments are often inadequate, should be actively studied with an eye toward developing this and other new treatments.”

    It is anticipated that pregabalin will be in pharmacies in September, approved for treatment of neuropathic pain, but studies are ongoing. Patient participation is needed to ultimately gain FDA approval of pregabalin for FM.
  2. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    I'm glad there is off-label laws. Maybe some MD's will try it on some of us.

    This is such a hopeful post. Maybe something is finally coming that will help us...just think of all the people before our time who suffered with this and had no help or resources to deal with the pain. Many probably just gave up and died. I can see that.

    This has been a real pick-up for me today. My arms are killing me as is my back. Thank you!

  3. laura81655

    laura81655 New Member

    I believe Pregablin is an anti-seizure drug. I'm wondering if it is working better than Neurontin, Topomax?
    Anyone in a study for this med?
    Thanks for posting. My feet, ankles would really love some help.
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It appears that Lyrica is a new and improved version of Neurontin. Pfizer has been trying to increase profits from their old drug, Neurontin. They have been in trouble for allegedly making claims for it in illnesses for which it was not tested and allegedly used unethical practices to get docs to prescribe it for off-label use.

    My guess is that they are doing studies on the new version of Neurontin so as not to get in trouble again and renew their cash flow from their old drug. That is not to say that this version won't be beneficial for those with FMS. I hope it is.

    Love, Mikie

    Developed by Pfizer, pregabalin, marketed under the brand name Lyrica, is a 3-substituted analogue of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) and a compound related to Pfizer's hugely successful antiepileptic drug gabapentin (Neurontin).

    In July 2004, Pfizer secured Europe-wide approval for Lyrica (pregabalin) for use in the management of peripheral neuropathic pain as well as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial epileptic seizures. Subsequently in December 2004 the company gained FDA approval for use of Lyrica (pregabalin) in neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia; making it the first FDA-approved treatment for both of these neuropathic pain states. Lyrica (pregabalin) is also being reviewed by the FDA as an adjunctive treatment for partial epileptic seizures in adults.

    First marketed in 1983, gabapentin (Neurontin) has been one of Pfizer's top performing drugs. Lyrica (pregabalin) is seen as an important successor now that gabapentin is facing the threat of generic competition.

    Both drugs share a similar mechanism of action: binding to calcium channels and modulating calcium influx as well as influencing GABergic neurotransmission. This mode of action translates into anti-epileptic, analgesic and anxiolytic effects. Because it is more potent than gabapentin, Lyrica (pregabalin) achieves efficacy at lower doses. This increases its therapeutic index with respect to gabapentin and should lead to fewer dose-related side effects. Clinical studies with Lyrica (pregabalin) have been carried out on over 10,000 patients worldwide

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