Lyrica Helps Relieve Pain in Depressed Fibromyalgia Patients

Lyrica Helps Relieve Pain in Depressed Fibromyalgia Patients

Lyrica significantly improves pain in fibromyalgia patients who are also being treated for depression, according to a new study presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in San Diego. Lyrica, which is made by Pfizer, is the brand name for the drug pregabalin.

Lyrica 75 apteka EruditaThe National Institutes of Health estimates that about 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a poorly understood disorder characterized by deep tissue pain, fatigue, headaches, mood swings and insomnia. Between 50 and 70 percent of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from depression. About one in four have used antidepressants.

“Depression is common in patients with fibromyalgia,” said Lesley M. Arnold, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and lead investigator in the study.

“This is the first study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pregabalin for treatment of fibromyalgia pain in patients who are also taking antidepressants for depression.”

Previous studies about pregabalin have excluded patients taking antidepressants. With that in mind, researchers in this study enrolled nearly 200 fibromyalgia patients who were taking an antidepressant medication – either a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (such as Celexa or Lexapro) or a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (such as Cymbalta or Effexor). The antidepressant treatment was continued throughout the study.

The average age of the patients was about 50, they were overwhelmingly white and female, and they had suffered from depression for over 12 years on average.

During the 14-week study, patients received either pregabalin or a placebo for 6 weeks, with a two-week break in between these periods.  None of the patients knew which treatment they were receiving at any point in the study.

Pregabalin was started at a dose of 150mg per day and was increased to 300-450mg per day based on patient response.

At the beginning of the study, the average pain score amongst participants was 6.7.

The average pain score dropped to 4.84 after treatment with pregabalin and to 5.45 after treatment with placebo.

“The results of this study demonstrate that pregabalin is safe and effective in reducing fibromyalgia pain in patients who are also taking an antidepressant to treat their depression,” says Dr. Arnold.

A large majority of patients (77%) in the study reported side effects from pregabalin, most often dizziness or drowsiness.

Many other patients who have taken the drug say they experienced a sudden weight gain, blurred vision, or had trouble concentrating.

Lyrica was the first medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Lyrica is Pfizer’s top selling drug with worldwide sales in 2011 of $3.7 billion.

 

Authored by: Pat Anson, Editor

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Cate at 9:27 pm

    Lyrica seems to help some people, but it did nothing for me, except make me stupid. It did help nerve pain that ran down my leg, but the all over muscle, joint pain, it did nothing. Didn’t help my intractable insomnia, made me drowsy a bit, but didn’t knock me out. For the commenters saying that when they missed their dose all their symptoms came back, well, you felt wretched because you go into a withdrawal syndrome with Lyrica. It wasn’t your symptoms worse, you were in withdrawal from the drug. I took it for a week, couldn’t stand the constant hunger and the way it made me confused and had to go through a week of terrible headaches after I stopped it. I talked to a specialist, a pharmacologist who studies these drugs and actually challenges the drug companies, and he says it’s useless and a bad drug. He said to stay away from it.

  2. Sherry Clemens at 4:23 am

    I have been taking Lyrica for years now and I have no side effects. If my prescription runs out however I can really see just how much this drug is helping me. I can not function without it and with it I am still in tremendous pain. Darvocet was taken off the market as a pain pill even though it was the only one that really worked for pain with out feeling drugged. I wish they would bring that back.

  3. Marieta de Jongh at 12:37 am

    I started Lyrica only a month ago after my back operation for the neuropatic pain…. it helped alot and I was also started on cilift for depression and paintablets as needed….. I missed 3 LYRICA tablets and I was in agony with all the bad side effects….pain …move problems and nasua etc etc….after I took the 1st tab again all the bad effects was gone and I could sleep alot and normal….I wont go if out it soon as it also relieve my fibromyalgia agony!!…. it is just very expensive!!….regards

  4. Trudy McGee at 3:50 pm

    It is amazing that they found 200 people that could handle taking Lyrica!! They must have started with 2,000! Too bad they don’t tell you the truth on these “studies”, about how many participants they needed to screen out before they got their magic number. Even so, at least they said the 77% reported side effects from taking this awful medication, that they have doctors believing is a miracle drug! I have spoken with at least 50 people who have tried Lyrica, and not ONE PERSON could continue taking this drug, due to the horrible side effects. Even the people that it did help with the pain couldn’t continue taking Lyrica. Why can’t doctors listen to their patients more than drug companies? Don’t they realize that their purpose is merely to sell drugs, not help people??