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Newer treatments for fibromyalgia syndrome

Authors Richard E Harris, Daniel J Clauw

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:4(6) Pages 1331—1342


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Richard E Harris, Daniel J Clauw

Department of Anesthesiology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Abstract: Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common chronic pain disorder of unknown etiology. The lack of understanding of the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia has made this condition frustrating for patients and clinicians alike. The most common symptoms of this disorder are chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, difficulty with memory, and morning stiffness. Emerging evidence points towards augmented pain processing within the central nervous system (CNS) as having a primary role in the pathophysiology of this disorder. Currently the two drugs that are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of fibromyalgia are pregabalin and duloxetine. Newer data suggests that milnacipran, a dual norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitor, may be promising for the treatment of fibromyalgia. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of milnacipran in 125 fibromyalgia patients showed significant improvements relative to placebo. Milnacipran given either once or twice daily at doses up to 200 mg/day was generally well tolerated and yielded significant improvements relative to placebo on measures of pain, patient’s global impression of change in their disease state, physical function, and fatigue. Future studies are needed to validate the efficacy of milnacipran in fibromyalgia.

Keywords: fibromyalgia, pain, pharmacological, treatment

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