The treatment of fibromyalgia has been very disappointing. The disorder is difficult to diagnose, commonly under treated and even less appreciated among health care professionals.
Despite decades of research, the pathology is not well understood and treatment is empirical. Most individuals go through a trial-and-error process until they finally discover something that works. Unfortunately, what may work in one individual generally fails to work in others.
Recently the drug Pregabalin (Lyrica) was studied to determine its effectiveness in patients with fibromyalgia. Pregabalin is an anti-seizure drug and frequently used to treat various types of pain disorders. Lyrica has also been found effective for generalized anxiety disorder. Pregabalin is marketed by Pfizer under the trade name Lyrica.
In the early 2000s, many anecdotal reports started to appear that Lyrica might be effective for the treatment of chronic pain in disorders such as fibromyalgia and spinal cord injury. Two years ago, pregabalin became the first medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
One of the reasons why Pregabalin is widely prescribed is because it has very low potential for abuse, and has limited dependence liability if misused. It is classified as a Schedule V drug.
To determine whether Lyrica is effective in fibromyalgia, the drug was administered to 748 patients and compared to placebo (sugar pill). Pregabalin at doses of 300 mg/day, 450 mg/day or 600 mg/twice a day was studied for 13 weeks. Besides evaluating its efficacy, side effects, and safety profile of pregabalin was also assessed.