Fibromyalgia Medication: Pregabalin (Lyrica)
One of the latest treatments for fibromyalgia that is currently under review is pregabalin. While not currently approved in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome, preliminary studies have demonstrated that pregabalin (which is also referred to under the generic name Lyrica) may in fact be an effective medication for fibromyalgia that helps to minimize such symptoms as fibromyalgia pain. But what exactly is pregabalin and does it have the potential to become one of many fibromyalgia pain medications available?
What is Pregabalin?
Pregabalin is a medication that helps to treat individuals who experience chronic pain.
This pain medication works by reducing the activity of over-stimulated nerve cells, which control the communication of pain messages in the body.
Is Pregabalin An Effective Medication for Fibromyalgia?
Because fibromyalgia syndrome is a condition in which the nerve cells are over-active, pregabalin is thought to be effective in the treatment of this condition.
In fact, a recent study that was presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology found that pregablin reduced fibromyalgia pain. The findings were based on the study of 745 fibromyalgia patients who were treated with pregabalin for a period of 4 weeks. The patients were given dosages of 300 mg, 450 mg or 650 mg of pregabalin twice daily, or were given a placebo.
Twenty-four percent of patients receiving the 300 mg daily dosage reported a reduced level of pain, while 27% of patients receiving the 450 mg dosage reported an improvement in their fibromyalgia pain. Individuals who were administered 650 mg also experienced a reduction in their pain symptoms in comparison to those who were given a placebo. Patients who received both 450 mg and 650 mg dosages of pregabalin also reported an improvement in daily functioning and quality of life.
Furthermore, a study presented at the American College of Rheumatology found that patients on pregabalin experienced an improvement in their pain symptoms, as well as reduced levels of fatigue and improved sleep quality.
However, it is important to note that currently, there is no specific medication approved in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome. Pregabalin is to date approved only in the treatment of pain associated with such conditions as diabetes and epilepsy as well as post-herpetic neuralgia.
What Side Effects Are Associated with Pregabalin?
Pregabalin can result in such side effects as dizziness, imbalance, drowsiness and fatigue.
Less common side effects of pregablin include nausea, blurred or double vision, increased appetite, weight gain and headaches.
However, these side effects are generally mild to moderate in their severity.
Are there Any Risks Linked to Pregabalin?
There are no known serious risks associated with the use of pregabalin.