Friday, 11 January 2013

Analysis of Amitriptyline's Effectiveness for Fibromyalgia and Neuropathic Pain

Amitriptyline for neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia in adults.

– Source: “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews”, December 12, 2012

By R.A. Moore, et al.


Background: Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is widely used to treat chronic neuropathic pain (pain due to nerve damage) and fibromyalgia, and is recommended in many guidelines. These types of pain can be treated with antidepressant drugs in doses below those at which the drugs act as antidepressants.

Objectives: To assess the analgesic efficacy of amitriptyline for chronic neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.To assess the adverse events associated with the clinical use of amitriptyline for chronic neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.

Search Methods: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and EMBASE to September 2012, together with reference lists of retrieved papers, previous systematic reviews, and other reviews; we also used our own handsearched database for older studies.

Selection Criteria: We included randomised, double-blind studies of at least four weeks' duration comparing amitriptyline with placebo or another active treatment in chronic neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia.

Data Collection and Analysis: We extracted efficacy and adverse event data, and two study authors examined issues of study quality independently. We performed analysis using two tiers of evidence.
  • The first tier used data meeting current best standards, where studies reported the outcome of at least 50% pain intensity reduction over baseline (or its equivalent), without the use of last observation carried forward (LOCF) or other imputation method for dropouts, reported an intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis, lasted 8 to 12 weeks or longer, had a parallel-group design, and where there were at least 200 participants in the comparison.
  • The second tier used data that failed to meet this standard and were therefore subject to potential bias.
Main Results: Twenty-one studies (1437 participants) were included; they individually involved between 15 and 235 participants, only four involved over 100 participants, and the median study size was 44 participants. The median duration was six weeks. Ten studies had a cross-over design. Doses of amitriptyline were generally between 25 mg and 125 mg, and dose escalation was common.
  • There was no top-tier evidence for amitriptyline in treating neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia.
  • Second-tier evidence indicated no evidence of effect in cancer-related neuropathic pain or HIV-related neuropathic pain, but some evidence of effect in painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), mixed neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia.
  • Combining the classic neuropathic pain conditions of PDN, postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and post-stroke pain with fibromyalgia for second-tier evidence, in eight studies and 687 participants, there was a statistically significant benefit (risk ratio (RR) 2.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8 to 3.1) with a number needed to treat (NNT) of 4.6 (3.6 to 6.6). The analysis showed that even using this potentially biased data, only about 38% of participants benefited with amitriptyline and 16% with placebo; most participants did not get adequate pain relief.
  • Potential benefits of amitriptyline were supported by a lower rate of lack of efficacy withdrawals; 8/153 (5%) withdrew because of lack of efficacy with amitriptyline and 14/119 (12%) with placebo.
  • More participants experienced at least one adverse event; 64% of participants taking amitriptyline and 40% taking placebo.
  • The RR was 1.5 (95% CI 1.4 to 1.7) and the number needed to treat to harm was 4.1 (95% CI 3.2 to 5.7).
  • Adverse event and all-cause withdrawals were not different.
Authors' Conclusions: Amitriptyline has been a first-line treatment for neuropathic pain for many years. The fact that there is no supportive unbiased evidence for a beneficial effect is disappointing, but has to be balanced against decades of successful treatment in many patients with neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia. There is no good evidence of a lack of effect; rather our concern should be of overestimation of treatment effect.

Amitriptyline should continue to be used as part of the treatment of neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia, but only a minority of patients will achieve satisfactory pain relief. Limited information suggests that failure with one antidepressant does not mean failure with all.

It is unlikely that any large randomised trials of amitriptyline will be conducted in specific neuropathic pain conditions or in fibromyalgia to prove efficacy.

Source: “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews”, December 12, 2012. By R.A. Moore, S. Derry, D. Aldington, P. Cole, and P.J. Wiffen. Pain Research and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK, OX3 7LE.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

chronic diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP)

Drugs similar in efficacy for neuropathic pain in diabetes September 26, 2012 in Diabetes (HealthDay)—In the treatment of patients with chronic diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP), there are no significant differences in pain-relief efficacy between amitriptyline, duloxetine, and pregabalin; however, pregabalin improves sleep continuity and duloxetine improves daytime functioning, according to research published online Sept. 18 in Diabetes Care.  Julia Boyle, Ph.D., of the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study involving 83 type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients with chronic DPNP who were treated with a placebo run-in followed by 14 days of lower-dose therapy, then 14 days of higher-dose therapy, with either amitriptyline, duloxetine, or pregabalin. The authors sought to evaluate the impact of these medications on pain, polysomnographic sleep, daytime functioning, and quality of life. The researchers found that all three medications improved pain compared with placebo, but no statistically significant between-group difference was observed. Pregabalin was associated with improved sleep continuity, while duloxetine increased wake and reduced total sleep time. Despite its negative effect on sleep, duloxetine improved central nervous system arousal and performance on sensory motor tasks. Pregabalin was associated with a significantly higher number of adverse events compared with the other drugs. "In conclusion, amitriptyline, duloxetine, and pregabalin were equally effective analgesic medications in patients with DPNP. Daytime function was relatively unaffected by drug treatment, and all three drugs were well tolerated," the authors write. "In this short, 28-day dosing study, there was no evidence of improved quality of life (Short Form 36) even with the sleep enhancement observed with pregabalin

Read more at:

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Concept of Incomplete Fibromyalgia Syndrome

The Concept of Incomplete Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Comparison of Incomplete Fibromyalgia Syndrome With Fibromyalgia Syndrome by 1990 ACR Classification Criteria and Its Implications for Newer Criteria and Clinical Practice
Journal of Clinical Rheumatology (JCR), 03/28/2012
Yunus MB et al. – Fulfillment of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 1990 criteria is not necessary for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) in the clinic. For diagnosis and management of FMS in the clinical setting, incomplete FMS (IFMS) patients, along with consideration of the total clinical picture, may be considered to have FMS, albeit generally mild.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Pharmacotherapy of fibromyalgia

Philip J. Mease, Kelly DundonPiercarlo Sarzi-Puttini,

  • There have been substantial advances in the pharmacotherapy of fibromyalgia (FM), which have occurred in parallel with advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology of FM in the past several years. Consortia of researchers have established a core set of symptom domains, which constitute the condition of FM, including pain, fatigue, sleep and mood disturbance and cognitive dysfunction, which significantly impact a patient’s overall well-being and ability to function. Outcome measures, which assess these domains, both singly and in composite format, are showing increasing reliability to discriminate between the treatment and placebo arms in clinical trials of emerging therapies, which are targeting the pathophysiologic mechanisms of FM. Several different medications, including the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, duloxetine and milnacipran, and the α2δ modulator, pregabalin, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of FM, based on their clinically meaningful and durable effect on pain in monotherapy trials. They also have been shown to beneficially effect patient global impression of change, function and variably other key symptom domains, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance and cognition. Other medicines, although they have not gone through the formal approval process, have also shown efficacy in multiple domains of FM. Although combination trials have generally not yet been performed, the combined use of medicines with complementary mechanisms of action is rational, and, when done with appropriate caution, will likely be shown to be safe and well tolerated. Adjunctive therapy with medicines targeted at specific symptom domains, such as sleep, as well as treatments aimed at common co-morbid conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, or disease states, such as rheumatoid arthritis, should be considered for the purpose of reducing the patient’s overall symptom burden. Current therapies neither completely treat FM symptoms nor benefit all patients; thus, further research on new therapies with different mechanisms and side-effect profiles is needed.

    Tuesday, 8 November 2011

    ACR Diagnostic Criteria for Fibromyalgia

     Fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria

    A patient satisfies diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia if the following 3 conditions are met:
    1) Widespread pain index (WPI)
    2) Symptoms have been present at a similar level for at least 3 months.
    3) The patient does not have a disorder that would otherwise explain the pain.
    1) WPI: note the number areas in which the patient has had pain over the last week. In how many areas has the patient had
    pain? Score will be between 0 and 19.
    Shoulder girdle, left Hip (buttock, trochanter), left Jaw, left Upper back
    Shoulder girdle, right Hip (buttock, trochanter), right Jaw, right Lower back
    Upper arm, left Upper leg, left Chest Neck
    Upper arm, right Upper leg, right Abdomen
    Lower arm, left Lower leg, left
    Lower arm, right Lower leg, right
    2) SS scale score:
    Waking unrefreshed
    Cognitive symptoms
    For the each of the 3 symptoms above, indicate the level of severity over the past week using the following scale:
    Considering somatic symptoms in general, indicate whether the patient has:*
    The SS scale score is the sum of the severity of the 3 symptoms (fatigue, waking unrefreshed, cognitive symptoms) plus the
    extent (severity) of somatic symptoms in general. The final score is between 0 and 12.
    7 and symptom severity (SS) scale score 5 or WPI 3–6 and SS scale score 9. no problem slight or mild problems, generally mild or intermittent moderate, considerable problems, often present and/or at a moderate level severe: pervasive, continuous, life-disturbing problems no symptoms few symptoms a moderate number of symptoms a great deal of symptoms
    * Somatic symptoms that might be considered: muscle pain, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue/tiredness, thinking or remembering problem, muscle
    weakness, headache, pain/cramps in the abdomen, numbness/tingling, dizziness, insomnia, depression, constipation, pain in the upper abdomen,
    nausea, nervousness, chest pain, blurred vision, fever, diarrhea, dry mouth, itching, wheezing, Raynaud’s phenomenon, hives/welts, ringing in ears,
    vomiting, heartburn, oral ulcers, loss of/change in taste, seizures, dry eyes, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, rash, sun sensitivity, hearing
    difficulties, easy bruising, hair loss, frequent urination, painful urination, and bladder spasms.


    A recently published study by McGill University researchers (Fitzcharles MA, Ste-Marie PA, Gamsa A, Ware MA, Shir Y) titled, Opioid Use, Misuse, and Abuse in Patients Labeled as Fibromyalgia, underscores the need for confirmatory tests for fibromyalgia and more effective pain treatments.
    Fibromyalgia, a condition associated with nervous system dysregulation, is currently a clinical diagnosis based on signs and symptoms.  Like many other diseases and conditions, there is no confirmatory test.
    In this study, 457 patients labeled with fibromyalgia in primary care were re-examined by a rheumatologist, but only 66 percent were diagnosed by the specialist. The authors stated that taking into account the new revised criteria for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, which incorporate symptoms other than pain as components of fibromyalgia, some patients with predominant mood or psychiatric disorder and less prominent physical symptoms may be misclassified as having fibromyalgia.
    Even though mood disorder is the strongest associated comorbidity with fibromyalgia, prominent mental illness can masquerade as a pain syndrome and should be recognized. Depression is most often a consequence of inadequately controlled pain.
    According to the study, of the 155 people who had been misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia, 65 of them had a current serious mental health/psychiatric problem – although the authors did not specify either the DSM diagnosis or the severity.
    Of the remaining fibromyalgia patients twelve or 3 percent were considered to have drug seeking behaviors.
    At entry, 144 (32%) of all patients were on daily opioid medication, with strong opioids such as oxycodone being used by 105 and weak opioids such as tramadol and codeine used by 39. However, of the 302 fibromyalgia patients remaining upon re-examination, 60 were taking strong opioids and 30 weak opioids.
    The actual prevalence of opioid use by fibromyalgia patients is largely unknown according to the authors. Another study reported that use of any analgesic other than NSAIDS (medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen used primarily to treat inflammation, mild to moderate pain) in 52% of patients.
    Although opioids are not approved for use in fibromyalgia (hence this is considered off-label use of drug), the FDA has approved three prescription drugs for pain management in fibromyalgia:
    • Lyrica (preglabin – an anti-seizure drug),
    • Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride- an antidepressant) and
    • Savella (milnacipran HCl – an anti-depressant). The anti-depressants are not prescribed for depression however and are generally prescribed in much lower doses than for depression. According to the FDA, studies of these drugs show that a substantial number of people with fibromyalgia received good pain relief, but there were others who don’t benefit.
    However there are very few studies of opiod use in fibromyalgia other than for tramadol.
    In this study, the authors (Fitzcharles MA, Ste-Marie PA, Gamsa A, Ware MA, Shir Y) stated that opioid use was more commonly associated with lower education, unemployment, disability payments, current unstable psychiatric disorder, a history of substance abuse, and previous suicide attempts, but did not break out the differences between the two final groups of patients.
    According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an estimated 12.1 million women age 18 and older reported suffering from chronic pain in 2008 as a result of underlying medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia and vulvodynia. Of these women, only 8.7 million reported receiving treatment that year at a total cost of $12.9 billion.
    Adrienne Dwello, the guide for the site for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, recently asked patients to comment on their experiences with opioids and garnered 92 comments.

    Opiod use

    Am J Med. 2011 Oct;124(10):955-60.

    Opioid use, misuse, and abuse in patients labeled as fibromyalgia.


    Division of Rheumatology, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    BACKGROUND: As pain is the cardinal symptom of fibromyalgia, it is logical that treatments directed toward pain relief will be commonly used. Analgesic drug therapy remains the traditional treatment intervention for most chronic pain conditions, with a progressive increased use of opioids in the past 20 years. Concerns about efficacy, risk-benefit ratio, and possible long-term effects of chronic opioid therapy have been raised. There is limited information about opioid treatment in fibromyalgia, with all current guidelines discouraging opioid use.

    METHODS: A chart review of all patients referred to a tertiary care pain center clinic with a referring diagnosis of fibromyalgia was conducted to evaluate use of opioid medications.

    RESULTS: We have recorded opioid use by 32% of 457 patients referred to a multidisciplinary fibromyalgia clinic, with over two thirds using strong opioids. Opioid use was more commonly associated with lower education, unemployment, disability payments, current unstable psychiatric disorder, a history of substance abuse, and previous suicide attempts.

    CONCLUSION: We have observed negative health and psychosocial status in patients using opioids and labeled as fibromyalgia. Prolonged use of opioids in fibromyalgia requires evaluation.

    Symptom based approach to treatment

    • "Combination Pharmacological Management of Fibromyalgia" by Chad S. Boomershine, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt University. A symptom-based approach has been recommended that uses several pharmacological agents to manage various symptoms.

    ACR Diagnostic Criteria revised


    Thresholds for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia have been lowered, creating more exposure for claims under the accident benefits scheme.
    Dr. Arthur Ameis expressed this view during a panel discussion at the Canadian Defence Lawyer's Accident Benefits seminar held in Toronto on Oct. 21.
    The American College of Rheumatology suspended the use of the ‘tender point test,' a physical exam to diagnosis fibromyalgia, in 2010 because it felt too many patients were being left out of the diagnosis. Instead, the physical exam was replaced with a 24-question survey about the patients' symptoms.
    "So, we are going to see a new wave of fibromyalgia diagnosis because the tender point test is out and you're not even supposed to touch the patient," Ameis said. "The difficulty is that people can go online and read the answers and the diagnosis will happen more and more."

    Global Market and Medication Forecast

    The global market for Fibromyalgia (FM) was valued at $1.7 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.3% to reach $2.4 billion by 2018. The restricted growth in the market is due to the unavailability of approved drugs in the EU and Japan market, expected patent expiry of Cymbalta (2013) and Lyrica (2018) and lack of newer therapies in late stage FM therapeutics pipeline. Currently, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved three drugs for the treatment of FM. Lyrica (pregabalin) was the first drug approved in June 2007 followed by Cymbalta (duloxetine) in June 2008 and Savella (milnacipran) in January 2009. Marketing authorization of these drugs has been rejected by EMEA (European Medical Agency) due low effectiveness and high adverse reactions associated with the drugs. Cymbalta was the first drug to be rejected by EMEA in 2008, followed by Lyrica in 2009 and Savella in 2010. However, increasing prevalence and diagnosis is expected to drive the future FM therapeutics market.

    Lyrica and Northwestern University

    In a much larger royal monetization deal, Northwestern University generated $700 million cash in 2007 when it sold a portion of its worldwide royalty interest in the Pfizer drug Lyrica® to Royalty Pharma; net proceeds were placed in the University’s endowment. As part of the deal an undisclosed portion of the payment to Northwestern went to the researchers responsible for the chemical compound that serves as the basis for Lyrica, a drug indicated for fibromyalgia, among other disorders.

    Thursday, 1 September 2011

    Pirlindole in the Treatment of Depression and Fibromyalgia Syndrome

     Clinical Drug Investigation, 09/01/2011

    Branco JC et al. - The effect of pirlindole on sensorimotor performance relevant to driving a motor vehicle is similar to that of placebo, as pirlindole appears to have an activating rather than a sedating antidepressant profile. Because of its specific and reversible inhibition of MAO-A and relatively short elimination half-life, no tyramine or ‘cheese’ effect is likely after short- or long-term administration. The available evidence supports pirlindole as a safe and effective treatment option for the management of depression and fibromyalgia syndrome.
    • Depression and fibromyalgia syndrome are debilitating chronic conditions that impose a significant burden on individuals, families and society.
    • Both depression and fibromyalgia have many overlapping symptoms, and antidepressants of several classes are among recommended treatment options for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.
    • Pirlindole is a selective and reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase (MAO) subtype A (MAO-A) that is approved in some European and non-European countries for the treatment of depression.
    • The antidepressant efficacy and safety of pirlindole have been demonstrated in a number of placebo- and active comparator-controlled studies and are supported by many years of clinical experience in the treatment of depression.
    • The drug's efficacy and safety have also been demonstrated, more recently, in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome.
    • Pirlindole has a favourable tolerability profile, with no deleterious effect on cardiovascular dynamics.

    Monday, 18 July 2011

    The Longitudinal Outcome of Fibromyalgia: A Study of 1555 Patients

    1. Brian Walitt,
    2. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles,
    3. Afton L. Hassett,
    4. Robert S. Katz,
    5. Winfried Häuser and
    6. Frederick Wolfe
    + Author Affiliations
    1. From Georgetown University, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC; Montreal General Hospital, Division of Rheumatology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois; Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany; and the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases and University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, Kansas, USA.
      Dr. Walitt has received consulting feels from Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Häuser has received honoraria from Eli-Lilly, Janssen-Cilag, Mundipharma, and Pfizer, and travel support from Eli Lilly. Dr. Hassett has received research funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Jazz Pharmaceuticals and is a consultant to Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Fitzcharles has received consultant fees, speaking fees, and/or honoraria from Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli-Lilly, Paladin, Pfizer, and Purdue.
      B. Walitt, MD, MPH, Georgetown University, Washington Hospital Center; M-A. Fitzcharles, MB, ChB, Montreal General Hospital, Division of Rheumatology, McGill University; A.L. Hassett, PsyD, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical School; R.S. Katz, MD, Rush University Medical Center; W. Häuser, MD, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität München; F. Wolfe, MD, National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, University of Kansas School of Medicine.
      Address correspondence to Dr. F. Wolfe, National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, 1035 N. Emporia, Suite 288, Wichita, KS 67214. E-mail:
      Accepted for publication May 6, 2011.


    Objective To describe the diagnosis status and outcome of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FM) by US rheumatologists.
    Methods We assessed 1555 patients with FM with detailed outcome questionnaires during 11,006 semiannual observations for up to 11 years. At entry, all patients satisfied American College of Rheumatology preliminary 2010 FM criteria modified for survey research. We determined diagnosis status, rates of improvement, responder subgroups, and standardized mean differences (effect sizes) between start and study completion scores of global well-being, pain, sleep problems, and health related quality of life. (QOL)
    Results The 5-year improvement rates were pain 0.4 (95% CI 0.2, 0.5), fatigue 0.4 (95% CI 0.2, 0.05), and global 0.0 (95% CI –0.1, 0.1). The standardized mean differences were patient global 0.03 (95% CI –0.02, 0.08), pain 0.22 (95% CI 0.16, 0.28), sleep problems 0.20 (95% CI 0.14, 0.25), physical component summary of the Short-form 36 (SF-36) 0.11 (95% CI –0.14, –0.07), and SF-36 mental component summary 0.03 (95% CI –0.07, 0.02). Patients switched between criteria-positive and criteria-negative states, with 716 patients (44.0%) failing to meet criteria at least once during 4228.5 patient-years (7448 observations). About 10% of patients had substantial improvement and about 15% had moderate improvement of pain. Overall, FM severity worsened in 35.9% and pain in 38.6%.
    Conclusion Although we found no average clinically meaningful improvement in symptom severity overall, 25% had at least moderate improvement of pain over time. The result that emerged from this longitudinal study was one of generally continuing high levels of self-reported symptoms and distress for most patients, but a slight trend toward improvement.

    Saturday, 25 June 2011

    Pfizer Says Lyrica Study Met Key Goal In Central Neuropathic Pain Treatment

    (RTTNews) - Biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (PFE: News ) Tuesday stated that its drug lyrica (pregabalin) met the primary endpoint of positive efficacy in reducing central neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury in a global phase 3 study. The company was announcing top-line results for the study.
    Central neuropathic pain is a heterogeneous group of pain conditions initiated or caused by a primary lesion in the central nervous system. This pain often occurs following spinal cord injury.
    Lyrica is currently approved in 110 countries and regions. In the U.S., lyrica capsules CV is approved to treat diabetic nerve pain, pain after shingles, fibromyalgia and partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who take one or more drugs for seizures. It is not approved to treat central neuropathic pain in the U.S.
    According to Pfizer, the final stage lyrica study, A0081107, was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, multi-center study, comparing pregabalin and placebo in subjects with chronic central neuropathic pain following traumatic spinal cord injury.
    In the study, which was conducted in 66 investigative sites in 10 countries, pregabalin was flexibly dosed as 150-600mg/day or dosed twice daily. A total of 220 subjects were enrolled in the study.
    The primary endpoint of the trial was the duration adjusted average change or DAAC, a weighted average of change in pain scores based on the duration a patient is participated in the study.

    Combination Therapy Needed to Fight Chronic Pain

    June 23, 2011 -- The last decade brought advances in our understanding of chronic pain, but this has not translated into better treatments yet, an analysis shows. The analysis was published in The Lancet.
    It found that treatments for chronic, non-cancer pain such as low back pain, arthritis, headache, and fibromyalgia don't do enough to alleviate pain or restore functioning in the majority of people.
    And don't expect any one pill to do the trick, says the report's author, Dennis C. Turk, PhD, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle. "There is this expectation that you will wave a wand and there will be a new pill or new surgery to alleviate your pain, and that is not likely to happen."
    "Chronic pain is a complex problem, and the only way to treat it is with a combination of treatments because no one treatment is sufficient," he says. Combination therapy may mean multiple medications or medications plus lifestyle changes, psychological treatments, and/or rehabilitation and physical therapy.
    Likening chronic pain to diabetes, Turk says "there are a lot of things to do in addition to medication, as in diabetes, where you also watch your weight and test your urine and blood."
    It will involve a more holistic approach, he says. "We have a tendency to try to diagnose people in silos and treat everyone with knee osteoarthritis (OA) the same way," he says. But "we need to treat people as a whole and not just knees." Social, emotional, and environmental factors all play a role in how we experience pain and painful conditions.
    One Treatment Not Always EnoughRoger Fillingim, PhD, associate professor in the College of Dentistry at the University of Florida in Gainesville, says that there have been advances in understanding the biology of pain and in awareness of pain as a pressing public health issue in recent years.
    But "this hasn't translated into terribly effective treatments of chronic pain, and we will need more multidisciplinary treatments in order to provide more optimal clinical outcome for patients in pain," he says.
    The truth is "for many forms of chronic pain, a single treatment is not sufficient to improve quality of life to the point where a patient will be satisfied," he says.
    "That pill doesn't exist," he says. "There may be medication that helps alleviate some of the pain, but that needs to be accompanied by other treatments including physical rehabilitation and behavioral or psychological intervention to help people cope with their pain in a more effective manner."
    Lesley Arnold MD, a psychiatrist at the University of Cincinnati, takes a more "glass is half-full" view of our accomplishments in treating chronic pain.
    "We do have more options today," she says, citing several FDA approvals in recent years for new drugs to treat fibromyalgia and OA.  But "we do need more studies of combinations of medications to see what works well together and most importantly, we need studies looking at nondrug therapies."
    "We don't have a good way of accessing the central nervous system to tell us why people are in pain," she says.

    Saturday, 18 June 2011

    Direct Medical Costs Are Double for Patients with Fibromyalgia

    STUDY: Direct medical costs in patients with fibromyalgia: Cost of illness and impact of a brief multidisciplinary treatment program.
    The patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia incur about twice as much direct medical costs than that of non fibromyalgia patients, according to the results of a 4-year study by the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. The study was published in the January 2011 issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
    The objective of the study was to compare the direct medical costs of clinically diagnosed patients with fibromyalgia with the medical costs of matched controls during a 4-yr period and to assess the impact of a fibromyalgia treatment program on healthcare utilization and associated medical costs. The study compared economic outcomes in 87 patients who participated in a fibromyalgia treatment program between 2001 and 2004 and who were local residents for the entire 4-yr period spanning their participation in the program, with age and sex-matched controls. Costs for the 2 yrs before and 2 yrs after program participation were also compared.
    RESULTS: Four-year medical costs for controls were $7774 compared with $15,759 for those with fibromyalgia. There was no significant change in direct costs after participation in a brief fibromyalgia treatment program. Those with increased symptom severity averaged $2034 higher direct medical costs during the 4-yr period.
    CONCLUSIONS: Patients with clinically diagnosed fibromyalgia incur direct medical costs about twice that of their matched controls. This increased cost is related to the severity of their symptoms as measured by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and was not impacted by participation in a brief cognitive behaviorally based fibromyalgia treatment program.

    HYPNOSIS: Efficacy of hypnosis/guided imagery in fibromyalgia syndrome

    Author: Kathrin BernardyNicole FuberPetra KloseWinfried Hauser
    Credits/Source: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:133

    Recent systematic reviews on psychological therapies of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) did not consider hypnosis/guided imagery (H/GI). Therefore we performed a systematic review with meta-analysis of the efficacy of H/GI in FMS.

    We screened, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and SCOPUS (through December 2010).
    (Quasi-) randomized controlled trials (CTs) comparing H/GI with controls were analyzed. Outcomes were pain, sleep, fatigue, depressed mood and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
    Effects were summarized using standardized mean differences (SMD).

    Six CTs with 239 subjects with a median of 9 (range 7-12) H/GI-sessions were analysed. The median number of patients in the H/GI groups was 20 (range 8-26).
    Three studies performed follow-ups. H/GI reduced pain compared to controls at final treatment (SMD -1.17 [95% CI -2.21, -0.13]; p= 0.03.
    H/GI did not reduce limitations of HRQOL at final treatment (SMD -0.90 [95% CI -2.55, 0.76]; p=0.29) compared to controls. Effect sizes on fatigue, sleep and depressed mood at final treatment and follow-up and on pain and HRQOL at follow-up were not calculated because of limited data available.
    The significant effect on pain at final treatment was associated with low methodological and low treatment quality.

    Further studies with better treatment quality and adequate methodological quality assessing all key domains of FMS are necessary to clarify the efficacy of H/GI in FMS.

    CYCLOBENZAPRINE: Effects of Bedtime Very Low Dose (VLD) Cyclobenzaprine (CBP) on Symptoms and Sleep Physiology in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome

    Jun. 16, 2011
    TONIX Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company developing therapies for challenging disorders of the central nervous system, including Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FM) and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), presented sleep EEG (electroencephalogram) findings from a clinical study in which patients with FM were treated with very low dosage (VLD) cyclobenzaprine (CBP) at bedtime. The VLD CBP treated patients showed a decrease in pain, fatigue, tenderness and depressive symptoms and reported fewer of the side effects often associated with daytime CBP at higher doses. In the new findings, VLD CBP treatment improved sleep efficiency and increased the number of nights with reduced rates of EEG Cyclic Alternating Pattern (CAP) sleep types CAPA2 + CAPA3, which are associated with sleep instability and previously were shown to be elevated in FM patients. The findings were the subject of a poster presentation at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies 2011 Anniversary Meeting in Minneapolis, MN.
    Dr. Harvey Moldofsky, President and Medical Director, Centre for Sleep and Chronobiology, Toronto, Canada, and lead author of the study, commented, “This study showed that a low dose of cyclobenzaprine taken at bedtime improves the widespread pain and tenderness in patients with fibromyalgia. It also provides a novel algorithm that identifies reductions in a specific EEG pattern of sleep instability that correlate with improvements in the nonrestorative sleep symptoms of fatigue and disturbed mood.”
    “These new findings suggest that our technology for bedtime treatment of fibromyalgia with very low dose cyclobenzaprine confers benefits that have been associated with restful or restorative sleep,” stated President Seth Lederman, M.D., Chairman and President of TONIX.
    About the Study
    The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalating parallel-design study in 36 patients with FM conducted at two Canadian sites. The study was analyzed with regard to efficacy, safety and tolerability as well as EEG and other parameters assessed during sleep. VLD CBP treated subjects showed significant improvements over eight weeks in pain, fatigue, tenderness, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD), and sleep efficiency. In addition, VLD CBP was well tolerated, with no adverse events or discontinuations due to adverse events. The sleep EEG data were analyzed for the types of CAP: CAPA1 (associated with sleep stability) and CAPA2 + CAPA3 (usually associated with sleep instability). VLD CBP treatment increased EEG sleep nights with normalized CAPA2+A3, or CAPA2+A3(Norm) ≤ 33%. Increased nights of CAPA2+A3(Norm) ≤ 33% correlated with improvement in fatigue, total HAD score, HAD depression subscore, and self-rated and clinician-rated change in fatigue. In VLD CBP treated subjects, the correlation of increased nights of CAPA2+A3(Norm) ≤ 33% with improvement with FM symptoms is consistent with the hypothesized effects of restorative sleep. The symptomatic benefit may relate to VLD CBP decreasing arousal or alarm signals during sleep. CAPA2+A3(Norm) rate may provide a novel biomarker for assessing treatment effects on nonrestorative sleep and associated subjective somatic and mood symptoms in FM. The full abstract can be found at (# 0690).

    About TONIX Pharmaceuticals
    TONIX Pharmaceuticals is developing new treatments for challenging disorders of the central nervous system. The Company’s most advanced program targets fibromyalgia syndrome based on bedtime treatment with very low dosage cyclobenzaprine. Cyclobenzaprine in higher doses is the active ingredient of U.S. FDA approved muscle relaxants. Based on this foundation, the Company is building a deep and diverse pipeline of high-value medications for other syndromes, disorders and diseases, including post-traumatic stress disorder. For more information, please visit

    DULOXETINE: Improvement in multiple dimensions of fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia treated with duloxetine: secondary analysis of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial

    Author: Lesley ArnoldFujun WangJonna AhlPaula GaynorMadelaine Wohlreich
    Credits/Source: Arthritis Research &Therapy 2011, 13:R86

    Fatigue is one of the most disabling symptoms associated with fibromyalgia that greatly impacts quality of life. Fatigue was assessed as a secondary objective in a 2-phase, 24-week study in outpatients with American College of Rheumatology-defined fibromyalgia.

    Patients were randomized to duloxetine 60-120 mg/d (N=263) or placebo (N=267) for the 12-week acute phase.
    At Week 12, all placebo-treated patients were switched to double-blind treatment with duloxetine for the extension phase. Fatigue was assessed at baseline and every 4 weeks with the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI) scales: General Fatigue, Physical Fatigue, Mental Fatigue, Reduced Activity, and Reduced Motivation.
    Other assessments that may be associated with fatigue included: Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) average pain, numerical scales to rate anxiety, depressed mood, bothered by sleep difficulties, and musculoskeletal stiffness. Treatment-emergent fatigue-related events were also assessed.
    Changes from baseline to Week 12, and from Week 12 to Week 24, were analyzed by mixed-effects model repeated measures analysis.

    At Week 12, duloxetine versus placebo significantly (all p<.05) reduced ratings on each MFI scale, BPI pain, anxiety, depressed mood, and stiffness. Improvement in ratings of being bothered by sleep difficulties was significant only at Weeks 4 and 8.
    At Week 24, mean changes in all measures indicated improvement was maintained for patients who received duloxetine for all 24 weeks (n=176). Placebo-treated patients switched to duloxetine (n=187) had significant within-group improvement in Physical Fatigue (Weeks 16, 20 and 24); General Fatigue (Weeks 20 and 24); Mental Fatigue (Week 20); and Reduced Activity (Weeks 20 and 24).
    These patients also experienced significant within-group improvement in BPI pain, anxiety, depressed mood, bothered by sleep difficulties, and stiffness. Overall, the most common (>5% incidence) fatigue-related treatment-emergent adverse events were fatigue, somnolence, and insomnia.

    Treatment with duloxetine significantly improved multiple dimensions of fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia, and improvement was maintained for up to 24 weeks.Trial Registration: Clinical Trial Registry NCT00673452.

    Sunday, 12 June 2011

    ICAF: Combined Index of Severity of Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex syndrome that affects many aspects of the patients life and it is very difficult to evaluate in clinical practice. A recent study has developed the Combined Index of Severity of Fibromyalgia (ICAF), an instrument that evaluates diverse aspects of FM and offers five indices: emotional, physical, active coping, passive coping and total.
    The objective of this study is to confirm the structure of the ICAF, check its test-retest reliability, assess its sensitivity to change, and compare the results obtained in a sample of patients with fibromyalgia with another sample of healthy controls.
    Methods: A total of 232 patients took part in the study, 228 women and 4 men, with a mean age of 47.73 years of age (SD=8.61) and a time of disease evolution since diagnosis of 4.28 years (SD=4.03). The patients from the FM group completed the ICAF.
    Between one and two weeks later, they again attended the clinic and complete the 59 items on the ICAF (retest) and immediately afterwards they began treatment (according to daily clinical practice criteria). A sample of healthy subjects was also studied as a control group: 110 people were included (106 women and 4 men) with a mean age of 46.01 years of age (SD=9.35).
    The study was conducted in Spain.
    Results: The results obtained suggest that the four-factor model obtained in the previous study adequately fits the data obtained in this study. The test-retest reliability and internal consistency were all significant and show a high degree of correlation for all the factors as well as in overall score.
    With the exception of the passive coping factor, all the other scores, including the overall score, were sensitive to change after the therapeutic intervention. The ICAF scores of the patients with fibromyalgia compared with those of the control group were markedly different.
    Conclusions: The findings suggest that the ICAF is a valid, reliable, sensitive to change instrument with the added advantage that it offers some additional domains (factors) that provide very valuable information regarding the most delicate aspects of the patient, which must be addressed at the time of treatment in daily clinical practice.

    Author: Miguel VallejoJavier RiveraJoaquim Esteve-VivesJavier RejasGroup Icaf
    Credits/Source: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2011, 9:39

    Placebo Effect

     Mark J. Pellegrino, MD*
    June 8, 2011

    It is not surprising that people with fibromyalgia are interested in alternative medicine approaches.

    If there is one area in which conventional medicine often fails, it is in the management of conditions causing chronic pain.

    Conventional medicine emphasizes the diagnosis and pharmacologic treatment of various medical conditions based on scientific research. The main philosophy is to identify the cause of the disease and treat it with medicines or surgeries to eliminate the cause. But if someone has chronic pain, does not respond to medications, is not a candidate for a surgical procedure, and has had numerous diagnostic tests that were normal, conventional medicine may be helpless.

    Complementary or alternative medicine strategies emphasize the interaction between the body and the mind. The main focus is on maintaining homeostasis, which is the body's natural ability to maintain a stable harmony and balance among its hormones, enzymes, muscles, and organs to prevent disease or to allow the body to heal itself... And an increased number of scientific studies are being published that support the effectiveness of many complementary medicine treatments.

    [But in fact] most conditions that doctors treat do not have scientific studies that "prove" a particular treatment is effective. That does not stop us from treating conditions, nor should it. Medical practitioners need to be open-minded. If we always waited for scientific proof, most diseases that exist would not be treated.

    Placebo Effect

    I remember learning that the placebo effect was “bad.” The placebo effect occurred when a person reported improvement in pain (or other symptoms) after being given a sugar pill instead of the actual drug (or other treatment).

    The placebo effect has to be accounted for in any scientific research study because a placebo response does not measure the effect of the drug or treatment being tested. So as not to mistakenly attribute all of the positive benefits to the drug being tested to a placebo effect, research studies are designed to “cancel out” the placebo effect.

    Placebo is derived from the Latin word that means “I will please.” It is a positive human response to hopefulness and wanting to get better with a treatment.

    Even though the person wasn’t given an actual research drug, she or he felt measurably better simply because of HOPE.

    Studies show the placebo effect may happen up to 30% of the time with any treatment. This means 3 of 10 people will feel better when given any type of treatment, with no obvious relationship to the actual treatment.

    The placebo effect is a powerful physician “tool” that is not limited to a pill.

    Suggestions that a physician makes can have a dramatic effect on how a patient will respond to a particular treatment.

    In a study done by Drs. Staats and Hekmat (1998)(1), the role of one’s pain threshold in response to suggestion was examined. Three groups of college students were to place their hands in a tank of ice water. Each group was instructed differently.

    • The first group was told “neutral” things: Don’t think about anything, just keep your hand in the water until you need to remove it.

    • The second group was told “positive” things: Ice water can improve circulation, strengthen the heart, cleanse the skin cells, and other beneficial effects.

    • The third group was told “negative” things: Ice water can be dangerous by causing numbness, decrease in blood flow, tissue damage and hypertension.

    All three groups were told to keep their hands immersed until they couldn’t tolerate the pain any more.

    Guess what happened? The “positive” group held their hands in longer and reported less anxiety. The “negative group took their hands out much quicker and reported more anxiety. The “neutral” group was in between the other groups.

    This study demonstrated how the physician can affect the patient’s response to treatment.

    Reassuring, positive words are more likely to increase the therapeutic response – cause a positive placebo response.

    I have found much better responses to medications in my patients when I explain what to expect - and tell them the medicines may help but won’t take away all the pain – than if I just gave them the medicines and said, “Take this and let me know if it helps.”

    A number of years ago it dawned on me that the placebo response from hopefulness and one’s desire to improve is EXACTLY what we are trying to accomplish in the treatment of chronic pain related to fibromyalgia. We want people to feel better, even if we can’t explain how it happened.

    This approach would seem to be one of the major philosophies of complementary medicine - to improve the well-being of body and mind.

    With this realization, I’ve washed out all of the negative connotations I learned about placebos from conventional medicine and have become more open-minded. Now one of my philosophies is: Welcome Placebo! We WANT to achieve a positive placebo response.

    Sunday, 5 June 2011

    Interference with work in fibromyalgia - effect of treatment with pregabalin and relation to pain response

    Author: Sebastian StraubeR Andrew MooreJocelyn PaineSheena DerryCeri PhillipsErnst HallierHenry McQuay
    Credits/Source: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:125

    Clinical trials in chronic pain often collect information about interference with work as answers to component questions of commonly used questionnaires but these data are not normally analysed separately.

    Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of individual patient data from four large trials of pregabalin for fibromyalgia lasting 8-14 weeks. We analysed data on interference with work, inferred from answers to component questions of Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Short Form 36 Health Survey, Sheehan Disability Scale, and Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue, including "How many days in the past week did you miss work, including housework, because of fibromyalgia?"from FIQ.
    Analyses were performed according to randomised treatment group (pregabalin 150-600mg daily or placebo), pain improvement (0-10 numerical pain rating scale scores at trial beginning vs. end), and end of trial pain state (100mm visual analogue pain scale [VAS]).

    Results: Comparing treatment group average outcomes revealed modest improvement over the duration of the trials, more so with active treatment than with placebo.
    For the 'work missed'question from FIQ the change for patients on placebo was from 2.2 (standard deviation [SD] 2.3) days of work lost per week at trial beginning to 1.9 (SD 2.1) days lost at trial end (p<0.01). For patients on 600mg pregabalin the change was from 2.1 (SD 2.2) days to 1.6 (SD 2.0) days (p<0.001).
    However, the change in days of work lost was substantial in patients with a good pain response: from 2.0 (SD 2.2) days to 0.97 (SD 1.6) days (p<0.0001) for those experiencing >/=50% pain improvement and from 1.9 (SD 2.2) days to 0.73 (SD 1.4) days (p<0.0001) for those achieving a low level of pain at trial end (<30mm on the VAS). Patients achieving both >/=50% pain improvement and a pain score <30mm on the VAS had the largest improvement, from 2.0 (SD 2.2) days to 0.60 (SD 1.3) days (p<0.0001).
    Analysing answers to the other questions yielded qualitatively similar results.

    Conclusions: Effective pain treatment goes along with benefit regarding work. A reduction in time off work >1 day per week can be achieved in patients with good pain responses.

    Monday, 30 May 2011

    Music therapy benefits fibromyalgia patients

    May 27, 2011,
     The low cost, easy implementation, numerous advantages, and the fact that patients can get involved in their treatment at home are some of the many advantages of this technique.
    Researchers have stated that "further empirical research studies are needed to address other physiological variables associated with the well-being generated by these two techniques, and that analyse patients'' self-efficiency and personal power to get involved in their own treatment.

    Saturday, 21 May 2011

    Progenics Announces Results of Methylnaltrexone Phase 3 Safety Study in Chronic, Non-Malignant Pain Patients

     May 20, 2011 
    Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today provided analyses of safety and efficacy endpoints from the 1,034-patient, one-year phase 3 safety study of methylnaltrexone bromide subcutaneous injection in non-malignant pain patients with opioid-induced constipation (OIC). At a fixed dose of 12 mg, the drug was shown to be generally safe and well tolerated, with a safety profile similar to that from a previously reported, shorter-duration efficacy study in non-malignant pain patients. The results are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in Austin, TX, May 19-21, 2011.
    Patients experienced consistent results across all monthly intervals, and 34.1% of methylnaltrexone 12 mg subcutaneous injections resulted in bowel movements within four hours during the treatment period. In addition, patient subjective assessments showed statistically significant improvements from baseline for a reduction in straining and for the number of bowel movements accompanied by the sensation of complete evacuation.
    "This study yielded safety and efficacy data that support the potential utility of subcutaneous methylnaltrexone for use by patients who take opioids for pain over extended periods," said Robert Israel, M.D., senior vice president of medical affairs at Progenics.  "We found that the four-hour response rate remained durable over the course of the one-year study period. In addition, the assessed safety of long-term methylnaltrexone use was consistent with previously reported results of the three-month phase 3 efficacy study in non-malignant pain patients with OIC."
    The safety study included patients who had a history of chronic, non-malignant pain (including back pain, joint/extremity pain, neurologic/neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia) and who experienced constipation resulting from opioid pain medication use for at least one month prior to screening. Of the 1,034 patients who received at least one dose of methylnaltrexone, 624 patients were treated for six months or more, and 477 completed the 48-week study and post-treatment follow-up periods. Patients took a median of six subcutaneous injections per week of methylnaltrexone 12 mg for up to 48 weeks. There were no observed unexpected safety signals, or cases of gastrointestinal perforation in the study. Pain scores and opioid use data confirmed that methylnaltrexone 12 mg subcutaneous injection did not interfere with analgesia or cause opioid withdrawal symptoms.
    These safety data, together with previously announced efficacy data, complete the major data packages for a supplemental New Drug Application being prepared for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of June. In this application, Progenics and its commercialization partner, Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:SLXP), plan to seek approval for subcutaneous methylnaltrexone in non-malignant pain patients suffering from opioid-induced constipation. Methylnaltrexone currently is approved and marketed as RELISTOR® for the treatment of OIC in patients with advanced illness who are receiving palliative care, when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient.

    Opioids Remain The Mainstay of Chronic Pain Treatment

    May 18, 2011 – Pain is a disabling symptom that can occur at any point in the course of an illness. Since pain considerably affects day to day life, its management offers considerable challenge for physicians. Inadequate pain control remains a major problem across the world. Pain relief medications are dominated by NSAIDs followed by opioids. Long acting opioids are used in the relief of moderate to severe pain which require treatment for several days. Oral Long Acting Opioids (LAOs) are also an option to treat acute pain in non-dependant patients. Opioids are prescribed when pain cannot be adequately controlled with an NSAID.

    All NSAIDs/Cox-2 inhibitors have cardiovascular and renal side-effects, and the older NSAIDs have severe gastrointestinal ones too. Therefore in cases of acute and chronic opioids continue to be the mainstay of therapy. However, this market is struggling to generate sales growth against a background of weak pipelines and generic competition.

    In 2010, the global opioids market was approximately $11.2 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.4% between 2002 and 2010. By 2017, the global opioids market is forecast to reach $13.2 billion, indicating a CAGR of 2.8% between 2010 and 2017. The market for pain management drugs is focused on enhancement of available dugs with the development of extended release formulations and drug combinations.

    For Sample Pages, please click or add the below link to your browser: ...

    In an effort to minimize the risk of misuse, abuse, addiction and overdose opioids are made available through a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. In order to ensure that the benefits of the drugs outweigh the risks of use in patients, the FDA had notified opioid drug manufacturers to have REMS. Under this program, pharmacies, distributors, and medical care providers who prescribe to outpatients are required to enroll in the program to prescribe, dispense and distribute opioid drugs.

    GBI Research, the leading business intelligence provider, has released its latest research,
    “Opioids Market to 2017 - Steady Uptake of Oxycontin and High Incidence Of Diseases Such As Cancer And Arthritis to Drive the Market”, which provides insights into global Opioids market and market forecast until 2017.

    Report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.

    The report provides an in-depth analysis of the top five therapeutic indications for which often opioids are prescribed which includes fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, osteoarthritis pain, rheumatoid arthritis pain, low back pain and post operative pain. The report also examines the global opioids treatment usage patterns for the covered indication. In addition, the report also includes insights into the opioids R&D pipeline

    Brain, Behavioral Effects of Duloxetine Observed in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain

    AUSTIN, TX—Initial analysis of the effects of duloxetine vs. placebo in patients with chronic low back pain indicates duloxetine has both brain and behavioral effects in this population, Kevin A. Johnson, of Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, and colleagues reported during the American Pain Society's 30th Annual Scientific Meeting. These effects were evident on structural MRIs, which indicated changes in gray matter with both duloxetine and placebo, including increases in frontal cortex regions.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved  duloxetine, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor used for a variety of indications—including depression, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and fibromyalgia—in November 2010 to treat discomfort from lower back pain.The investigators conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study utilizing clinical assessments to examine the effects of duloxetine and placebo. Additionally, MRI was used to detect possible brain effects of duloxetine and placebo. Patients with at least 6 months of back pain (no radicular symptoms), a minimum pain rating of 4 on a scale of 1-10 for two weeks prior to enrollment, and no current use of pain medication (except acetaminophen) were eligible to enter the study.
    Patients were randomized to duloxetine 30mg/day for 1 week, followed by 60mg/day for 5 weeks or matching placebo. Clinical assessments occurred at baseline and at Weeks 1, 2, and 6 of each medication period. Week 6 was the crossover point, where patients were switched to duloxetine or placebo. Additional at-home measures were collected. Clinical measures included basic medical assessments, a battery of pain-related questionnaires, and mood and depression ratings. Data have been collected to date on 18 patients.
    A significant change in daily pain ratings was found at the end of the duloxetine period, particularly for patients randomized initially to the placebo treatment group (weekly mean P<0.05 at weeks 3 and 6 for duloxetine vs. placebo and P<0.01 at weeks 4 and 6). Most patients (15/18) had minimal to mild depression (Beck Depression Inventory <19) upon study enrollment; at 6 weeks, no significant increases in overall score were noted in the study. Disrupted sleep patterns and loss of energy were the most frequently rated sub-scale items throughout the study. No significant difference between drug and placebo in overall score was noted on the Brief Pain Inventory. On sub-items, significant improvement was seen with duloxetine in worst pain (P=0.009), least pain (P=0.019), average pain (P=0.007), and current pain (P=0.009).
    The investigators concluded that given the large individual variability in pain ratings found within an individual treatment period and in response to a particular treatment, accounting for such individual variability may help refine behavioral and neuroanatomical analysis.

    Childhood abuse linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia in women

    May 17 2011
    University of Toronto researchers have found that childhood physical abuse is associated with significantly elevated rates of functional somatic syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities among women.
    “Women who reported they had been physically abused as children have twice the odds of chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivities, and 65 per cent higher odds of fibromyalgia” said lead investigator Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, who holds the Sandra Rotman Chair at U of T’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family and Community Medicine.
    “These findings persisted even after controlling for potentially confounding factors such as other adverse childhood experiences, age, race, mental health and adult socioeconomic status.”
    The study examined statistics from a regional subsample of the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey involving 7,342 women, 10 per cent of whom reported being physically abused as children. A minority of women reported they had been diagnosed by a health professional with chronic fatigue syndrome (1.3 percent), fibromyalgia (2.5 percent), or multiple chemical sensitivities (2.7 percent).
    Co-author Joanne Sulman, from the Department of Social Work at Mount Sinai, said the research not only points to an association between childhood physical abuse and these disorders, but also explores the contribution of confounding psychosocial factors such as other childhood adversities, adult health behaviours and mental health.
    The research will be published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma.

    Trazodone plus pregabalin combination in the treatment of fibromyalgia: a two-phase, 24-week, open-label uncontrolled study.

    Author: Elena CalandrePiedad Morillas-ArquesRocio Molina-BareaCarmen Rodriguez-lopezFernando Rico-Villademoros
    Credits/Source: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:95

    Although trazodone is frequently used by fibromyalgia patients, its efficacy on this disease has not been adequately studied. If effective, pregabalin, whose beneficial effects on pain and sleep quality in fibromyalgia have been demonstrated, could complement the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of trazodone.
    The aim of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of trazodone alone and in combination with pregabalin in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

    This was an open-label uncontrolled study.Trazodone, flexibly dosed (50-300 mg/day), was administered to 66 fibromyalgia patients during 12 weeks; 41 patients who completed the treatment accepted to receive pregabalin, also flexibly dosed (72-450 mg/day), added to trazodone treatment for an additional 12-week period. Outcome measures included the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the Patients'Global Improvement scale (PGI).
    Emergent adverse reactions were recorded. Data were analyzed with repeated measures one-way ANOVA and paired Student's t test.

    Treatment with trazodone significantly improved global fibromyalgia severity, sleep quality, and depression, as well as pain interference with daily activities although without showing a direct effect on bodily pain.
    After pregabalin combination additional and significant improvements were seen on fibromyalgia severity, depression and pain interference with daily activities, and a decrease in bodily pain was also apparent. During the second phase of the study, only two patients dropped out due to side effects.

    Trazodone significantly improved fibromyalgia severity and associated symptomatology.
    Its combination with pregabalin potentiated this improvement and the tolerability of the drugs in association was good.Trial registration: This trial has been registered with number NCT-00791739.

    Sodium Oxybate Reduces Pain in Patients with Moderate and Severe Fibromyalgia Symptoms

    Debra Hughes : May 21, 2011
    AUSTIN, TXSodium oxybate was shown to be effective in patients with both moderate to severe fibromyalgia symptoms, according to an analysis presented at the American Pain Society's 30th Annual Scientific Meeting. Sodium oxybate is not currently approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
    I. Jon Russell, MD, PhD, of the Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, TX, and colleagues from Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Palo Alto, CA, analyzed pooled data from two 14-week, Phase 3, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials to determine the proportions of responders (≥30% reduction on a 0–100mm pain visual analogue scale [VAS]) by moderate (VAS ≥50 to <70) or severe (≥70) pain and by moderate or severe disease, based on clinician global impression of severity (CGI-S) at baseline. A total of 1,121 patients were randomized in the two trials, and were given placebo, sodium oxybate 4.5g or 6g in equal, divided doses at bedtime and 2.5–4 hours later. The data were analyzed by baseline-observation-carried-forward (BOCF) and last-observation-carried-forward (LOCF) methods.
    In patients with pain VAS ≥50 to <70, approximately 51% and 54% receiving sodium oxybate 4.5g and 6g, respectively, were responders vs. placebo (29%; P<0.001, LOCF). In patients with pain VAS ≥70, 45% (P=0.013) and 56% (P<0.001), respectively, were responders vs. placebo (33%, LOCF). Subgroup analysis based on CGI-S demonstrated similar efficacy in both dose groups vs. placebo for both the moderately ill/less severe (53% for both doses vs. 35% for placebo; P<0.001, LOCF) and markedly ill/more severe, 41% for sodium oxybate 4.5g (P=0.004) and 57% (P<0.001) for 6 g vs. 25% for placebo(LOCF) groups. BOCF analyses by baseline pain and CGI-S also demonstrated statistically significant efficacy of both sodium oxybate doses vs. placebo (overall P<0.001 for moderately ill/less severe patients and P=0.002 for markedly ill/more severe patinets). The most common adverse events (≥5% in any sodium oxybate treatment group and at least twice the rate of placebo) were nausea, dizziness, vomiting, anxiety, and fatigue.
    Dr. Russell et al. concludedthese analyses demonstrate that in patients with fibromyalgia, sodium oxybate demonstrates efficacy for the rduction of pain regardless of whether pain and disease severity were moderate or severe at baseline. Greater proportions of patients having moderate and severe pain, and moderate and severe disease severity achieved ≥30% reduction in pain with sodium oxybate at doses of 4.5g and 6g compared with placebo.