Research from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, has unveiled a more effective method to treat fibromyalgia, a medical condition that causes chronic widespread pain typically accompanied by fatigue and sleep, as well as mood and memory problems.
The trial was conducted by university researcher Dr Ian Gilron and suggests that the combination of pregabalin, an anti-seizure drug, and duloxetine, an antidepressant, can safely improve outcomes in fibromyalgia.
The combination can not only relief the affected person from the chronic pain, but can also improve physical function and overall quality of the patient’s life.
Until now, the two drugs, pregabalin and duloxetine, have been individually proven to treat fibromyalgia pain.
Dr Gilron said: “Previous evidence supports added benefits with some drug combinations in fibromyalgia.
“We are very excited to present the first evidence demonstrating superiority of a duloxetine-pregabalin combination compared to either drug alone.”
The initial idea that Fibromyalgia was a musculoskeletal disorder has been rejected by recent research, suggesting that the condition is caused by a disorder of the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord.
According to the researchers, fibromyalgia increases painful sensations by affecting the level and activity of brain chemicals that are responsible for processing pain signals.
Dr Gilron added: “The condition affects about 1.5% to 5% of Canadians, and more than twice as many women as men.
“It can have a devastating on the lives of patients and their families. Current treatments for fibromyalgia are either ineffective or intolerable for many patients.”
The current clinical trials, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), have been conducted on combination therapies for chronic pain conditions.
The research demonstrates how the current available treatments have been extensively studied, are well known to health-care providers and can be used in the most effective ways to treat fibromyalgia.