We proposed to assess serum antioxidant vitamins and magnesium (Mg) levels in patients with fibromyalgia (FM) in comparison to healthy controls. Additionally, the association between the serum antioxidant vitamins, magnesium levels, and clinical parameters in FM patients was also investigated. Forty female patients, aged between 30 and 50 years, were diagnosed with FM according to ACR-1990 criteria, and 40 healthy controls were included in the present study. Socio-demographic characteristics of participants, accompanying symptoms, and number of tender points (TP) of the patients were recorded. The intensity of pain was measured using the visual analogue scale (VAS). The functional status and depression levels were evaluated with Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), respectively. Serum vitamins A, C, and E and Mg levels were measured. There were no significant differences in the levels of vitamins A, C, and E and Mg between control subjects and patients with fibromyalgia (p > 0.05). In addition, no statistically significant correlations were found between mean levels of serum vitamins A, C, and E, and Mg and number of TP, scores of VAS, FIQ, and BDI in patients with FM (p > 0.05). According to the results of this study, it was asserted that other complex mechanism may play an important role in the pathophysiology of FM without plasma antioxidant vitamins and Mg levels.
Antioxidant vitamins; Fibromyalgia; Magnesium; Oxidative stress
To determine if fibromyalgia or fibromyalgianess is increased in SLE compared with non-SLE patients, whether fibromyalgia or fibromyalgianess (the tendency to respond to illness and psychosocial stress with fatigue, widespread pain, general increase in symptoms and similar factors ) biases the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Activity Questionnaire (SLAQ), and to determine if the SLAQ is overly sensitive to fibromyalgia symptoms.
We developed a 16-item SLE symptom scale (SLESS) modeled on the SLAQ and used that scale to investigate the relation between SLE symptoms and fibromyalgianess in 23,321 rheumatic disease patients. Fibromyalgia was diagnosed by survey fibromyalgia criteria and fibromyalgianess was measured using the Symptom Intensity Scale (SI). As comparison groups, we combined patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and non-inflammatory rheumatic disorders into an “arthritis” group and also utilized a physician-diagnosed group of fibromyalgia patients.
Fibromyalgia was identified in 22.1% of SLE and 17.0% of those with arthritis. The SI scale was minimally increased in SLE. The correlation between SLAQ and SLESS was 0.738. SLESS/SLAQ scale items: Raynaud’s, rash, fever, easy bruising and hair loss were significantly more associated with SLE than fibromyalgia, while the reverse was true for headache, abdominal pain, paresthesias/stroke, fatigue, cognitive problems and muscle pain or weakness. There was no evidence of a disproportionate symptom reporting associated with fibromyalgianess. Self-reported SLE was associated with an increased prevalence of fibromyalgia when unconfirmed by physicians compared to SLE confirmed by physicians.
The prevalence of fibromyalgia in SLE is minimally increased compared with its prevalence in patients with arthritis. Fibromyalgianess does not bias the SLESS and should not bias SLE assessments, including the SLAQ.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Fibromyalgia; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Activity Questionnaire; SLAQ; SLAM
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and palpation tenderness. In addition to these classic symptoms, fibromyalgia patients tend to report a number of other complaints. What these other complaints are and how often they are reported as compared with related referents from the general population is not very well known. We therefore hypothesized that subjects with fibromyalgia report more of a wide range of symptoms as compared with referents of the same sex and age from the general population.
138 women with diagnosed fibromyalgia in primary health care and 401 referents from the general population matched to the cases by sex, age and residential area responded to a postal questionnaire where information on marital status, education, occupational status, income level, immigrant status, smoking habits physical activity, height and weight history and the prevalence of 42 defined symptoms was sought.
The cases had lower educational and income levels, were more often unemployed, on sick leave or on disability pension and were more often first generation immigrants than the referents. They were also heavier, shorter and more often had a history of excessive food intake and excessive weight loss. When these differences were taken into account, cases reported not only significantly more presumed fibromyalgia symptoms but also significantly more of general symptoms than the referents. The distribution of symptoms was similar in subjects with fibromyalgia and referents, indicating a generally higher symptom reporting level among the former.
Subjects with fibromyalgia had a high prevalence of reported general symptoms than referents. Some of these differences may be a consequence of the disorder while others may reflect etiological processes.
Fibromyalgia is a multidimensional disorder for which treatment as yet remains unsatisfactory. Studies of an acupuncture-based approach, despite its broad acceptance among patients and healthcare staff, have not produced sufficient evidence of its effectiveness in treating this syndrome. The present study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of individualized acupuncture for patients with fibromyalgia, with respect to reducing their pain and level of incapacity, and improving their quality of life.
Randomized controlled multicentre study, with 156 outpatients, aged over 17 years, diagnosed with fibromyalgia according to American College of Rheumatology criteria, either alone or associated with severe depression, according to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders. The participants will be randomly assigned to receive either "True acupuncture" or "Sham acupuncture". They will be evaluated using a specific measurement system, constituted of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and the Hamilton rating scale for depression. Also taken into consideration will be the clinical and subjective pain intensity, the patient's family structure and relationships, psychological aspects, quality of life, the duration of previous temporary disability, the consumption of antidepressant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication, and the potential effect of factors considered to be predictors of a poor prognosis. All these aspects will be examined by questionnaires and other suitably-validated instruments. The results obtained will be analysed at 10 weeks, and 6 and 12 months from the start of treatment.
This trial will utilize high quality trial methodologies in accordance with CONSORT guidelines. It may provide evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for fibromyalgia either alone or associated with severe depression.
ISRCTN trial number ISRCTN60217348 (19 October 2010)
Little is known about hair mineral status in fibromyalgia patients. This study evaluated the characteristics of hair minerals in female patients with fibromyalgia compared with a healthy reference group. Forty-four female patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria were enrolled as the case group. Ageand body mass index-matched data were obtained from 122 control subjects enrolled during visit for a regular health check-up. Hair minerals were analyzed and compared between the two groups. The mean age was 43.7 yr. General characteristics were not different between the two groups. Fibromyalgia patients showed a significantly lower level of calcium (775 µg/g vs 1,093 µg/g), magnesium (52 µg/g vs 72 µg/g), iron (5.9 µg/g vs 7.1 µg/g), copper (28.3 µg/g vs 40.2 µg/g) and manganese (140 ng/g vs 190 ng/g). Calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese were loaded in the same factor using factor analysis; the mean of this factor was significantly lower in fibromyalgia group in multivariate analysis with adjustment for potential confounders. In conclusion, the concentrations of calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese in the hair of female patients with fibromyalgia are lower than of controls, even after adjustment of potential confounders.
Fibromyalgia; Fibromyalgia Syndrome; Trace Minerals; Calcium; Magnesium
Elevated catecholamine levels are a well-recognized cause of various types of cardiomyopathy. Causes of catecholamine elevation include tumors, toxins, drugs, emotional stress, and sepsis. Milnacipran is a dual and equipotent inhibitor of norepinephrine and serotonin uptake. It is frequently prescribed as therapy for fibromyalgia, and the drug has a good safety profile. Herein, we report the case of a 42-year-old woman with undefined connective-tissue disease and fibromyalgia who developed a severe and reversible cardiomyopathy while taking recommended doses of milnacipran. The cardiomyopathy was associated with a hyperadrenergic state manifested by tachycardia, hypertension, and elevated plasma catecholamine levels. The discontinuation of milnacipran and the initiation of anti-failure therapy resulted in complete resolution of the cardiomyopathy in 6 months. To our knowledge, this is the first report of milnacipran as a possible cause of catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy.
Antidepressive agents, second-generation/administration & dosage/adverse effects/therapeutic use; cardiomyopathies/diagnosis/epidemiology/etiology/therapy; catecholamines/adverse effects; fibromyalgia/drug therapy; hypertension/chemically induced; magnetic resonance angiography; milnacipran; myocardium/pathology; serotonin uptake inhibitors/adverse effects/therapeutic use; takotsubo cardiomyopathy/chemically induced; treatment outcome; ventricular dysfunction/chemically induced
Fibromyalgia is a prevalent chronic rheumatic disease of great clinical importance. Recent studies have found raised levels of glutamate in the insula, hippocampus and posterior cingulate cortex regions of the brains of fibromyalgia (FM) patients. This finding has led researchers to speculate about the usefulness of glutamate-blocking drugs such as memantine in the treatment of fibromyalgia. The hypothesis of this study is that the administration of memantine will reduce the glutamate levels, and futhermore, will decrease the perceived pain. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of memantine in the treatment of pain (pain perception). A secondary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of memantine in the treatment of other clinical symptoms of FM, and to evaluate the efficacy of memantine in reducing brain levels of glutamate, and its effects on the central nervous system as a whole.
A double-blind parallel randomized controlled trial. Participants, Seventy patients diagnosed with FM will be recruited from primary health care centers in Zaragoza, Spain. Intervention. The subjects will be randomized in two groups: A) A treatment group (n = 35), which will receive 20 mg of memantine daily; B) A control group (n = 35), to which will be administered a placebo. There will be a six-month follow-up period (including a titration period of one month). Outcomes. The main efficacy variable of this study is pain (pain perception). The secondary efficacy variables are clinical symptoms (pain threshold, cognitive function, health status, anxiety, depression, clinical impression and quality of life) and glutamate levels in different regions of the brain, which will be assessed by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Randomization and blinding. Randomization has been computer-generated, and the random allocation sequence will be implemented by telephone. Subjects of the study and the research assistants will be blinded to group assignment.
There is a need for the development of innovative and more effective treatments for fibromyalgia. This clinical trial will determine whether memantine can be an effective pharmacological treatment for fibromyalgia patients.
Current Controlled Trials
http://ISRCTN45127327 EUDRACT 2011-006244-73
Fibromyalgia; Memantine; Chronic pain; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Randomized controlled trial
To the best of our knowledge, we describe for the first time the case of a woman who met the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, did not respond to therapy for that disorder, and was subsequently diagnosed by biochemical and genetic studies with a mitochondrial myopathy. Treatment of the mitochondrial myopathy resulted in resolution of symptoms. This case demonstrates that mitochondrial myopathy may present in an adult with a symptom complex consistent with fibromyalgia.
Our patient was a 41-year-old Caucasian woman with symptoms of fatigue, exercise intolerance, headache, and multiple trigger points. Treatment for fibromyalgia with a wide spectrum of medications including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, gabapentin and pregabalin had no impact on her symptoms. A six-minute walk study demonstrated an elevated lactic acid level (5 mmol/L; normal < 2 mmol/L). Biochemical and genetic studies from a muscle biopsy revealed a mitochondrial myopathy. Our patient was started on a compound of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) 200 mg, creatine 1000 mg, carnitine 200 mg and folic acid 1 mg to be taken four times a day. She gradually showed significant improvement in her symptoms over a course of several months.
This case demonstrates that adults diagnosed with fibromyalgia may have their symptom complex related to an adult onset mitochondrial myopathy. This is an important finding since treatment of mitochondrial myopathy resulted in resolution of symptoms.
The Fibromyalgia Survey Questionnaire (FSQ) assesses the key symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome. The FSQ can be administrated in survey research and settings where the use of interviews to evaluate the number of pain sites and extent of somatic symptom intensity and tender point examination would be difficult. We validated the FSQ in a cross-sectional survey with FMS patients. In a cross-sectional survey, participants with physician diagnosis of FMS were recruited by FMS-self help organisations and nine clinical institutions of different levels of care. Participants answered the FSQ (composed by the Widespread Pain Index [WPI] and the Somatic Severity Score [SSS]) assessing the Fibromyalgia Survey Diagnostic Criteria (FSDC) and the Patient Health Questionnaire PHQ 4. American College of Rheumatology 1990 classification criteria were assessed in a subgroup of participants. 1,651 persons diagnosed with FMS were included into analysis. The acceptance of the FSQ-items ranged between 78.9 to 98.1% completed items. The internal consistency of the items of the SSS ranged between 0.75–0.82. 85.5% of the study participants met the FSDC. The concordance rate of the FSDC and ACR 1990 criteria was 72.7% in a subsample of 128 patients. The Pearson correlation of the SSS with the PHQ 4 depression score was 0.52 (p<0.0001) and with the PHQ anxiety score was 0.51 (p<0.0001) (convergent validity). 64/202 (31.7%) of the participants not meeting the FSDC criteria and 152/1283 (11.8%) of the participants meeting the FSDC criteria reported an improvement (slightly too very much better) in their health status since FMS-diagnosis (Chi2 = 55, p<0.0001) (discriminant validity). The study demonstrated the feasibility of the FSQ in a cross-sectional survey with FMS-patients. The reliability, convergent and discriminant validity of the FSQ were good. Further validation studies of the FSQ in clinical and general population settings are necessary.
To characterise levels of objectively measured sedentary time and physical activity in women with fibromyalgia.
Local Association of Fibromyalgia (Granada, Spain).
The study comprised 94 women with diagnosed fibromyalgia who did not have other severe somatic or psychiatric disorders, or other diseases that prevent physical loading, able to ambulate and to communicate and capable and willing to provide informed consent.
Primary outcome measures
Sedentary time and physical activity were measured by accelerometry and expressed as time spent in sedentary behaviours, average physical activity intensity (counts/minute) and amount of time (minutes/day) spent in moderate intensity and in moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA).
The proportion of women meeting the physical activity recommendations of 30 min/day of MVPA on 5 or more days a week was 60.6%. Women spent, on average, 71% of their waking time (approximately 10 h/day) in sedentary behaviours. Both sedentary behaviour and physical activity levels were similar across age groups, waist circumference and percentage body fat categories, years since clinical diagnosis, marital status, educational level and occupational status, regardless of the severity of the disease (all p>0.1). Time spent on moderate-intensity physical activity and MVPA was, however, lower in those with greater body mass index (BMI) (−6.6 min and −7 min, respectively, per BMI category increase, <25, 25–30, >30 kg/m2; p values for trend were 0.056 and 0.051, respectively). Women spent, on average, 10 min less on MVPA (p<0.001) and 22 min less on sedentary behaviours during weekends compared with weekdays (p=0.051).
These data provide an objective measure of the amount of time spent on sedentary activities and on physical activity in women with fibromyalgia.
Epidemiology; Preventive Medicine; Public Health; Rheumatology
There is evidence of functional growth hormone (GH) deficiency, expressed by means of low insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) serum levels, in a subset of fibromyalgia patients. The efficacy of GH versus placebo has been previously suggested in this population. We investigated the efficacy and safety of low dose GH as an adjunct to standard therapy in the treatment of severe, prolonged and well-treated fibromyalgia patients with low IGF-1 levels.
Twenty-four patients were enrolled in a randomized, open-label, best available care-controlled study. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either 0.0125 mg/kg/d of GH subcutaneously (titrated depending on IGF-1) added to standard therapy or standard therapy alone during one year. The number of tender points, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D), including a Quality of Life visual analogic scale (EQ-VAS) were assessed at different time-points.
At the end of the study, the GH group showed a 60% reduction in the mean number of tender points (pairs) compared to the control group (p < 0.05; 3.25 ± 0.8 vs. 8.25 ± 0.9). Similar improvements were observed in FIQ score (p < 0.05) and EQ-VAS scale (p < 0.001). There was a prompt response to GH administration, with most patients showing improvement within the first months in most of the outcomes. The concomitant administration of GH and standard therapy was well tolerated, and no patients discontinued the study due to adverse events.
The present findings indicate the advantage of adding a daily GH dose to the standard therapy in a subset of severe fibromyalgia patients with low IGF-1 serum levels.
Patients with fibromyalgia often feel disabled in the performance of daily activities. Psychological factors seem to play a pronounced disabling role in fibromyalgia.
The objectives of the study are: Firstly, to investigate contributing factors for disability in fibromyalgia. Secondly, to study psychological distress in patients with fibromyalgia as compared to other nonspecific pain syndromes. And finally, to explore the impact of fibromyalgia on a patient's quality of life.
In this cross sectional study, explaining factors for disability were studied based on a regression analysis with gender, mental health, physical and social functioning as independent variables. For the assessment of disability in fibromyalgia the FIQ was used. The levels of psychological distress in patients with fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and chronic low back pain (CLBP) were compared based on scores on the Symptom Checklist (SCL90). Quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia was compared with scores (SF36) of both patients with fibromyalgia and other health conditions as derived from the literature.
Disability in fibromyalgia seemed best explained by a patients mental health condition (β = -0.360 p = 0.02). The level of psychological distress was higher in patients with fibromyalgia as compared to patients with CRPS or CLBP (p < 0.01). The impact of fibromyalgia on quality of life appeared to be high as compared to the impact of other health conditions.
Patients with fibromyalgia report a considerable impact on their quality of life and their perceived disability level seems influenced by their mental health condition. In comparison with patients with other pain conditions psychological distress is higher.
Milnacipran, a serotonin and norepinephrfrine reuptake inhibitor with preferential inhibition of norepinephrine reuptake over serotonin, is approved in the United States for the management of fibromyalgia. Owing to its effects on norepinephrine and serotonin, as well as its lack of activity at other receptor systems, it was hypothesized that milnacipran would provide improvements in pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms without some of the unpleasant side effects associated with other medications historically used for treating fibromyalgia. The clinical safety and efficacy of milnacipran 100 and 200 mg/day in individuals with fibromyalgia has been investigated in four large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies and three long-term extension studies. The clinical studies used composite responder analyses to identify the proportion of individual patients reporting simultaneous and clinically significant improvements in pain, global status, and physical function, in addition to assessing improvement in various symptom domains such as fatigue and dyscognition. In the clinical studies, patients receiving milnacipran reported significant improvements in pain and other symptoms for up to 15 months of treatment. Most adverse events were mild to moderate in severity and were related to the intrinsic pharmacologic properties of the drug. Long-term exposure to milnacipran did not result in any new safety concerns. As with other serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, increases in heart rate and blood pressure have been observed in some patients with milnacipran treatment.
fatigue; fibromyalgia; milnacipran; pain; physical function; serotonin—norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
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.
fibromyalgia; pain; pharmacological; treatment
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic disease of widespread and debilitating pain whose cause is unknown and whose risk factors are poorly understood. It is often comorbid with rheumatoid and other pain disorders as well as psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. Although they are not officially approved for this indication, antiepileptics and antidepressants are often used to treat fibromyalgia. The tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), particularly amitriptyline, are among the most common treatment strategies. Because of the poor tolerability of the tricyclics, the newer antidepressants have been widely tested in fibromyalgia. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors do not seem to be particularly helpful. The serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), duloxetine and milnacipran, on the other hand, have been shown in placebo-controlled trials to offer significant relief to patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Although no direct comparative studies have been performed, these compounds appear to be as effective as the TCAs but much better tolerated. The effectiveness of the SNRIs as well as other dual acting antidepressants, such as mirtazapine, but not the SSRIs, implies that a dysfunction of both serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmission probably exists in fibromyalgia. The effectiveness of antidepressants appears to be independent of their effect on comorbid depression.
fibromyalgia syndrome; FMS; pain; depression; antidepressants; norephinephrine; serotonin
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome with unknown etiology. Recent studies have shown some evidence demonstrating that oxidative stress may have a role in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia. However, it is still not clear whether oxidative stress is the cause or the effect of the abnormalities documented in fibromyalgia. Furthermore, the role of mitochondria in the redox imbalance reported in fibromyalgia also is controversial. We undertook this study to investigate the role of mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and mitophagy in fibromyalgia.
We studied 20 patients (2 male, 18 female patients) from the database of the Sevillian Fibromyalgia Association and 10 healthy controls. We evaluated mitochondrial function in blood mononuclear cells from fibromyalgia patients measuring, coenzyme Q10 levels with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and mitochondrial membrane potential with flow cytometry. Oxidative stress was determined by measuring mitochondrial superoxide production with MitoSOX™ and lipid peroxidation in blood mononuclear cells and plasma from fibromyalgia patients. Autophagy activation was evaluated by quantifying the fluorescence intensity of LysoTracker™ Red staining of blood mononuclear cells. Mitophagy was confirmed by measuring citrate synthase activity and electron microscopy examination of blood mononuclear cells.
We found reduced levels of coenzyme Q10, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, increased levels of mitochondrial superoxide in blood mononuclear cells, and increased levels of lipid peroxidation in both blood mononuclear cells and plasma from fibromyalgia patients. Mitochondrial dysfunction was also associated with increased expression of autophagic genes and the elimination of dysfunctional mitochondria with mitophagy.
These findings may support the role of oxidative stress and mitophagy in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and other associated symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, cognitive/memory problems, and even psychological distress. Duloxetine is one of three FDA approved medications (the other two being milnacipran and pregabalin) for the treatment of FM. It has been demonstrated that FM patients possess low central nervous system levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. Duloxetine, which is classified pharmacologically as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), may be beneficial for FM patients by increasing these levels. This review will touch briefly upon the pathophysiology of FM, diagnostic tools, currently available therapeutic options (both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic), as well as the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties of duloxetine. In addition, the efficacy and safety/tolerability of duloxetine exclusively in FM will be assessed through examination of 5 randomized controlled trials, as well as pooled analyses of current data. Suggestions for a therapeutic niche for duloxetine in FM are discussed based on a presentation of the characteristics of duloxetine.
duloxetine; fibromyalgia; safety; efficacy; treatment; pain
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex syndrome characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain which is often accompanied by multiple other symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbances, decreased physical functioning, and dyscognition. Due to these multiple symptoms, as well as high rates of comorbidity with other related disorders, patients with FM often report a reduced quality of life. Although the pathophysiology of FM is not completely understood, patients with FM experience pain differently from the general population, most likely due to dysfunctional pain processing in the central nervous system leading to both hyperalgesia and allodynia. In many patients with FM, this aberrant pain processing, or central sensitization, appears to involve decreased pain inhibition within the spinal tract, which is mediated by descending pathways that utilize serotonin, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters. The reduced serotonin and norepinephrine levels observed in patients with FM suggest that medications which increase the levels of these neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), may have clinically beneficial effects in FM and other chronic pain conditions. Milnacipran is an SNRI that has been approved for the management of FM. In clinical trials, treatment with milnacipran for up to 1 year has been found to improve the pain and other symptoms of FM. Because FM is characterized by multiple symptoms that all contribute to the decreased quality of life and ability to function, the milnacipran pivotal trials implemented responder analyses. These utilized a single composite endpoint to identify the proportion of patients who reported simultaneous and clinically significant improvements in pain, global disease status, and physical function. Other domains assessed during the milnacipran trials include fatigue, multidimensional functioning, mood, sleep quality, and patient-reported dyscognition. This review article provides information intended to help clinicians make informed decisions about the use of milnacipran in the clinical management of patients with FM. It draws primarily on results from 2 of the pivotal clinical trials that formed the basis of approval of milnacipran in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration.
fibromyalgia; milnacipran; pain; serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors; SNRI
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a widespread pain condition associated with a wide range of additional symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety and stiffness. Duloxetine is one of three medications currently FDA approved for use in FMS management. Duloxetine is a mixed serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that functions by increasing central nervous system levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. This review is a primer on use of duloxetine in FMS management and includes information on pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, a review of the three duloxetine FMS treatment trials currently in publication, a discussion of the safety and tolerability of duloxetine, and patient-focused perspectives on duloxetine use in FMS management. Duloxetine has proven efficacy in managing pain and mood symptoms in adult FMS patients with and without major depressive disorder. However, due to side effects, duloxetine must be used with caution in patients with fatigue, insomnia, gastrointestinal complaints, headache, cardiovascular disease, bleeding-risk, and in those 24 years of age and younger due to risk of suicidality. Duloxetine use should be avoided in patients with liver disease or alcoholics. As with all medications, duloxetine is best used as part of an individualized regimen that includes nonpharmacologic modalities of exercise, education and behavioral therapies.
fibromyalgia; duloxetine; SNRI; safety
The objective of this study was to elicit and assess important symptom domains and the impact of fibromyalgia on patients’ quality of life and functioning from a patient’s perspective. The intention was to collect this information as part of an overall effort to overcome shortcomings of existing outcome measures in fibromyalgia.
This was a qualitative study in which six focus group sessions with 48 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia were conducted to elicit concepts and ideas to assess the impact of fibromyalgia on their lives.
The focus groups conducted with fibromyalgia patients identified symptom domains that had the greatest impact on their quality of life including pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. Fibromyalgia had a substantial negative impact on social and occupational function. Patients reported disrupted relationships with family and friends, social isolation, reduced activities of daily living and leisure activities, avoidance of physical activity, and loss of career or inability to advance in careers or education.
The findings from the focus groups revealed that fibromyalgia has a substantial negative impact on patients’ lives.
A comprehensive assessment of the multiple symptoms domains associated with fibromyalgia and the impact of fibromyalgia on multidimensional aspects of function should be a routine part of the care of fibromyalgia patients.
fibromyalgia; patient focus group; symptom domains; quality of life
Purpose of the Review
The present review is intended to give an overview of fibromyalgia for the anesthesiologist. While the basics of the treatment of fibromyalgia are included, the intent is to provide context to discuss the potential implications in perioperative management.
One of the most important changes in the last year is the new criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Instead of a combination of self-report and a tender point examination, there is a new self-report questionnaire that is now used diagnose fibromyalgia. This tool incorporates aspects of widespread body pain and some of the known comorbid symptoms. A score of 0-31 is given, which allows for the disease to be viewed as a continuum of sensitivity and symptomatology, instead of as a binary diagnosis. This continuum has been termed “fibromyalgia-ness.” This article also reviews the advances in understanding of the pathophysiology and emerging therapies. Little is known about the impact of fibromyalgia in the perioperative period.
The impact of fibromyalgia on anesthesia care is not known. Years of quality research have clearly demonstrated multiple pathophysiologic changes that could impact anesthesia care and future study is needed.
fibromyalgia; treatment; anesthesiology; postoperative pain; chronic post-surgical pain
Personality traits have been associated with primary depression. However, it is not known whether this association takes place in the case of depression comorbid with fibromyalgia.
The authors investigated the association between a current major depressive episode and temperament traits (e.g., harm avoidance).
A sample of 69 adult female patients with fibromyalgia was assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory. Psychiatric diagnoses were assessed with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview severity of depressive symptomatology with the Beck Depression Inventory, and anxiety symptomatology with the IDATE-state and pain intensity with a visual analog scale.
A current major depressive episode was diagnosed in 28 (40.5%) of the patients. They presented higher levels of harm avoidance and lower levels of cooperativeness and self-directedness compared with non-depressed patients, which is consistent with the Temperament and Character Inventory profile of subjects with primary depression. However, in contrast to previous results in primary depression, no association between a major depressive episode and self-transcendence was found.
The results highlight specific features of depression in fibromyalgia subjects and may prove important for enhancing the diagnosis and prognosis of depression in fibromyalgia patients.
Fibromyalgia; Personality; Depression; Temperament; Character
To explore experiences and consequences of the process of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Qualitative focus-group study.
Two local self-help groups.
Eleven women diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Main outcome measures
Descriptions of experiences and consequences of the process of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Many participants had been suffering for years, and initial response of relief was common. For some, the diagnosis legitimized the symptoms as a disease, for others it felt better to suffer from fibromyalgia rather than more serious conditions. Nevertheless sadness and despair emerged when they discovered limitations in treatment options, respect, and understanding. Some patients keep the diagnosis to themselves since people seem to pay no attention to the name, or blatantly regard them as too cheerful or healthy looking. The initial blessing of the fibromyalgia diagnosis seems to be limited in the long run. The process of adapting to this diagnosis can be lonely and strenuous.
A diagnosis may be significant when it provides the road to relief or legitimizes the patient's problems. The social and medical meaning of the fibromyalgia diagnosis appears to be more complex. Our findings propose that the diagnosis was hardly helpful for these patients.
Diagnosis; family practice; fibromyalgia; focus group; physician–patient relation
We hypothesized that fibromyalgia (FM) patients would report lower levels of psychological control mechanisms and that higher levels of control would moderate key symptoms associated with FM, such as pain, fatigue, perceived stress, and mood disturbance.
Ninety-eight women with FM diagnosed according to American College of Rheumatology criteria and 35 matched pain-free women were identified. Applied questionnaires included the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Profile of Mood States, Perceived Control of Internal States Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, and Mastery Scale. Differences were sought using t-tests, one-way analysis of variance, bivariate correlations, and multiple regression analysis.
Comparison between FM patients and healthy individuals found significant differences in control (Perceived Control of Internal States Scale and Mastery Scale), pain, perceived stress, fatigue, confusion, and mood disturbance (all P < 0.001). There were significant associations found between both high and low levels of control on stress, mood, pain, and fatigue (P < 0.001–0.05). Strong negative correlations were present between internal control and perceived stress (P < 0.0005).
FM patients use significantly different control styles compared with healthy individuals. Levels and type of psychological control buffer mood, stress, fatigue, and pain in FM. Control appears to be an important “up-stream” process in FM mechanisms and is amenable to intervention.
fibromyalgia; psychological; control; mastery; stress
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, musculoskeletal pain condition that predominately affects women. Although fibromyalgia is common and associated with substantial morbidity and disability, there are no US Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments. However, progress has been made in identifying pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia. Recent pharmacological treatment studies have focused on selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, which enhance serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmission in the descending pain pathways and lack many of the adverse side effects associated with tricyclic medications. Promising results have also been reported for medications that bind to the α2δ subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels, resulting in decreased calcium influx at nerve terminals and subsequent reduction in the release of several neurotransmitters thought to play a role in pain processing. There is also evidence to support exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, education, and social support in the management of fibromyalgia. It is likely that many patients would benefit from combinations of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, but more study is needed.