Evidence supports combination therapy for treating fibromyalgia pain

Posted 06 Nov, 2016
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A study has found a combination of the pain drugs pregabalin and duloxetine to be more effective than monotherapy in relieving fibromyalgia pain. The findings, published in Pain, provide support for combination therapy, which is commonly used in this patient population despite a lack of strong evidence for the practice, the investigators wrote. They noted that previous trials have tended to examine pain reduction using monotherapy.

The investigators conducted a single-center, randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of pregabalin (Lyrica, Pfizer) and duloxetine (Cymbalta, Lilly) with that of each drug individually, as well as with placebo (Pain 2016;157:1532-1540). They recruited 41 patients with fibromyalgia (age range, 18-70 years) between April 2011 and September 2014. All the patients had experienced daily pain of 4 or higher on a scale of 0 to 10 for at least three months before recruitment. In addition to study medications, the participants were given previously prescribed analgesics, including acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids.

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