New research published in the journal Pain Medicine reveals some interesting statistics about the drug treatments most commonly used by people with fibromyalgia. Researchers note that some common medications lack evidence of effectiveness.
In the survey of 1,700 people, they discovered 182 different types of drugs prescribed for fibromyalgia. The most common included:
- Cymbalta (duloxetine): 26.8%
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs): 26.6%
- Lyrica (pregabalin): 24.5%
- Opioids: 24.2%
- Tramadol/Ultram: 15.3%
- Benzodiazepines: 15.2%
- Cyclobenzaprine: 12.9%
- Savella (milnacipran): 8.9%
NSAIDs and opiates have little or no evidence of effectiveness against fibromyalgia pain. Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella are the only FDA-approved drugs for this condition.
Most participants - 77.8% - were taking more than one medication.
As expected, most study participants were female. In fact, 94.6% were women, which is slightly higher than the usual estimate of 90%. Nearly 83% were Caucasian. The mean age was 50.4 years, and the mean length of illness was 5.6 years.
Participants reported spending a lot of money on health care. They also tended to have a lot of health-related work limitations.
Do you fit in the demographics of this study? What medications do you take? Do you take several? Take the poll, and leave your comments below!