Fibromyalgia drug sparks debate

Jan 14, 2008

Pfizer heralded the effectiveness of its newly approved fibromyalgia treatment, Lyrica, as some U.S. doctors question the very existence of the condition.

Lyrica acts as a central nervous system depressant that alleviates some painful conditions associated with fibromyalgia but some doctors, including Dr. Frederick Wolfe who first described the diagnostic guidelines for the condition, say it isn't a disease, The New York Times said Monday.

Fibromyalgia primarily affects middle-age woman and is associated with chronic and pervasive pain of unknown origin. Most sufferers don't respond to painkillers such as aspirin or narcotic analgesics such as codeine.

Many doctors fear the emergence of Lyrica as a treatment will validate the contentious diagnosis and may actually worsen the symptoms by persuading sufferers from obsessing over aches and pains other people may tolerate, the Times said.

Wolfe, director of the National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases, told the Times he considered the condition a psychosomatic response to emotional trauma.

The American College of Rheumatology, the Food and Drug Administration and health insurers recognize fibromyalgia as a diagnosable disease.

Critics and opponents, however, agree that Lyrica treats patients who don't respond to conventional pain killers.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: New treatment approved for rare form of hemophilia

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: Galactic wheel of life shines in infrared

23 minutes ago

It might look like a spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" weapon wielded by warriors like "Xena," from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released ...

Sex-loving, meat-eating reptiles have shorter lives

26 minutes ago

The health risks and benefits of vegetarianism have long been discussed in relation to the human diet, but newly published research reveals that it's definitely of benefit to the reptile population. That, ...

Ericsson profit down 10 pct despite higher sales

28 minutes ago

Wireless equipment maker Ericsson says its third-quarter earnings slumped 10 percent despite higher sales due to increased operating costs and negative effects from currency hedging.

UK wind power share shows record rise

1 hour ago

The United Kingdom wind power production has been enjoying an upward trajectory, and on Tuesday wind power achieved a significant energy production milestone, reported Brooks Hays for UPI. High winds from Hurricane Gonzalo were the force behind wind turbines outproducing nuclear power ...

Recommended for you

WHO: Millions of Ebola vaccine doses ready in 2015

Oct 24, 2014

The World Health Organization says millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines will start being tested in March.

Added benefit of vedolizumab is not proven

Oct 23, 2014

Vedolizumab (trade name Entyvio) has been approved since May 2014 for patients with moderately to severely active Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis. In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the Act on the Reform of the ...

Seaweed menace may yield new medicines

Oct 22, 2014

An invasive seaweed clogging up British coasts could be a blessing in disguise. University of Greenwich scientists have won a cash award to turn it into valuable compounds which can lead to new, life-saving drugs.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

eadoran
5 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2008
Contrary to Wolfe's opinion that Fibromyalgia is pychosomatic, I contracted it following a virus four years ago. There have been noted many other triggers for this condition to occur.

Considering he wrote the diagnostic criteria for fibromyaliga, this is a rather insulting turn around to sufferers of this very real and very painful condition.