If you have fibromyalgia, chances are your doctor has prescribed one or more of the three drugs approved for fibromyalgia by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is also likely you have been disappointed when they didn’t work and by the side effects they caused.
I have tried Lyrica (pregabalin), Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Savella (milnacipran). My experience is they don’t work well and clinical research doesn’t offer up enough credible evidence that they do.
Patient feedback on these medications is actually more telling than recent studies. Just check any fibromyalgia online forum and you will find your unpleasant experiences with these medications aren’t unique and shared by many.
Lyrica was developed by Pfizer as a treatment for epilepsy, but it is now widely prescribed for many different types of pain. Lyrica was approved by the FDA in 2007 as the first drug specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Pfizer notes on its website that Lyrica “significantly relieves fibromyalgia pain and improves physical function” in fibromyalgia patients. But does it really?
An initial study from 2005, with results published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, found Lyrica to be effective at relieving pain in only 29% of the 529 fibromyalgia patients in the study group.
A major shortcoming of the study was that weight gain affected 10% of the study participants.