OBJECTIVE - Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and lowered pain threshold. Other prominent symptoms include disordered sleep and fatigue. FMS affects an estimated 2% of the population, predominantly women. This trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pregabalin, a novel alpha(2)-delta ligand, for treatment of symptoms associated with FMS.
METHODS - This multicenter, double-blind, 8-week, randomized clinical trial compared the effects of placebo with those of 150, 300, and 450 mg/day pregabalin on pain, sleep, fatigue, and health-related quality of life in 529 patients with FMS. The primary outcome variable was the comparison of end point mean pain scores, derived from daily diary ratings of pain intensity, between each of the pregabalin treatment groups and the placebo group.
RESULTS - Pregabalin at 450 mg/day significantly reduced the average severity of pain in the primary analysis compared with placebo (-0.93 on a 0-10 scale) (P = 0.001), and significantly more patients in this group had >/=50% improvement in pain at the end point (29%, versus 13% in the placebo group; P = 0.003). Pregabalin at 300 and 450 mg/day was associated with significant improvements in sleep quality, fatigue, and global measures of change. Pregabalin at 450 mg/day improved several domains of health-related quality of life. Dizziness and somnolence were the most frequent adverse events. Rates of discontinuation due to adverse events were similar across all 4 treatment groups.
CONCLUSION - Pregabalin at 450 mg/day was efficacious for the treatment of FMS, reducing symptoms of pain, disturbed sleep, and fatigue compared with placebo. Pregabalin was well tolerated and improved global measures and health-related quality of life.