Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease may be beneficial in treating fibromyalgia


New study finds improvement of fibromyalgia symptoms with few side effects

The mechanism of fibromyalgia, a chronic illness characterized by muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, is unknown and medications used to treat it (such as antidepressants, antiepileptics, muscle relaxants, antiinflammatories, sedative hypnotics, pain relievers and nutriceuticals) have had limited success. New research findings indicate that the pain associated with this disease may be due to abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system.

Recently, researchers from Pacific Rheumatology Associates in Renton, Washington set out to investigate whether the dopamine receptor agonist pramipexole was safe and effective in treating fibromyalgia. Normally used to treat Parkinson’s disease, this drug stimulates dopamine (a neurotransmitter) production by binding to dopamine receptor sites and is thought to inhibit sensory nerve-mediated responses. This is the first trial of pramipexole and only the second trial for this type of dopamine receptor agonist for the treatment of fibromyalgia. The findings are published in the August 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

The study was a single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 60 patients with fibromyalgia who were randomly selected in a 2:1 ratio to receive either pramipexole or a placebo every evening for 14 weeks. The dosage for those receiving the drug was increased weekly, starting at 0.25 mg the first week and ending at 4.5 mg for the last three weeks; it was then tapered to 0 mg during week 15. Because fibromyalgia patients often take a variety of medications, participants were allowed to continue these as long as the dosage had been stable for at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the study. A total of 49 patients completed the study due to a variety of reasons, the most common of which was violating protocol by starting a new medication during the study period. None withdrew because of side effects.

The pramipexole group noted significantly decreased pain compared to the placebo group at the end of the study: at least a 50% decrease in pain was achieved by 42% of this group compared with 14% of the placebo group, as measured by the pain score on the visual analog scale (VAS). Overall, 82% of the patients taking pramipexole noted some improvement in pain, compared with 57% of the placebo group. In addition, other scales measuring fibromyalgia symptoms and mental status showed an improvement in the group taking the drug. Pramipexole was well tolerated, with the most common side effect being weight loss and nausea. Patients did not suffer the hallucinations and sleep attacks commonly described by those taking pramipexole for Parkinson’s disease. The nausea was experienced by both groups and may have been partially due to language on the consent form that emphasized the potential for this symptom. The gradual increase in pramipexole dosage over a number of weeks appeared to be an important factor in the drug’s effectiveness, but this effect warrants further study since this was the only dosage schedule used.

Although the study had some limitations, such as the allowance of other medications and the relatively short treatment period, the results are nonetheless promising. "In summary, a new treatment approach using a D3 receptor agonist offers hope to patients with fibromyalgia," state study authors Andrew J. Holman and Robin R. Myers, adding that the study demonstrated improvement in measures of pain, fatigue, function and global status, with few side effects. They conclude: "Further investigation of this pramipexole treatment paradigm is warranted to determine its mechanism of action in patients with fibromyalgia, its long-term risks and benefits, and to confirm these findings in patients not taking concomitant medications."

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>