Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Misleading Information

I am in no position to advise anyone on what drugs should be used for treating fibromyalgia, but I do get frustrated when I hear a commercial for Lyrica. Lyrica is one of the few drugs approved specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia. The commercial drives me nuts "...I felt a deep radiating pain...the doctors diagnosed it as fibromyalgia."

Why does this peturb me so much? First, it implies that fibromyalgia is defined as a deep radiating pain.
I take issue with the "deep radiating pain." "Radiating implies it comes from a central point and radiates out. That just isn't true. Second, it also implies that with Lyrica, all your problems are solved. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache, typically arising from muscles. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist."

It also goes on to state that, "People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is frequently disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea, that further worsen symptoms."

It also mentions that, "Many people who have fibromyalgia also may have:
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Endometriosis
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
Nowhere does the site mention "a deep radiating pain." To complicate matters further, a person does not need to have all the symptoms listed to be diagnosed with fibro. You might have one symptom or many. Also the pain might only occur in very specific parts of the body, not necessarily all over.

For this reason, one drug is not a panacea for all. Everyone tolerates drugs differently and the symptoms manifested by the fibromite ultimately dictates the best treatment which might not even consist of medication.