Researchers have uncovered a more effective way of treating fibromyalgia by combining with duloxetine.
The combination can safely improve outcomes in patients with fibromyalgia, including relief from pain, physical function, and overall quality of life.
“Previous evidence supports added benefits with some drug combinations in fibromyalgia,” said Ian Gilron, MD, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. “We are very excited to present the first evidence demonstrating superiority of a duloxetine-pregabalin combination over either drug alone.”
“The value of such combination approaches is they typically involve drugs that have been extensively studied and are well known to healthcare providers,” he added.
For the study, published in the journal Pain, researchers randomised 41 patients with fibromyalgia to receive placebo, pregabalin alone, duloxetine alone, or pregabalin plus duloxetine for 6 weeks.
The primary endpoint was daily pain (score, 0-10); secondary outcomes included global pain relief, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, SF-36 survey, Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and adverse events.
Daily pain was 5.1 for placebo, 5.0 for pregabalin alone, 4.1 for duloxetine alone, and 3.7 for the combination therapy.
The percentage of patients reporting ≥moderate global pain relief were 18%, 39%, 42%, and 68%, respectively.
Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores were 42.9, 37.4, 36.0, and 29.8; SF-36 scores were 50.2, 55.7, 56.0, and 61.2; Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale scores were 48.9, 35.2, 46.1, and 32.1; and BDI-II scores were 11.9, 9.9, 10.7, and 8.9, respectively.
Moderate–severe drowsiness was more frequent in the combination group compared with the placebo group.
The authors noted that future research should compare this drug combination and other combinations to monotherapy for fibromyalgia.