New treatment options in the management of fibromyalgia: role of pregabalin

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2008 Dec;4(6):1193-201. doi: 10.2147/ndt.s3257.


Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common, chronic pain disorder with unknown etiology, characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, and accompanied by several other symptoms such as sleep disturbance, fatigue, and mood disorders. Pregabalin is the first drug approved for the treatment of FM. Pregabalin has analgesic, anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic activity and has earlier demonstrated efficacy in the management of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and as adjuvant therapy for adult patients with partial onset seizures. Pregabalin, a lipophilic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog, is alpha(2)delta-1 ligand that binds to, and modulates, voltage-gated calcium channels. This modulation is characterized by a reduction of the excessive neurotransmitter release that is observed in certain neurological and psychotic disorders. Several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have demonstrated that pregabalin has been effective in pain management, improving sleep quality and fatigue, as well as in several domains of health related quality of life. Because of mild to moderate adverse effects it can be considered a well-tolerated therapy for FM.

Keywords: GABA analog; fibromyalgia; fibromyalgia treatment; pregabalin.