Background: Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and sleep disturbances. Its primary cause is unclear. Several studies have reported decreased intracellular magnesium levels in patients with fibromyalgia and have found negative correlation between magnesium levels and fibromyalgia symptoms.
Objective: To gather preliminary data on whether transdermal magnesium can improve quality of life for women who have fibromyalgia.
Design, setting, participants and interventions: This is a patient questionnaires and survey in a fibromyalgia clinic at a tertiary medical center. Forty female patients with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia were enrolled. Each participant was provided a spray bottle containing a transdermal magnesium chloride solution and asked to apply 4 sprays per limb twice daily for 4 weeks. Participants were asked to complete the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, SF-36v2 Health Survey, and a quality-of-life analog scale at baseline, week 2, and week 4.
Main outcome measure: Questionnaire and survey scores, evaluated through intent-to-treat and per-protocol analyses.
Results: Twenty-four patients completed the study (mean [SD] age, 57.2 [7.6] years; white, 95%; mean body mass index, 31.3 kg/m2). With intention-to-treat analysis, Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire subscale and total scores were significantly improved at week 2 and week 4 (total score, P=0.001). Per-protocol analysis results were similar: all subscales of the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire were significantly improved at week 2 and week 4 (total score, P=0.001).
Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that transdermal magnesium chloride applied on upper and lower limbs may be beneficial to patients with fibromyalgia.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov.ldentifier NCT01968772.