Medical Minute: Future of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by extreme pain and muscle stiffness. It strikes five million to ten million Americans. Fibromyalgia is often treated with anti-depressants, but newer, more targeted therapies may soon be available.

For more than 20 years, Elizabeth Tross-Deamer suffered the pain of Fibromyalgia. She started taking a new medication, pregabalin, and her pain subsided.

"The memory is better. My relationships are better. People like me a lot more," says Elizabeth.

For the first time in years, this wine author can sleep at night, giving her back energy and stamina during the day. Bernadine Smith took a different drug, milnacipran, and had similar results.

"I didn't have as much depression. I wasn't as fatigued," says Bernadine.

Dr. Philip Mease is testing both drugs in separate studies.

"At least a third of the patients in both trials have experienced, roughly, a 50 percent reduction in pain," Dr. Mease says.

Or the drugs come from different families; pregabalin is a pain reliever, milnacipran an anti-depressant.

"What both of these medications are doing are restoring to a more natural balance the neuro-chemicals in the brain that are off kilter in this condition."

Both drugs are still in trials, but for these two women, the verdict is already in.

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