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Efficacy of Farabloc as an analgesic in primary Fibromyalgia

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By GL Bach and DB Clement • • January 24, 2007

[Note: Farabloc is an electromagnetic shielding fabric resembling linen and woven of extremely fine steel and nylon fibers, which blocks electromagnetic fields in the high- to ultra-high frequency range and has been demonstrated in previous trials to alleviate phantom limb pain.]

Journal: Clinical Rheumatology. 2007 Jan 11; [E-publication ahead of print] [To access the full text of the article at no cost, visit the Farabloc website at]

Authors and affiliations: Bach GL, Clement DB. Department of Medicine/Rheumatology, University of Munich, Munich, Germany (Bach); Division of Sports Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Clement). [E-mail: ].

PMID: 17216399

The goal of our study was to determine the efficacy of Farabloc, an electromagnetic shielding fabric compared to placebo fabric when worn as a nightgown, as an analgesic in patients hospitalized with Fibromyalgia.

In a rheumatologic and rehabilitation hospital, we performed:
n A phase 1, single-blind study of patients using Farabloc (F) or placebo (P) gowns for 8 hours per night during the 20-day hospitalization. (Phase 1: 42 F, mean age 49.02 years, 35 female, 7 male; 84 P, mean age 48.08 years, 72 female, 12 males.)

n And a phase 2, single-blind crossover study of patients using both F and P gowns randomly and alternatively switching after 10 of 21 days hospitalization. (Phase 2: 25 F/P, P/F, or P/P, mean age 44.0 years, 24 female, 1 male).

The study involved randomly selected and blinded use of hospital gown 8 hours per night of either F or P fabric. [Single blinded means patients did not know whether they were wearing a garment made of Farabloc or placebo (a material other than Farabloc), but those who administered the study did know which patients were in each group.]

The main outcome measures were changes from admission or midpoint to discharge in quantity of pain (QN), quality of pain (QL), and paracetamol [acetaminophen] use (PU). [Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, was the only analgesic allowed the patients.]

In phase 1, all three variables significantly favored F over P when using paired t test, two sample t test, Mann-Whitney, and analysis of covariance tests. QN was reduced (F = -2.03 -/+ 0.99*, P = 0.59 -/+ 0.71).

QL was reduced (F = -10.64 -/+ 5.69*, P = -2.54 -/+ 3.40). PU was reduced (F = 10.69 -/+ 6.68*, P = 26.12 -/+ 9.37). In phase 2, comparing midpoint to discharge levels in the three variables again favored P/F over F/P and P/P (>0.001): QN (P/F +16.00 -/+ 8.35* F/P -13.27 -/+ 11.40), QL (P/F +8.71 -/+ 4.75* F/P -6.55 -/+ 5.59), and PU (F -9.29 -/+ 4.39* P -18.00 -/+ 5.27) (*p = <0.001).

Patients with Fibromyalgia had less pain after sleeping in a gown made of Farabloc than with a placebo fabric.

This suggests that Farabloc, an electromagnetic shielding fabric, has analgesic properties in Fibromyalgia. Reduced pain observation is consistent with previous studies in phantom limb pain and delayed onset muscle pain. Limitations of this study include single blind design, small sample size, and in phase 2, a lack of washout period and an F/F group.

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