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Self-reported medication and herb/supplement use by women with and without Fibromyalgia – Source: Journal of Women’s Health, May 2009

  [ 82 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By JL Shaver, et al. • • May 20, 2009

Methods: Using a telephone survey of 434 women who self-reported having and 198 women who denied having fibromyalgia (FM) (aged 18-80 years), we compared women on self-reported number, major types, and effectiveness of currently taken conventional medications and herbs/supplements.


93% of women with FM reported taking at least one medication (1,855 total, 499 types, on average 4.6 per person), compared with 56% of women without FM (269 total, 172 types, 1.4 per person on average).

• Half (n = 217) of the women with FM reported taking antidepressant drugs; more reported selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)-type with moderate effectiveness than tricyclic amines deemed to have strong effectiveness. Few were taking dual uptake inhibitors or the now approved pregabalin.

• Nearly 30% reported taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), which have weak efficacy evidence.

Less than 8% of controls reported taking either antidepressants or NSAID.

Having FM was associated with these medications plus guaifenesen, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, narcotics, other analgesics, and benzodiazepines ["tranquilizers"].

Highest effectiveness scores were for opioid narcotics and guaifenesin.

Forty-three percent of women with FM reported taking at least one herb/supplement compared with 23% of control women. The most common types were: Omega esterified fatty acids, glucosamine, and gingko. No particular type distinguished between the groups. Both groups tended to rate overall effectiveness lower for herbs/supplements than for conventional medications.


• Substantial numbers of women with FM were taking pain medications that often lacked evidence for effectiveness.

• The variety of medications being taken by women with FM compared with women without FM indicates that there are few medications that consistently provide symptom alleviation for this condition.

Source: Journal of Women’s Health, May 2009. PMID: 19445618, by Shaver JL, Wilbur J, Lee H, Robinson FP, Wang E. University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois, USA. [E-mail:]

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Posted by: peterkro
May 21, 2009
Fibromyalgia in my experienced is associated with depleted glutathione levels. We all produce less Glutathione from the age of twenty but some people run low earlier. Taking Glutathione does not help because it is broken down in the digestive process. There are precursors that have been verified and quantified to increase Glutathione levels in our cells and it's wonderful. Glutathione is essential for cell health and all diseases start at some level of cellular dysfunction. Any how have a look at what Doctors say.
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