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Reduction of morning stiffness & improvement in physical function in fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome patients treated sublingually with low doses of human interferon - alpha

  [ 77 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • August 6, 1999

One hundred and twelve fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients
were randomized into one of four demographically similar
groups (n = 28/group). Sequential primary FMS patient
volunteers were to receive daily sublingual placebo or
interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) at 15, 50, or 150 IU. After a
screening evaluation, analgesic or sedative hypnotic
medications were withdrawn. Two weeks later, daily IFN-alpha
or placebo was initiated with follow-up evaluations at 2-week
intervals ending with week 6. One primary, three secondary,
and seven tertiary variables were assessed. Study outcome was
based on improvement in the tender point index (TPI). The TPI
did not improve with any IFN-alpha dose.

However, significant
improvement was seen in morning stiffness and in physical
function with the 50 IU IFN-alpha (p < 0.01). None of the
other outcome means changed significantly and no adverse
events were attributable to IFN-alpha therapy.

Russell IJ, Michalek JE, Kang YK, Richards AB

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