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IV Lidocaine Promising in Fibromyalgia Treatment

  [ 134 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • May 17, 2002




BRIGHTON, UK (Reuters Health) Apr 25 - Patients with fibromyalgia who have not responded to standard treatments may benefit from an intravenous infusion of the anaesthetic lignocaine (lidocaine), according to results of a pilot study presented here at the British Society for Rheumatology meeting on Wednesday.

Although the results are preliminary, researchers say they are promising enough to warrant further investigation.

Systematic administration of local anaesthetics is common in other neuropathic disorders, but UK physicians found that the use of intravenous anaesthetics in fibromyalgia had not been investigated.

Dr J. H. Raphael, of the Dudley Group of Hospitals in West Midlands, and colleagues offered intravenous lignocaine to 55 patients who failed to respond to physical, psychological, or traditional pharmacological therapy and had no cardiac conduction abnormalities.

After treatment, they asked patients to recall how much pain they felt before and after therapy and questioned them about sleeping habits, sex life, social life, their ability to work, and general psychological well being.

Among 50 patients who responded to the questionnaire, the median pain score dropped from 9 before treatment to 5 after (p < 0.001), based on an 11-point rating scale.

The effect of the therapy reduced depression from a median of 8 to 5, dependency from 8 to 5, and ability to cope from 9 to 5, all statistically significant (p < 0.001), the investigators reported.

Patients also felt an improvement in their social and sex lives because of reduced pain. The therapy had no effect on their ability to work.

"This is a pilot study on a relatively risky therapy, and our conclusions are rather cautious," Dr. Raphael, a consultant in pain relief, told Reuters Health.

"We don't know whether it is the pharmacological agent, or whether it is a psychological or physical thing. But we think there may be something going on, and we think these results merit us continuing with prospective randomised controlled trials," he said.

© 2002 Reuters



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