Patients with fibromyalgia resistant to more routine therapies have a new pain relief treatment available, according to a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 annual meeting. Intravenous (IV) lidocaine infusion provided significant pain relief to fibromyalgia patients, although the pain relief was much less for African-Americans and smokers.
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. The disorder affects an estimated 10 million people in the United States and an estimated three to six percent of the world population. Women account for 80 to 90 percent of those with the condition. Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder characterized by widespread pain throughout the body as well as a heightened, painful response to pressure. Additional symptoms include fatigue, sleep disorders and joint stiffness.
"Fibromyalgia is a truly debilitating disease that can have a severe impact on quality of life," said Billy K. Huh, M.D., Ph.D., professor and medical director of the Department of Pain Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and adjunct professor of the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
The study was a retrospective review of 55 fibromyalgia patients whose pain did not respond to more conservative treatments. Statistics were collected for sex, race, body weight, pain duration, pain relief duration after lidocaine infusion, and scores on the brief pain inventory scale, visual analog scale and pain interference scale before and after the infusion.