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Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Arthritis Channel
Reported November 21, 2005

New Help for Fibromyalgia

New Help for FibromyalgiaSEATTLE (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- It's a completely new way to treat fibromyalgia and the pain that comes with the condition. And patients on the medication say they can't imagine going through life without it.

A few years ago, Jean Fuller wasn't able to enjoy her gardening. "It was real hard to stoop over like this and weed," she says. A condition called fibromyalgia caused chronic pain in her muscles and joints. "So much pain in the muscles of my arms that I would have to quit."

But thanks to a new treatment, Fuller has her life back. "If I couldn't take it, I think I'd cry."

For five years, Fuller has taken the drug MIRAPEX (pramipexole dihydrochloride) every night. Now, research confirms what she already knows: It can significantly reduce pain and fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia.

"It's completely transformed the treatment of fibromyalgia," says Andrew Holman, M.D., a rheumatologist at Pacific Rheumatology Associates, Inc. in Seattle.

A new study shows MIRAPEX reduces fibromyalgia pain better than any other drug.

"The number of pages I get after hours, the misery the patients have has diminished dramatically," Dr. Holman tells Ivanhoe.

Nearly half of patients who took MIRAPEX reported 42-percent less pain compared to only 14-percent of those on placebo. Overall, 82 percent of patients on MIRAPEX had some improvement in pain.

Dr. Holman says this is the medicine that may provide a completely new way of approaching fibromyalgia. Instead of inducing sleep like current drugs do, it lets patients sleep by stimulating dopamine receptors. That also decreases pain -- pain patients like Fuller gladly live without.

Side effects from MIRAPEX are mild and include nausea and weight loss. It was designed to stimulate dopamine receptor production in Parkinson's patients. Researchers discovered it could help fibromyalgia patients by accident.

This article was reported by, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: /newsalert/.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Lori Lewis
Pacific Rheumatology Associates, Inc. PS
4300 Talbot Rd. South, Suite 101
Renton, WA 98055
(425) 235-9500

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