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First treatment for Fibromyalgia Pain now Available in Canada

Published : 2009-05-12

Synopsis: Pfizer Canada Inc announces Lyrica for treatment of fibromyalgia pain is now available in Canada.

Main Digest

Pfizer Canada Inc. announced today that LYRICA (pregabalin) is now indicated for the management of pain associated with fibromyalgia, giving the approximately one million Canadians who suffer from this debilitating condition a key component towards managing their disease.

Relief in sight for Canadians suffering from a common chronic widespread pain condition.

Pfizer Canada Inc. announced today that LYRICA (pregabalin) is now indicated for the management of pain associated with fibromyalgia, giving the approximately one million Canadians who suffer from this debilitating condition a key component towards managing their disease.

This new indication announcement, made on International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, represents positive news for fibromyalgia sufferers since pain associated with the condition previously had no approved treatment options in Canada.

"Fibromyalgia is a life altering and complex condition that has been and continues to be under-treated in the medical community," said Dr. Gordon D. Ko, Medical Director, Canadian Center for Integrative Medicine and Consultant in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto. "Now that there is a viable and effective treatment option available, there is hope that this will change and those who suffer from fibromyalgia will find relief from their pain."

Characterized by a chronic widespread pain that can be relentless, fibromyalgia is usually accompanied by poor sleep, stiffness and fatigue; sufferers also report experiencing deep tenderness, soreness and flu-like aching. There is not one specific cause of fibromyalgia. Some of the associations that have been identified include heredity, physical trauma, emotional trauma, infection or autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Fibromyalgia has baffled and frustrated the health care profession for years. Often difficult to diagnose, fibromyalgia cannot be detected through a blood test or x-ray. Diagnostic criteria were developed in 1990 by the American College of Rheumatology to help patients and their physicians recognize the condition, learn to manage the disease, and define treatment plans to provide relief for symptoms. Women are much more likely to report suffering from fibromyalgia than men, although the condition affects both sexes.

"Fibromyalgia sufferers are often stigmatized as chronic complainers," said Dr. Ko. "However, the ambiguity of the symptoms that they experience doesn't diminish their pain. Patients with fibromyalgia report pain at much lower levels of stimulus than those without the condition, which has been confirmed in several studies, including technology with advanced functional MRI scanning of the brain. It is as if the "volume control" for pain is turned up."

Fibromyalgia can be debilitating and can have devastating effects on a sufferer's life, impacting one's ability to work and engage in everyday activities, as well as their relationships with family, friends and employers. Because it often results in lost work days, lost income and disability payments, fibromyalgia exerts a substantial health and economic burden in Canada due to lost productivity, psychological damage and disability.

Sandra Gartz, diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1985, knows all too well the devastating impact that the disorder can have on one's quality of life. She managed to work as a nurse through two work related accidents while suffering from leg cramps, headaches and severe pain in different parts of her body. Unfortunately in 1995, a third accident delivered the final blow: she tripped while walking upstairs when she was working as a home care nurse and hasn't been able to work since.

"I tell people to imagine having the flu. You hurt from head to toe and just want to lie on the couch all day," said Sandra. "The flu is something people can relate to. But with fibromyalgia, you can't stay in bed for the rest of your life. You have to get up, move around and carry on."

Now the leader of her local fibromyalgia support group for 10 years, Sandra has her family doctor, massage therapist, pharmacist, family and good friends for support. "Sometimes I think that living with fibromyalgia is like living with an invisible illness. The pain I feel is very real, but through the eyes of others, I don't look sick," said Sandra. "Having an actual medical treatment become available to manage some symptoms of my illness has now made my pain real to others."

About LYRICA - LYRICA is an analgesic agent that selectively binds to a specific sub-unit of calcium channels that modulates nerve transmission in the brain and spinal cord, thereby reducing the activity of hyper-excited nerve cells involved in pain. This mechanism restores nerve cell function to more normal levels. The safety of LYRICA for fibromyalgia has been established in 3,446 patients (controlled and uncontrolled studies) and has a favorable safety profile. The most common treatment-related adverse events ((greater than or equal to) 5% and twice the rate of that seen in placebo) in controlled clinical studies in fibromyalgia were: dizziness, somnolence, weight gain, dry mouth, blurred vision, peripheral edema, constipation, and disturbance in attention. Adverse events were usually mild to moderate in intensity. LYRICA is also indicated for the management of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). It is approved, with conditions, for the use in management of central neuropathic pain (CNeP). This includes nerve pain associated with conditions such as spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.

About Pfizer Canada Inc. - Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world's leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer's ongoing research and development activities focus on a wide range of therapeutic areas following our guiding aspiration: Working for a healthier world. For more information, visit LYRICA is a trade-mark of Pfizer Products Inc., Pfizer Canada Inc., licensee.

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Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: PFIZER CANADA INC.. Electronic Publication Date: 2009-05-12. Title: First treatment for Fibromyalgia Pain now Available in Canada, Source: <a href=>First treatment for Fibromyalgia Pain now Available in Canada</a>. Retrieved 2021-06-19, from - Reference: DW#157-1625.