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Naltrexone Appears to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain in Pilot Study or Tara Campbell, the onset of her fibromyalgia began slowly disturbance, and joint disorder. Advocates and doctors who treat F with repeated sore throats, fevers and fatigue. By the time she was diagnosed, a year later, she had become so debilitated by flulike symptoms and exhaustion that she often couldn’t get off the the disorder, estimate it affects as much as 4 percent of the popula- tion. “The symptoms of fibromyalgia are commonly seen in a number of other diseases, and there is no well-established and couch all day. objective blood test to confirm the diagnosis,” said Jarred Younger, “Fall, a year ago, I hit my very, very worst,” said Campbell, 39, PhD, the study’s lead author and an instructor in anesthesia and of Walnut Creek, Calif. “I felt overall pain to the point that even pain management at Stanford. “In the meantime, new treatments when my children or husband just touched me it hurt.” that work particularly well for fibromyalgia go a long way toward Campbell’s symptoms still linger, but since taking part in a validating the usefulness of the diagnosis.” Stanford University School of Medicine clinical trial in the spring The idea to explore the use of a low-dose of naltrexone as a of 2008, she’s improved enough that she’s gone back to working treatment for fibromyalgia began about two years ago when again as an interior decorator and even headed up the fundraising Younger began searching for relief for patients with the disorder. “I auction at her daughters’ school. “I am really, really good,” was asking patients, ‘Does anything work for you?’” he recalled. “A Campbell said. “Having said that, I’m still not 100 percent. I’m still lot of people in support groups were saying, ‘Yeah, I tried naltrex- not that person I was before.” one and it works for me.’ It just kept coming up.” Campbell was one of 10 women with fibromyalgia to take part The use of naltrexone to treat pain at first seems counterintu- in a small pilot study at Stanford over a 14-week period to test the itive, Younger said, because at normal doses the drug actually new use of a low dose of the drug naltrexone for the treatment of blocks the body’s pain relief systems. However, naltrexone appears chronic pain. The drug, which has been used clinically for more to have the opposite effect when given at a lower dose. Naltrexone, than 30 years to treat opioid addiction, was found to reduce symp- at these lower doses, is thought to work by modulating
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