Naltrexone Appears to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain in Pilot Study by ProQuest


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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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