Fibromyalgia :: Acupuncture effectively relieves pain, anxiety and tiredness


Fibromyalgia, is characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, joint stiffness and sleep disturbance.

No cure is known and available treatments are only partially effective.

According to a research team led by Dr. David Martin, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia patients who received acupuncture reported improvement in fatigue and anxiety, among other symptoms.

Acupuncture was also well tolerated with minimal side effects, the researchers said in the June issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The study involved 50 fibromyalgia patients enrolled in a randomized, controlled trial to determine if acupuncture improved their symptoms. Twenty-five in the acupuncture group and 25 in the control group.

In the acupuncture group, total fibromyalgia symptoms were significantly improved compared with the control group during the study period.

Fatigue and anxiety were the most significantly improved symptoms during the follow-up period.

“We found that acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. Symptomatic improvement was not restricted to pain relief and was most significant for fatigue and anxiety,” the researchers concluded.

Prozac, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Effexor and Zoloft

Antidepressants Get FDA Warning


Agency’s Recommendations on Suicide Risk Include Adults as Well as Children

March 23, 2004; Page D1

The Food and Drug Administration sharply stepped up warnings about possible risks to patients taking antidepressant drugs, asking doctors, families and caregivers to watch closely for signs of increasing depression or suicidal thinking.

The FDA asked the makers of 10 major antidepressant drugs, including versions of Prozac, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Effexor and Zoloft, to place more detailed, explicit warnings on the labels for their medicines. The FDA didn’t order the manufacturers to change their labels, but urged them to do so voluntarily. The new cautions would ask doctors to monitor patients for a variety of symptoms from insomnia and irritability to hostility and panic attacks that might possibly signal greater risks.

The announcement comes more than a month after an FDA advisory committee urged the agency to provide clearer warnings about possible risk of suicidal tendencies in children and adolescents taking antidepressants. Still, yesterday’s development went well beyond the earlier recommendations, and included adults as well.

The most immediate result may be that doctors, particularly those who don’t focus on pediatric psychiatry, become more cautious in how they prescribe antidepressants for kids and teenagers. They could start prescribing smaller doses and being slower to step up the amounts of medicine.

“People might wait until they’ve been in talking therapy a little bit, before trying drugs,” said Richard Malone, a child psychiatrist at Drexel University College of Medicine, who was a member of the FDA advisory committee.