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Fibromyalgia Patients Neglect Medical Treatment

Fibromyalgia Patients Neglect Medical Treatment

In patients with new diagnoses of fibromyalgia, rates of prescription filling and treatment adherence are very low.

Rates of treatment adherence are even lower when fibromyalgia is combined with migraine headaches and anxiety.

Patients with fibromyalgia of higher socioeconomic status adhere to treatment better than those of lower economic means.

Although several neuromodulatory drugs are currently employed to improve sleep and physical function and alleviate pain in patients with fibromyalgia, Dana Ben-Ami Shor and colleagues in Israel pointed to a paucity of literature looking at patient acceptance and adherence to treatment regimens.

They sought to determine the adherence rates and persistence with fibromyalgia therapy and reported their findings in a recent Journal of Rheumatology article.

The study

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study of data from a large Israeli health maintenance organization, including patients with a new diagnosis of fibromyalgia who received prescriptions for neuromodulatory medication.

The study included 3932 subjects. Fibromyalgia medications were prescribed to 1620 patients the year before diagnosis and to 1296 patients the year after diagnosis; 1636 patients did not receive prescriptions 1 year before or after diagnosis.

The results

• Patients to whom fibromyalgia medications were prescribed in the year preceding their diagnosis were older and more likely to be immigrants when compared with patients who did not receive prescriptions before diagnosis (p<0.001 and p=0.005, respectively).

• Patients with anxiety or depression or both before diagnosis were more likely to receive prescriptions for fibromyalgia before diagnosis (72.5% versus 32.8%; p<0.001).

• Of those to whom fibromyalgia medications were prescribed after diagnosis, more had baseline anxiety and depression, they were more likely to have received the diagnosis from a primary care physician, and they were less likely to receive the diagnosis while hospitalized (36.5% prescribed versus 28.1% nonprescribed patients [p < 0.001], 47.0% versus 39.7%, and 0.8% versus 6.4% [p < 0.001], respectively).

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