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Fibromyalgia Patients Neglect Medical Treatment: Page 2 of 2

Fibromyalgia Patients Neglect Medical Treatment: Page 2 of 2

• Of the prescribed patients, 59.1% received a tricyclic antidepressant, 46.7% a serotonin or norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant or both, and 24.1% an antiepileptic.

• A prescription was filled within 1 year of diagnosis by 80.3% (n = 1041) of the patients newly prescribed post-diagnosis.

• Of the 1041 patients with new diagnoses and prescriptions, 825 (79.3%) discontinued therapy during the year after the first filled prescription.

• Therapy was discontinued by 91.0% of patients prescribed tricyclic antidepressants.

• Therapy was discontinued by 73.7% of subjects prescribed serotonin/norepinephrine antidepressants.

• One-fifth (20.7%) of patients remained on any fibromyalgia medication after 1 year.

• Subjects of higher socioeconomic status and those with a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, or migraines were more likely to continue therapy.

• Even though high socioeconomic status was associated with a greater than 80% proportion of days covered, only 11.3% of them remained adherent to treatment.

Implications for physicians

• Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to treat because of poor overall adherence to medical treatment.

• Patients with fibromyalgia should be monitored closely for adherence to prescribed treatment, with a particular focus on lower socioeconomic patients.

• Education and encouragement should be used to promote adherence.

• Primary care physicians are at greater risk for delayed diagnosis of fibromyalgia and should consider the diagnosis if considering prescribing fibromyalgia medications.



Pfizer provided funding for this project.


Ben-Ami Shor D, Weitzman D, Dahan S, et al. “Adherence and Persistence with Drug Therapy among Fibromyalgia Patients: Data from a Large Health Maintenance Organization.” J Rheumatol. 2017 Oct;44(10):1499-1506. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.170098. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

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