Hard to diagnose and viewed by some as imaginary, fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, and more often than not deep distress.
Fibromyalgia is real and it can be effectively treated and managed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, “Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million US adults, about 2% of the adult population.”
Other studies suggest similar prevalence. A 2012 study published in NCBI. “In the US population of persons ≥18 years of age in 2012, 1.75% (95% CI 1.42, 2.07), or 3.94 million, satisfied study specific criteria for fibromyalgia. The prevalence was lowest in the 18–29 age group (0.76% (0.05, 1.46)) and rose to 2.41% (1.49, 3.33) in the 50–59 years age group, from which there was no significant difference in prevalence compared with older age groups.”
Fibromyalgia prevalence is 1,750 / 100,000 of population – many of whom could benefit from using LDN.
Fibromyalgia can be effectively treated and managed with medication and self-management strategies.
Fibromyalgia should be treated by a rheumatologists who specializes in the treatment of fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Standard treatment protocols may include:
- Medications, including prescription drugs and OTC pain relief.
- Aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening exercise.
- Stress management techniques.
- Good sleep habits.
The FDA has approved three drugs for the treatment of fibromyalgia: duloxetine, milnacipran and pregabalin. All of the drugs have varying side effects.
With limited FDA approved medication options, sufferers with an intolerance to these three drugs would have to use older drugs that affect the same brain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine) or antidepressants.
LDN Treatment as an Option
On web searches, it appears that LDN is not widely recognized as a therapy option by practitioners.
Some such as Dr Ginevra Liptan have concluded it is a credible treatment option and confirmed “I have had quite a few fibromyalgia patients get impressive pain reduction with low dose naltrexone.”
In her blog, Dr Liptan also cites research carried out by Stanford University stating, “LDN reduced fibromyalgia pain, with 57% of the participants reporting a significant (1/3) reduction of pain.”
She also acknowledges a that LDN’s availability is limited by the fact that it has to be specially made by a compounding pharmacy and that many doctors are not used to writing compounded prescriptions.
In order for LDN to become widely available to treat more patients, it would seem compounding pharmacies will need to educate both patients and physicians.
The LDN Market for Patients with Fibromyalgia
In a catchment area of 100,000 people, studies indicate that about 1,750 people will suffer from Fibromyalgia. Catchment areas with older populations will have a higher prevalence.
Fibromyalgia is just 1 of many diseases states that can cause chronic pain. Autoimmune diseases, thyroid conditions and cancer also contribute to the market for chronic pain management – and thus LDN.
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