Healthcare Use Remains High in Patients with Fibromyalgia Before and After Treatment Initiation

Healthcare Use Remains High in Patients with Fibromyalgia Before and After Treatment Initiation
shutterstock_234464134Fibromyalgia is an extremely disabling syndrome that causes chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory deficits and mood impairments. Treatments of fibromyalgia require both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments. In terms of Pharmacologic treatments, the available drugs include tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) such as amitriptyline, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) such as duloxetine and milnacipran, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors to lessen pain, depression, fatigue and health-related quality of life. Gabapentin and pregabalin are also normally given to patients to reduce the pain and the sleep disturbances associated with the condition. However, the comparative effectiveness of these treatments on health care utilization remains unknown. Using US commercial insurance claims data, Seoyoung Kin from the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, along with colleagues compared the effectiveness of amitriptyline, duloxetine, gabapentin, and pregabalin on health care use in patients with fibromyalgia. The researchers measured patients’ adherence to these drugs with the number of outpatient visits, prescriptions, hospitalization, and emergency department visits. In a total of 116,183 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia between 2007 and 2009, the researchers identified that 13,
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