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Open Access Research article

A randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled phase III trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pregabalin in Japanese patients with fibromyalgia

Hiroyoshi Ohta1, Hiroshi Oka2, Chie Usui3, Masayuki Ohkura1, Makoto Suzuki1 and Kusuki Nishioka4*

Author Affiliations

1 Pfizer Japan, Inc., 3-22-7, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8589, Japan

2 Rheumatic Disease Center, Tokyo Medical University Hachioji Medical Center, 1163 Tatemachi Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0998, Japan

3 Department of Psychiatry, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Juntendo University Nerima Hospital, 3-1-10 Takanodai, Nerima-ku, Tokyo 177-8521, Japan

4 Institute of Innovative Medical Science and Education, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjyuku, Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:R217  doi:10.1186/ar4056

Published: 12 October 2012

Abstract

Introduction

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and tenderness. Prior trials have demonstrated the efficacy of pregabalin for the relief of fibromyalgia symptoms, and it is approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia in the United States. However, prior to this study, there has not been a large-scale efficacy trial in patients with fibromyalgia in Japan.

Methods

This randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at 44 centers in Japan to assess the efficacy and safety of pregabalin for the symptomatic relief of pain in fibromyalgia patients. Patients aged ≥18 years who had met the criteria for fibromyalgia were randomized to receive either pregabalin, starting at 150 mg/day and increasing to a maintenance dose of 300 or 450 mg/day, or placebo, for 15 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was mean pain score at final assessment. Secondary endpoints included Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) together with measures of sleep, physical functioning and quality of life.

Results

A total of 498 patients (89% female) were randomized to receive either pregabalin (n = 250) or placebo (n = 248). Pregabalin significantly reduced mean pain score at final assessment (difference in mean change from baseline, compared with placebo -0.44; P = 0.0046) and at every week during the study (P <0.025). Key secondary endpoints were also significantly improved with pregabalin treatment compared with placebo, including PGIC (percentage reporting symptoms "very much improved" or "much improved", 38.6% vs 26.7% with placebo; P = 0.0078); pain visual analog scale (difference in mean change from baseline, compared with placebo -6.19; P = 0.0013); Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire total score (-3.33; P = 0.0144); and quality of sleep score (-0.73; P <0.0001). Treatment was generally well tolerated, with somnolence and dizziness the most frequently reported adverse events.

Conclusions

This trial demonstrated that pregabalin, at doses of up to 450 mg/day, was effective for the symptomatic relief of pain in Japanese patients with fibromyalgia. Pregabalin also improved measures of sleep and functioning and was well tolerated. These data indicate that pregabalin is an effective treatment option for the relief of pain and sleep problems in Japanese patients with fibromyalgia.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00830167