Combining pregabalin and paroxetine can increase tolerability and reduce depressive symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, a new controlled, randomized study has suggested.

The study tested a total of 75 female fibromyalgia patients who were all being treated with pregabalin. The sample group was split into three groups who, in addition to their 75mg/day pregabalin dosage, where given either amitriptyline (25mg/day, n = 24), venlafaxine (75mg/day, n = 25), or paroxetine (25mg/dag, n = 26). Participants were observed for a period of 6 months.

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The data showed that the pregabalin plus paroxetine group of patients significantly reduced their scores in two commonly used self-assessment patient health questionnaires; the Somatic Symptoms Scale-8 (SSS-8) and Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESDS).

The pregabalin plus paroxetine group also showed higher medication tolerability (P < 0.001); improved life satisfaction, mood, and sleep quality at most observation times (P < 0.05); and fewer instances of dry mouth and elevated blood pressure (P < 0.02). Poor tolerability was noted in the venlafaxine group while drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, abnormal taste, hunger, hallucination, urination problems and sexual dysfunction were observed most frequently in the amitriptyline group (P < 0.02).

Given the increased tolerability and the reduction in somatic and depressive symptoms, the authors conclude that pregabalin plus paroxetine may be an effective treatment combination for improving quality of life in patients with fibromyalgi.

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