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bibliography*The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Heymann 2001.

A double-blind, randomized, controlled study of amitriptyline, nortriptyline and placebo in patients with fibromyalgia. An analysis of outcome measures

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Tags: chronic pain, fibromyalgia, pain problems

PainSci summary of Heymann 2001?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

From the abstract: “All three groups improved after treatment ... in fibromyalgia, placebo groups are important in drug trials.” No kidding!

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: To study the efficacy and tolerability of amitriptyline and nortriptyline in a Brazilian population with fibromyalgia and to evaluate the instruments used to measure the efficacy of the treatment.

METHODS: A total of 118 fibromyalgia patients were randomly assigned to 3 groups: amitriptyline (AM, n = 40), nortriptyline (NOR, n =38) and placebo (PL, n = 40), and were blindly given 25 mg at bedtime of the assigned treatment for 8 weeks. Clinical evaluation before and at the end of the study included the number of tender points (NTP), FIQ score (FIQ), and global improvement as reported by the patients on a verbal scale (VSGI).

RESULTS: The 3 groups were comparable at baseline for all the parameters studied. After 8 weeks, the 3 groups improved in all parameters: (36.5% AM, 26.7% NOR and 24% PL patients improved on FIQ; 13.9% AM, 19.5% NOR and 8.57% PL patients improved on NTP; 86.5% AM, 72.2% NOR and 57.6% PL patients improved on VSGI). Only the AM group differed from the PL group on VSGI. Side effects were noted among the groups, but none were serious (16 in the AM group, 31 in the NOR group, and 25 in the PL group).

CONCLUSION: All three groups improved after treatment. Only the patient's subjective global assessment of improvement differed between the AM patients and the PL group (p < or = 0.03). In fibromyalgia, placebo groups are important in drug trials. Different measures of therapeutic effect are not better than the patient's self assessment.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: