For patients with fibromyalgia, directing treatment toward nonrestorative sleep, a key feature of the syndrome, leads to improvements in other symptoms of the disease, including pain, according to two analyses of data from the phase 2b placebo-controlled BESTFIT study.
"It's been known for a long time that poor-quality sleep correlates with disease severity in patients with fibromyalgia," said Seth Lederman, MD, chief executive officer of Tonix Pharmaceuticals in New York City, who was involved in both analyses.
"We recognized that sleep wasn't only a symptom; poor sleep exacerbates the pain of fibromyalgia. It's probably a vicious cycle of poor sleep, more pain, more pain, and worse sleep," he told Medscape Medical News.
"Bedtime sublingual cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride, which targets several key receptors involved in sleep regulation, doesn't work right away, but after about 4 weeks, we are seeing an improvement in sleep quality, and after that, pain and other symptoms also improve," Dr Lederman said.
The results of the analyses were presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2015 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.