Expert Commentary

The Effects of Pregabalin on Sleep Disturbance Symptoms Among Individuals with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

I. Jon Russell, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine/Rheumatology
Director, University Clinical Research Center
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

In addition to pain, patients with fibromyalgia often report sleep disturbances. Studies have shown that abnormal sleep patterns in fibromyalgia are characterized by delayed onset, decreased efficiency, and reduced slow wave and rapid eye movement sleep. The specific causal relationships between sleep dysfunction and pain in fibromyalgia are not entirely clear, however. Current evidence suggests that pain frequency is inversely correlated with sleep duration, whereas sleep disruption can produce hyperalgesia and musculoskeletal tenderness in healthy individuals. Moreover, sleep dysfunction in fibromyalgia has been shown to predict subsequent pain levels. Thus, the relationship between sleep and pain in patients with fibromyalgia is likely reciprocal. Here, Dr. Russell discusses 2 industry-supported studies demonstrating that improved sleep in fibromyalgia patients treated with pregabalin results from both direct improvements in restorative sleep and indirect effects of decreased pain.


  1. Russell IJ, Crofford LJ, Leon T, et al. The effects of pregabalin on sleep disturbance symptoms among individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome. Sleep Med. 2009;10(6):604-610.
  2. Moldofsky H. The significance of dysfunctions of the sleeping/waking brain to the pathogenesis and treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2009;35(2):275-283.
  3. Chervin RD, Teodorescu M, Kushwaha R, et al. Objective measures of disordered sleep in fibromyalgia. J Rheumatol. 2009;36(9):2009-2016.
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