By Francois Lubbe
Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue (extreme tiredness), muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping, problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog” or brain fog) – like memory and concentration problems – headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stomach pain and bloating.
For a long time, when fibromyalgia sufferers visited their doctor they were told: “It’s all in your head.” That is, until Big Pharma started selling a drug to treat the condition… and all of a sudden the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia became a real disease.
Lies and deceit
As is the case with many of Big Pharma’s side effect ridden drugs, it turns out fibromyalgia sufferers will be better off without the help of Lyrica – the fibromyalgia drug manufactured by Pfizer. That’s because it comes with a list of hair-raising side effects, like “suicidal thoughts or actions”.
And if someone in your family has fibromyalgia, you’d probably want to forward this alert to them straight away, because this drug may do far more harm than good.
Amanda Matos is a fibromyalgia sufferer who once took Lyrica. She suffered “weight gain, bloating and blurred vision as a result.” But even with those side effects, she calls herself “one of the lucky ones” who didn’t go blind, kill themselves, or become morbidly obese.
Amanda says that if taking Lyrica does help some fibromyalgia patients, the results are nothing like what is portrayed in Pfizer’s advertising material, which shows fibromyalgia sufferers going to social events, laughing, visiting friends, fixing food for a party, working at a construction site and planning a community garden… like nothing was wrong with them after taking the drug.
But that’s not how the drug works, according to Matos.
Even if Lyrica helps, she says, you’ll be happy just to get enough relief so you can wear clothes for a few hours or get into bed without pain… But then again an image of minimal relief from the condition wouldn’t really sell the drug, would it? Neither would it have lined Pfizer’s pockets with over $2 billion last year alone.
In fact, the dishonest portrayal of Lyrica, Matos says, actually makes life harder for fibromyalgia patients. It has the potential to cause family members or friends to have unrealistic expectations of recovery for fibromyalgia patients. And the resulting “duress” just makes their illness that much worse.
And if that is not bad enough – not having the support from friends and loved ones while coping with a debilitating chronic illness – there are also the side effects.
These include dizziness, neuropathy, abnormal thinking, confusion, speech disorder, amnesia, nervousness, anxiety, depersonalization, weight gain, oedema, hypoglycaemia, constipation, increased appetite, vomiting, flatulence, nausea and diarrhoea and rectal haemorrhage… the list goes on and on.