Journal of Women's Health
Self-Reported Medication and Herb/Supplement Use by Women with and without Fibromyalgia
To cite this article:
Joan L. Shaver, JoEllen Wilbur, Hyeongkyeong Lee, F. Patrick Robinson, Edward Wang. Journal of Women's Health. May 2009, 18(5): 709-716. doi:10.1089/jwh.2008.1194.
Published in Volume: 18 Issue 5: May 17, 2009
Joan L. Shaver, Ph.D., R.N.,1
JoEllen Wilbur, Ph.D., A.P.N.,2
Hyeongkyeong Lee, Ph.D.,3
F. Patrick Robinson, Ph.D., R.N.,1 and
Edward Wang, Ph.D.1
1University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois.
2Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois.
3Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
Address reprint requests to:
Joan L. Shaver, Ph.D., R.N.
Professor and Dean
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing
845 S. Damen M/C 802
Chicago, IL 60612
Methods: Using a telephone survey of 434 women who self-reported having and 198 women, who denied having fibromyalgia (FM) (aged 18–80 years), we compared women on self-reported number, major types, and effectiveness of currently taken conventional medications and herbs/supplements.
Results: Ninety-three percent of women with FM reported taking at least one medication (1855 total, 499 types, on average 4.6per person) compared with 56% of women without FM (269 total, 172 types, 1.4per person on average). Half (n=217) of the women with FM reported taking antidepressant drugs; more reported selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)-type with moderate effectiveness than tricyclic amines deemed to have strong effectiveness. Few were taking dual uptake inhibitors or the now approved pregabalin. Nearly 30% reported taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), which have weak efficacy evidence. Less than 8% of controls reported taking either antidepressants or NSAID. Having FM was associated with these medications plus guaifenesen, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, narcotics, other analgesics, and benzodiazepines. Highest effectiveness scores were for opioid narcotics and guaifenesin. Forty-three percent of women with FM reported taking at least one herb/supplement compared with 23% of control women. The most common types were omega esterified fatty acids, glucosamine, and gingko. No particular type distinguished between the groups. Both groups tended to rate overall effectiveness lower for herbs/supplements than for conventional medications.