This week’s fibromyalgia and ME/CFS news (week of August 24, 2015)

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Top headlines…

More news in the legal saga over the severity of Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms: “Eli Lilly and Co. downplayed the withdrawal risk of its antidepressant drug Cymbalta to the point of fraud, a pair of women told a Virginia federal jury Monday, saying the company portrayed their symptoms as rare when almost half of the patients experienced similar withdrawal,” according to Law360. (Unfortunately, I don’t have a link to the rest of this story because Law360 is a subscription-based website. Other media doesn’t appear to have covered this trial yet, but I’ll keep looking for links and update my subscribers when I find out new information.)

And, there’s an online petition (with more than 62,000 signatures at the time of this post) that’s demanding Eli Lilly & Co. make public their knowledge of Cymbalta’s potential withdrawal symptoms.

New Brazilian study shows larger-than-normal doses of melatonin relieve fibromyalgia pain.

Sign the #MEAction Network’s petition to ask the U.S. Congress to support funding equality for ME/CFS research.

More good news for Big Pharma: Fibro drug Lyrica makes this list of the “10 Best-Selling Brand-Name Drugs in 2015.”

I’m sure we’ve all encountered these characters before! Writer Amy Waggoner tells us about the “5 People You Meet When You Have a Chronic Illness.”

Ever wonder if Savella (aka milnacipran) really works? Health Rising’s Cort Johnson covers pretty much everything you ever wanted to know (including research results) about Savella, the third and last drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat fibromyalgia. (Random fact from the story: Apparently, Savella isn’t approved for fibro in Europe, but it is in Australia.)

Research news…

Health Rising’s Cort Johnson compiles a comprehensive list of recent grants from the (U.S.) National Institutes of Health for ME/CFS research. Could the first inkling of a cure (or at least, a decent treatment) be contained within this list? Let’s hope…

Large Japanese study confirms duloxetine (tradename Cymbalta) is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia pain. (Duloxetine is not currently approved as a fibro treatment in Japan, but that’s likely to change based on the results of this Phase III trial.)

NeuroMetrix’s over-the-counter Quell wearable device reduces pain levels and decreases reliance on pain medications, according to new study.

ActiPatch reduces pain in fibromyalgia and other patients by an average of 57-65 percent, according to new study in the journal Pain Management. BioElectronics Corporation, ActiPatch’s maker, has filed paperwork to introduce ActiPatch as a new over-the-counter pain relief product in the U.S.

It’s not a cure by any means, but two new studies appear to show music helps to reduce pain.

University of Virginia researchers find a missing link between the brain and immune system, which could lead to future breakthroughs for ME/CFS.

Interested in participating in clinical trials?

Attention Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), residents: The University of British Columbia is recruiting women with ME/CFS to participate in a two-day exercise study.

Attention central London/Cambridge (U.K.), residents: The ME/CFS Biobank wants to increase its number of blood samples from people with ME/CFS. If you live within easy reach of central London or Cambridge, have ME/CFS and are willing to donate, click here for more details. The samples will be used in future ME/CFS research projects.

Many of you probably already know about this website, but I thought I’d share just in case: Clinicaltrials.gov lists ongoing U.S. research. It’s a great resource for anyone in the U.S. who might be interested in participating in clinical trials for new treatments for fibromyalgia and ME/CFS.

Personal stories …

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum shares his personal struggle with fibromyalgia and ME/CFS and then discusses his SHINE treatment protocol on Prohealth.com.

Blogger Rosemary Lee struggles with the injustice of living with chronic pain in “Fibromyalgia – Fighting Back.

HuffPost features the story of Randy and his partner, Franky, in “How This Couple Fought through Chronic Illness to Find a New Destiny.” Randy and Franky are both disabled, Randy by HIV and Franky by ME/CFS. Despite these extremely challenging conditions, they have founded FaeFactory.com, where they share Franky’s visionary art and lessons of hope. They also established InvisibleDiseases.com, which gives awards, art supplies and love to those with ME/CFS, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and dysautonomias, such as POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).

PBS Newshour explores the work of fibro poet Camisha Jones and “How Poetry Can Empower People Living with Chronic Illness.”

Next spring’s fibromyalgia walk in British Columbia (Canada) planned by the Fibromyalygia Well Spring Foundation keeps getting bigger.

Legal news …

Brookdale Senior Living Communities in Denver, Colorado (U.S.), settles a disability discrimination lawsuit after refusing to make accommodations for an employee with fibromyalgia.

In case you missed it …

Last week, I shared a new post on “Playing the Chronic Illness Blame Game – Why You Shouldn’t Just Ignore that New Symptom.” We often assume every new symptom is “just fibro” or “just ME/CFS,” but that’s not always the prudent thing to do, as I found out through personal experience.

rp_chronic-illness-blame-game-1024x680.pngOff-topic …

Think you’re sensitive to gluten? The scientists who discovered gluten sensitivity are now saying it doesn’t exist.

Financial guru Clark Howard explains why you should always wash that new shirt (or pants or pajamas or any article of new clothing, for that matter) before wearing it. (Upon seeing this, I couldn’t resist saying “I told you so” to my hubby.)

Are you a fan of Amy’s brand frozen pizzas and organic canned soups? Well, you’re in luck: The company just opened its first fast-food restaurant in California, specializing in “organic, responsibly sourced and GMO-free vegetarian and vegan food with gluten-free options,” reports Mashable.

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  1. Great post.

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