6 posts tagged “lyrica”

Treat Us Right: Comparing Cymbalta and Lyrica in the Fibromyalgia Community

Posted December 16th, 2010 by

Since its launch in November 2008, our PatientsLikeMe Fibromyalgia Community has served as a place for more than 11,000 fibromyalgia patients to share with, find, and learn from others.  Over the past 2 years, thousands of you have reported using Pfizer’s Lyrica® and Eli Lilly’s Cymbalta® as prescribed treatments for your fibromyalgia.

PatientsLikeMe recently analyzed the experiences you’ve shared in our Fibromyalgia Community about Lyrica and Cymbalta.  Here are three key insights we learned:

  1. Many of you experience little efficacy from either treatment. More than 40% of Lyrica patients and 50% of Cymbalta patients on our site perceive slight to no efficacy or simply cannot tell.  By comparison, only 20% of Lyrica patients and 15% of Cymbalta patients on our site perceive major efficacy.
  2. efficacy

  3. Those of you using Cymbalta experience fewer side effects than those of you using Lyrica. 26% of Cymbalta patients on our site report no side effects, versus 16% for Lyrica. Additionally, 29% of Lyrica patients on our site report severe side effects, versus 19% for Cymbalta. It is not surprising that more Lyrica patients than Cymbalta patients discontinue treatment and do so more quickly.
  4. sideeffects

  5. Many of you attribute weight gain to Lyrica. In fact, of all side effects reported for either treatment, weight gain on Lyrica was the most frequently reported. By contrast as shown below, Cymbalta patients on our site did not frequently report weight gain as a side effect.
  6. weightgain

So what makes this data interesting?

  • There remains a clear unmet need for developing better treatments in fibromyalgia. Based upon your real-world experiences, the existing treatment options are effective for only a minority of patients but cause side effects in a majority of them.  Developing new solutions for fibromyalgia that improve upon the safety and efficacy of existing treatment options remains an opportunity.
  • This data provides important insights for those of you using – or considering using – one of these treatments. From what you’ve shared with us on PatientsLikeMe, we see that Lyrica patients more frequently report both major efficacy and severe side effects than Cymbalta patients.  Additionally, you frequently report experiencing little to no efficacy on either treatment.  One of the major benefits of sharing is how much it helps others like you know what to expect and whether or not an experience on Lyrica or Cymbalta is normal.
  • This data illuminates similarities and differences between clinical trial data and real-world data. For example, weight gain in fibromyalgia patients was listed as a side effect in Lyrica clinical trials.  However, other side effects were more frequently reported in Lyrica clinical trials than weight gain, including dizziness, somnolence (daytime sleepiness) and headaches.  By contrast, your real-world experiences put weight gain atop the list of Lyrica side effects on PatientsLikeMe.  It’s important that we continue to develop a deeper understanding of the factors driving these similarities and differences in clinical trial data and real-world data.

Learning about the impact treatments have in the real world is only made possible by patients like you who embrace openness and give selflessly to other patients on PatientsLikeMe.  You are proof positive that the voice of one patient can become the voice of many, and that your real-world experiences are not only meaningful – they are essential to understanding what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be improved.

You keep on saying it and we’ll keep on relaying it:  Treat Us Right.

PatientsLikeMe member cfidyk


PatientsLikeMe at Health 2.0: Paths to Insight

Posted November 15th, 2010 by

Last month, I spoke once again at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco.  The video of my presentation is now online.  Here’s a snapshot of what I covered in the 6-minute talk:

  • The wealth of data shared in a PatientsLikeMe treatment reports (e.g., what fibromyalgia patients are sharing about Cymbalta and Lyrica)
  • A suite analytical tools we have to drill down on this underlying data, such as
    • PatientsLikeMeLandscapeTM – a tool to learn more from what patients like you are talking about in the forum.
    • PatientsLikeMeListenTM – a sentiment analysis of keywords in those forum conversations
    • PatientsLikeMeInsightsTM – our query engine that dives deeper into the data (e.g., weight gain in Cymbalta/Lyrica patients)

As I note in my presentation, there are a lot of caveats to what I have up on the screen.  We as an organization believe in being careful about throwing terms around like “evidence.”  So what you see in this video is not evidence – it’s the first look at some of the data we have to work with and what we can do with it as we continue on our path to create evidence.  With no uncertain terms, though, what you see here is the beginning of the insight we can generate around clinical outcomes of patients and the real-world impact of treatments.

PatientsLikeMe member bheywood