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Effects of vitamin D on patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: A randomized placebo-controlled trial

Wepner, Floriana,*; Scheuer, Raphaela; Schuetz-Wieser, Birgita; Machacek, Petera; Pieler-Bruha, Elisabetha; Cross, Heide S.b; Hahne, Juliaa; Friedrich, Martina

doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.10.002
Press Release

Summary In patients with fibromyalgia syndrome, we investigated the effects of adequately optimized serum calcifediol levels on their perception of pain, health-related quality of life, and comorbidities.

ABSTRACT The role of calcifediol in the perception of chronic pain is a widely discussed subject. Low serum levels of calcifediol are especially common in patients with severe pain and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). We lack evidence of the role of vitamin D supplementation in these patients. To our knowledge, no randomized controlled trial has been published on the subject. Thirty women with FMS according to the 1990 and 2010 American College of Rheumatology criteria, with serum calcifediol levels <32 ng/mL (80 nmol/L), were randomized to treatment group (TG) or control group (CG). The goal was to achieve serum calcifediol levels between 32 and 48 ng/mL for 20 weeks via oral supplementation with cholecalciferol. The CG received placebo medication. Re-evaluation was performed in both groups after a further 24 weeks without cholecalciferol supplementation. The main hypothesis was that high levels of serum calcifediol should result in a reduction of pain (visual analog scale score). Additional variables were evaluated using the Short Form Health Survey 36, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, and the Somatization subscale of Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. A marked reduction in pain was noted over the treatment period in TG: a 2 (groups) × 4 (time points) variance analysis showed a significant group effect in visual analog scale scores. This also was correlated with scores on the physical role functioning scale of the Short Form Health Survey 36. Optimization of calcifediol levels in FMS had a positive effect on the perception of pain. This economical therapy with a low side effect profile may well be considered in patients with FMS. However, further studies with larger patient numbers are needed to prove the hypothesis.

aDepartment of Orthopedic Pain Management, Spine Unit, Center of Excellence for Orthopaedic Pain Management, Speising, Vienna, Austria

bDepartment of Pathophysiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

* Corresponding author. Address: Speisingerstrasse 109, 1130 Vienna, Austria. Tel.: +43 69919452134; fax: +43 1801821465.


Article history:

Received 22 December 2012

Received in revised form 2 October 2013

Accepted 2 October 2013

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

© 2014 International Association for the Study of Pain
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