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Combining N-of-1 Trials to Assess Fibromyalgia Treatments

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00000428
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 19, 2000
Last Update Posted : August 1, 2013
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Information provided by:
Tufts Medical Center

Brief Summary:
This study will compare the effectiveness of combination therapy with the drugs amitriptyline and fluoxetine (AM+FL) and amitriptyline (AM) alone in the treatment of people with fibromyalgia. Doctors will treat each study participant with both AM + FL and AM alone for 6 weeks at a time. The study uses a method that combines results from treatment of individual patients to assess overall treatment effectiveness and help individual patients and their physicians with their treatment decisions. This study will also help compare the results of community-based studies (studies involving private doctors) and studies based at clinical research centers.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Fibromyalgia Drug: Amitriptyline Drug: Amitriptyline plus Fluoxitine Phase 4

Detailed Description:

This study will use the combined N-of-1 method to compare the effectiveness of the combination therapy amitriptyline and fluoxetine (AM+FL) versus amitriptyline (AM) alone in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). It will also compare community-based and center-based trial results. We will ask community-based, board-certified rheumatologists to participate as investigators and we will also carry out a center-based study (at Newton-Wellesley Hospital). Physicians will ask patients meeting eligibility criteria to participate in this study and undergo an N-of-1 trial.

Each N-of-1 trial will consist of three paired crossover periods (each 6-weeks long) during which the patient will receive either AM + placebo (placebo every morning and AM 25 mg at night) or combination treatment AM+FL (FL 20 mg in the morning and AM 25 mg at night). The dispensing pharmacy will carry out paired randomization.

We will assess patient evaluations and outcome measures at baseline prior to trial, at the end of each treatment period, and 3 months after completion of the N-of-1 trial. In addition, at baseline, we will obtain demographic information, an electrocardiogram, and baseline blood tests. We may ask patients to have additional blood tests at the period evaluations. We will also do a pregnancy test for all women of child-bearing age enrolling in the study. The main study outcome measure will be the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). Additional measures will include the Visual Analog Scales (VAS) for pain, sleep, global well-being; Physician VAS for global well-being; and tender-point score.

We will analyze the results of the N-of-1 trials in two ways: (1) using only the individual patient's results (classic one-sided t-test) and (2) using the patient's results in combination with the results of other patients who underwent similar trials (the combined N-of-1 approach). To obtain the latter information, we will include each patient's results for the collective analysis. We will provide these results back to the physicians and will record the final treatment decisions the physicians reach with their patients. In addition, we will ask both physicians and patients to comment on their participation in an N-of-1 trial and this research process. Followup of patients 3 months after completion of their N-of-1 trial will include determining current medication and a current outcome assessment. Investigators will record all adverse drug reactions and patients withdrawn from studies. They will also record the reason for withdrawal for all patients choosing to withdraw. We will include results from patients who drop out due to reasons other than drug reactions in the combined N-of-1 analyses if completed period pair results are available. An independent safety officer will review all withdrawals.

Results of individual patient trials will be confidential; however, we will combine these results (after removal of patient identifiers) with the results of other patients, and will publish the overall results of this study. We will maintain the connection of results to patient identifiers only to enable us to provide results to individual investigators and their patients.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 58 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Combining N-of-1 Trials to Assess Fibromyalgia Therapies
Study Start Date : September 2000
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2004
Actual Study Completion Date : March 2004

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Fibromyalgia

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: 1
Patients received each intervention multiple times in random-order crossover design.
Drug: Amitriptyline
Amitriptyline 25 mg po
Other Name: Elavil

Drug: Amitriptyline plus Fluoxitine
Amitriptyline 25 mg po plus Fluoxitine 20 mg po
Other Name: elavil plus prozac

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. FIbromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores [ Time Frame: At baseline,each treatment period, and at 3 mo follow up ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients who meet fibromyalgia criteria as defined by the American College of Rheumatology
  • No systemic illness (current or past) or other contraindications to taking study medications (e.g. known hypersensitivity)
  • Age 18-60
  • Patient willingness, and physician agreement, to discontinue CNS medications/NSAIDs/analgesics for 1 week prior to starting their trial
  • Patient informed consent and agreement to participate in an N-of-1 trial

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients who are currently pregnant or who plan to become pregnant during the study period
  • Patients with any contraindications to using either amitriptyline or fluoxetine

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00000428

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United States, Massachusetts
Office of Raphael Kieval, MD
Brockton, Massachusetts, United States, 02402
Office of Ronald J. Rapoport, MD
Fall River, Massachusetts, United States, 02720
Office of Eileen Winston, MD
Framingham, Massachusetts, United States, 01702
Office of Nicola Mogavero, MD
Melrose, Massachusetts, United States, 02176
Office of Jacqueline Feuer, MD
Needham, Massachusetts, United States, 02192
Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Newton, Massachusetts, United States, 02162
Office of Sharon A. Stotsky, MD
North Reading, Massachusetts, United States, 01864
Sponsors and Collaborators
Tufts Medical Center
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
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Principal Investigator: Deborah R. Zucker New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine
Publications of Results:
Other Publications:
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Responsible Party: Deborah Zucker, MD, PhD, Tufts-New England Medical Center Identifier: NCT00000428    
Other Study ID Numbers: R01AR045416 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
R01AR045416 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: January 19, 2000    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 1, 2013
Last Verified: July 2013
Keywords provided by Tufts Medical Center:
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Myofascial Pain Syndromes
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Rheumatic Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Amitriptyline, perphenazine drug combination
Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Antipsychotic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants