Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 186-191

First online:

Effect of zopiclone on sleep quality, morning stiffness, widespread tenderness and pain and general discomfort in primary fibromyalgia patients. A double-blind randomized trial

  • M. GrönbladAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Helsinki University Hospital
  • , J. NykänenAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Helsinki University Hospital
  • , Y. KonttinenAffiliated withFinnish Academy
  • , E. JärvinenAffiliated withInstitute of Occupational Health
  • , T. HelveAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Kivelä City Hospital

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Thirty-three patients fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for primary fibromyalgia completed an eight-week double-blind treatment trial with the drug zopiclone. Of outcome measures studied a score expressing subjective sleep quality showed improvement in more than ninety percent of zopiclone patients at 4 weeks and nearly eighty percent at 8 weeks, but similar improvement was also reported by more than sixty percent of the patients on placebo. Patient self-assessment of a treatment effect also showed an advantage for zopiclone, with most patients in the placebo group considering their state as unchanged at 8 weeks. According to examiner assessment, however, half the patients in both groups showed improvement at 8 weeks. For other assessment variables, e.g. dolorimeter assessment of widespread tenderness, visual analogue scales and pain drawings for pain and other subjective feelings of discomfort, the effects of zopiclone treatment were at the same level as those of placebo.