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Eur J Pain. 1998;2(2):133-142.

Effects of staphylococcus toxoid vaccine on pain and fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Pain Unit, Kungälv Hospital, Sweden


Positive results of pilot studies of the effect of staphylococcus toxoid vaccine in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome were the incitement to the present, placebo-controlled study. It included 28 patients who fulfilled the criteria for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The effect of vaccination with a staphylococcus toxoid was compared with the effect of injections of sterile water. Psychometric assessment was made using 15 items from the comprehensive psychopathological rating scale (CPRS), Zung's self-rating depression scale and clinical global impressions (CGI). The visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to measure pain levels, and a hand-held electronic pressure algometer was used to measure pressure pain thresholds. Significant improvement was seen in seven of the 15 CPRS items in the vaccine group when pretreatment values were compared to post-treatment values. In CPRS <<fatiguability>>, there were significant intergroup differences, and in CPRS <<pain>> intergroup differences bordered on significance. There was no significant improvement in CPRS items in the placebo group. Clinical global impressions showed significant improvement in the vaccine-treated group, and VAS did so in both groups. In a follow-up study of 23 patients, the vaccine treatment was continued for 2-6 years. Fifty percent were rehabilitated successfully and resumed half-time or full-time work. The results of this study support the authors>> hypothesis that treatment with staphylococcus toxoid may be a fruitful strategy in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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