Benefit of Ribose in a Patient With Fibromyalgia

Benjamin Gebhart, Pharm.D.; James A. Jorgenson, M.S., FASHP

Disclosures

Pharmacotherapy. 2004;24(11) 

In This Article

Case Report

A 37-year-old woman had daily episodes of intense musculoskeletal pain and stiffness, mental "cloudiness," bouts of diarrhea, and sleep disturbance. As she was a surgeon, these symptoms compromised the skills necessary to perform her daily duties in the operating room. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by exclusion of other diseases and syndromes and in accordance with the American College of Rheumatology criteria.[10]

The patient was treated with ibuprofen 800 mg twice/day, valdecoxib 10 mg once/day, diphenhydramine 50 mg-acetaminophen 1000 mg at bedtime, and physical therapy once/day. She stated that this therapeutic regimen had limited benefit and that the adverse effects from these drugs further impaired her ability to perform her operative duties.

Approximately 7 months later, in addition to her regular drug therapy, the patient began taking CORvalen (Bioenergy, Inc., Ham Lake, MN), a ribose-based product. She took 5 g of CORvalen mixed in water twice/day. She experienced no adverse effects, and after 14 days she reported a decrease in her symptoms. Specifically, she noted an improvement in sleep, mental alertness, a marked decrease in joint pain, and normal stools. This trend continued, and after an additional month of CORvalen therapy she reported near-normal functioning with a major reduction in her symptoms.

After another month of taking CORvalen and feeling "normal," the patient elected to discontinue the drug. Within 7 days, she regressed to her initial fibromyalgia state, as reflected in joint pain, sleep disturbance, morning stiffness, trigger-point flares, and diarrhea. She resumed taking CORvalen, at the same dosage as before, and a major reduction in her symptoms again occurred within 14 days. She noted continual benefit for the next month while taking CORvalen. She stopped taking the drug for a second time after this additional 30-day period, and once again she experienced a reemergence of symptoms. When CORvalen was restarted for a third time, the patient's symptoms again subsided.

At the time of this writing, the patient was continuing to take CORvalen and was satisfied that her symptoms had abated.

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