A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of eszopiclone for the treatment of insomnia in patients with chronic low back pain.

Journal Article

Insomnia, which is very common in patients with chronic low back pain (LBP), has long been viewed as a pain symptom that did not merit specific treatment. Recent data suggest that adding insomnia therapy to pain-targeted treatment should improve outcome; however, this has not been empirically tested in LBP or in any pain condition treated with a standardized pain medication regimen. We sought to test the hypothesis that adding insomnia therapy to pain-targeted treatment might improve sleep and pain in LBP.Double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, 1-mo trial.Duke University Medical Center Outpatient Sleep Clinic.Fifty-two adult volunteers with LBP of at least 3 mo duration who met diagnostic criteria for insomnia (mean age: 42.5 y; 63% females).Subjects were randomized to eszopiclone (ESZ) 3 mg plus naproxen 500 mg BID or matching placebo plus naproxen 500 mg twice a day.ESZ SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED TOTAL SLEEP TIME (MEAN INCREASE: ESZ, 95 min; placebo, 9 min) (primary outcome) and nearly all sleep measures as well as visual analog scale pain (mean decrease: ESZ, 17 mm; placebo, 2 mm) (primary pain outcome), and depression (mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale improvement ESZ, 3.8; placebo, 0.4) compared with placebo. Changes in pain ratings were significantly correlated with changes in sleep.The addition of insomnia-specific therapy to a standardized naproxen pain regimen significantly improves sleep, pain, and depression in patients with chronic low back pain (LBP). The findings indicate the importance of administering both sleep and pain-directed therapies to patients with LBP in clinical practice and provide strong evidence that improving sleep disturbance may improve pain.clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00365976.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Goforth, HW; Preud'homme, XA; Krystal, AD

Published Date

  • June 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 37 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1053 - 1060

PubMed ID

  • 24882900

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1550-9109

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0161-8105

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5665/sleep.3760


  • eng