As a person who has dealt with Fibromyalgia for over a decade, I have found the most recent Lyrica commercials to be disturbing and setting unrealistic expectations. The “Carnival” Lyrica ad showcases a mother with Fibromyalgia taking her daughter to a carnival where they play carnival games, ride the ferris wheel, and eat cotton candy.
The commercial itself is sweet and heartwarming, but it is also extremely unrealistic for many people with Fibromyalgia. Lyrica is one of only three pain medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Fibromyalgia. Many people have had good results with Lyrica in that it can calm the nerves and reduce pain. A few people have outstanding results with Lyrica and probably could go to the carnival and then pay for it for a week after.
My experience with Lyrica was initially that it was a miracle drug that enabled me to do so much more, including spending more time with my children. But then the side effects started and I got worse, much worse. Years later, I no longer take Lyrica and am able to live life again without it, but at the time Lyrica really did help me for a while. In fact, there were days that I actually could have gone to the carnival and did; I just was not able to move for days afterwards.
So what is my beef with the Lyrica commercials? Well, I simply want them to be a little more realistic for Fibromyalgia patients. It is not a cure, nor does it alleviate all symptoms, but it does help many people mitigate the nerve pain with side effects that seem to affect everyone differently.
Commercials literally reach millions of people every day and this commercial is spreading a consciousness about Fibromyalgia that is overdramatized to the good side. If everyone with Fibromyalgia really got that much better from taking the pill, don’t you think we would all take it? Unfortunately, what I have seen as the result of the commercial is the mentality of “If you want to get better just take the Lyrica pill on tv, it fixes everything” and “why aren’t you doing as well as the people on tv? You take that pill don’t you?”
That said, because Fibromyalgia affects everyone so differently and because if I had not experienced such strong side effects, I personally would still be taking Lyrica, I cannot completely slam the commercials or the medication. I just want to see a different portrayal.
A woman named Amanda Matos has a petition requesting Pfizer (the manufacturer of Lyrica) to do the following:
1.) Make Lyrica advertisements realistic, if you have any advertisements at all
2.) Modify Lyrica so that the side effects are not worse than the disease
3.) Invest more money and time into research, to find better treatments for fibromyalgia.
I personally agree with these three requests. If you do too, please consider signing the petition at http://tinyurl.com/pfizer-lyrica-petition.
Do you think the Lyrica “Carnival” commercial is unrealistic?