Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Modulation of NMDA Receptor Activity in Fibromyalgia

Version 1 : Received: 1 April 2017 / Approved: 3 April 2017 / Online: 3 April 2017 (16:43:53 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Littlejohn, G.; Guymer, E. Modulation of NMDA Receptor Activity in Fibromyalgia. Biomedicines 2017, 5, 15. Littlejohn, G.; Guymer, E. Modulation of NMDA Receptor Activity in Fibromyalgia. Biomedicines 2017, 5, 15.


Activation of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) results in increased sensitivity of spinal cord and brain pathways that process sensory information, particularly that which relates pain. The NMDAR shows increased activity in fibromyalgia and hence modulation of the NMDAR is a target for therapeutic intervention. A literature review of interventions impacting on the NMDAR shows a number of drugs to be active on the NMDAR mechanism in fibromyalgia patients, with variable clinical effects. Low-dose intravenous ketamine and oral memantine both show clinically useful benefit in fibromyalgia. However, consideration of side-effects, logistics and cost need to be factored into management decisions regarding use of these drugs in this clinical setting. Overall benefits with current NMDAR antagonists appear modest and there is a need for better strategy trials to clarify optimal dose schedules and to delineate potential longer –term adverse events. Further investigation of the role of the NMDAR in fibromyalgia and the effect of other molecules that modulate this receptor appear important to enhance treatment targets in fibromyalgia.


fibromyalgia; drugs; NMDA receptor; ketamine; memantine.


Medicine and Pharmacology, Immunology and Allergy

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