Author: Martínez-Lavín, Manuel MD
Journal of Clinical Rheumatology
To the Editor:
Chronic arthralgias are recognized human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine side effects. The United Kingdom National Health Service Web page contains the following statement: “More than 1 in 100 people who have the Gardasil HPV vaccine experience fever, nausea (feeling sick), and painful arms, hands, legs, or feet.”1 In 2013, the Japanese Health Ministry stopped actively recommending HPV vaccination in young girls. The ministry was investigating 24 cases of an illness similar to complex regional pain syndrome that emerged after HPV vaccination.2 The name complex regional pain syndrome is a relatively new term to describe a condition formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain and widespread allodynia. Other fibromyalgia distinctive features are paresthesias, chronic fatigue, and sleeping difficulties.3 Fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome share clinical and possibly pathogenetic features4. A consistent line of investigation suggests that fibromyalgia is a sympathetically maintained neuropathic pain syndrome.5
The objective of this communication was to describe 2 previously healthy girls who developed a chronic incapacitating fibromyalgia-like illness after HPV vaccination.