The treatment of Fibromyalgia varies because each patient experiences symptoms differently and at varying levels. There isn’t a magic pill that helps Fibromyalgia patients. It’s often a trial and error process to figure out what medicines work best for you.
This article addresses different medications that are used to treat Fibromyalgia Symptoms. Each of these medications has its own unique side effects and risks and should be oxycontin vs oxycodone under the direction of your doctor.
Analgesics are drugs that are designed to relieve pain. This is usually the first place people go to treat their Fibromyalgia symptoms. However they don’t always work at relieving your pain. Acetaminophen and the NSAIDs are the only over-the-counter medications on this list. All other medications are available by prescription only.
Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen relieves pain by raising your pain threshold. It is available over the counter and at higher doses by prescription.
Common Acetaminophen Products:
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs treat pain and inflammation. Fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory condition (people often mistakenly believe it to be so) so the effectiveness of NSAIDs can be minimal. I personally find the greatest relief from Aleve.
Celebrex: Celebrex is a COX-2 Inhibitors are a type of NSAIDs that blocks the COX-2 enzyme. At one point there were 3 types of COX-2 inhibitors on the market but due to an increased risk of heart attack, only Celebrex remains.
Opioids work by blocking pain receptors to the brain. There is much debate over whether narcotics work effectively at relieving Fibromyalgia pain. Many doctors are reluctant to prescribe narcotics for Fibromyalgia pain relief because they are highly addictive.
Anticonvulsants are drugs used to treat seizures. They also have the ability to relieve different types of pain. It is believed that they treat Fibromyalgia pain because they suppress the excitability of the nervous system. Lyrica is currently the only FDA approved anticonvulsant for Fibromyalgia. There are however, other anticonvulsants on the market that are not approved to treat Fibromyalgia.
Antidepressants help Fibromyalgia by decreasing depression, improving sleep and decreasing pain.
Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs can relieve pain and are prescribed even if you are not experiencing depression. There are currently 2 FDA approved SNRIs for Fibromyalgia:
FDA approved SNRIs for Fibromyalgia:
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs are shown to reduce pain, improve sleep and decrease impression. Research shows that SNRIs are better at treating Fibromyalgia then SSRIs.
Tricyclic Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants are sometimes prescribed in low doses to help improve sleep and reduce pain.
Common Tricyclic Antidepressants
Muscle relaxants mask pain by reducing the brain’s ability to sense pain.
Common Muscle Relaxants:
Sleep Medications are used to correct Fibromyalgia sleep disturbances. Different types of drugs are prescribed to improve sleep. Low-dose tricyclic antidepressants (listed above), Lyrica, Zyrem (drug for narcolepsy) and Sedatives.
Common Sleep Medications:
Two Other Fibromyalgia Medications Worth Mentioning:
Low Dose Naltrexone: LDN works by blocking receptors to your brain and making your immune system work properly. It is not currently FDA approved for Fibromyalgia but it is an inexpensive generic.
There have been studies showing improvement of Fibromyalgia symptoms when using LDN.
Guaifenesin: If you are recently diagnosed, you might be wondering about the “miracle” Guaifenesin treatment that “cures” 90% of its patients. Guaifenesin is an ingredient found in many cough syrups. Dr. R. Paul St. Amand believes that guaifenesin can reverse the symptoms of Fibromyalgia based on his theory that Fibromyalgia is due to an excess of Phosphate in the body. Guaifenesin causes the body to dispose to excess phosphates. Many studies have been done trying to prove his theory and the use of Guaifenesin for Fibromyalgia and none have done so.
There are Fibromyalgia Treatment Centers across America that use his Guaifenesin Protocol to “cure Fibromyalgia.” They do not accept medical insurance and are very expensive to use despite that fact that Guaifenesin is an inexpensive over the counter drug. I am suspect of any medical facility that does not accept medical insurance. If you go in chat rooms on the internet you will always find people who claim Guaifenesin is the miracle cure. I believe these people have a financial vested interest in promoting it. Be wary of anyone promotion this debunked theory.