Do Meds Really Help?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by greatgran, May 21, 2008.

  1. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Would like your input on meds that help as I haven't found any that I can say truly help except xanax does help my anxiety.

    We take many to mask our symptoms but in the long run do they do more harm than good. The side effects from some seem to be worse than the symptoms.

    I am med phobic, just afraid to try any more, so maybe I don't give them a chance but have not find one that I can truly say helps me.

  2. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    Percocette does work for my pain it if I take 2 which I can. Ultram helps me on lesser pain days if I take 2.

    Neurotin helps my nerve pain some.

    I take Soma for muscle relaxer and it also helps my pain a bit.
  3. pearls

    pearls New Member


    Pain is not just a symptom to be "masked." Untreated, chronic pain causes a vicious cycle that then produces your other fibromyalgia problems. Pain should be controlled.

    A well trained and competent pain specialist, such as a physiatrist (NOT psychiatrist), but a physical medicine specialist, knows how to control your pain.

    I see such a doctor, and he has helped me get rid of daily, crushing chest pain. I think of it as a mountain of pain. The meds, including two narcotics, helped me get over that mountain, and partly down the other side.

    However, once I got "over the top," I was able to control the chest pain with Vicodin as needed. My life was much better. Sleep was still a big problem, however.

    Then this same specialist then suggested Lyrica, which in three months has taken away all major chest pain, and most of the minor pain (pain, which I would monitor, but decide not to treat). It has also allowed me to go to be expecting to sleep.

    If Lyrica did not work for me, then my pain doc and I would work together to find the optimum combination of drugs for my personal case.

    I strongly urge you to go to a pain clinic. Most medical schools teach doctors very little about pain management. As a result, most primary care physicians know very little about it. A good pain specialist does.

    Not treating pain is not a good idea. Think of chronic pain in a new way, not as merely a symptom, but as the cause your problems. Pain is also the cause of pain itself. Treat the pain, and you'll treat most of the other problems, including your anxiety.


  4. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Hi Greatgran! They don't do much good as far as I'm concerned, but we are all different. Lorazepam helps keep the dial down on the anxiety control and a half a hydrocodone eases leg pain when it is a real problem. That's it for me. Both of those are addictive, but at this point I just don't care. I'm too old to fuss about that, and my doctor agrees that quality of life is of major importance. There is little he can do, but he knows these two help me and I have never abused them.
  5. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    IMO, they are just band-aids and with long-term use you have to worry about side effects.

    I see you have CFS. Have you considered looking at your methylation cycle and Rich Van K's work?

    I am 30 percent better in a year and 3 months on his protocol/ Amy Yasko's protocol.

    It's been a long slow grind, but my body feels "normal" most of the time. Refreshing sleep. Sleep like a baby. Still working on the cognitive function. Still not able to work, but a lot better than I was.

    It's been about a decade since I felt like this.

    A good starting point is Vitamin Diagnostics' Methylation panel. It's 300 bucks.

    Love your pic of the grandkids. Terrific looking kids!


    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2008]
  6. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    The real problem with meds and CFS/Fibro is that they block enzyme pathways and NSAIDs hurt the intestines. That means they mess with digestion and detoxification. And those are exactly the things that are messed up in all of us. So some drugs may do something for a couple of symptoms, but they won't get at the root cause and can make things worse or even keep you from healing. I don't know what I'd do if I had fibro with a lot of pain. I'm getting over CFS, but if I had to take pain meds, I'd be in a heap of trouble!

  7. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I know how frustrating it is to have docs who do think are DD's are all in our head.

    Like any professions you have ones that are good and others not so good. Keep searching, which I know can be limited by your HMO and pain/fatigue.

    A pain doctor/pain clinic has been a successful route for some on this board.

    I have found that Zoloft, Lamectal, Provigil and Tramadol have really helped me. I tried Lyrica but the side effects were horrific. I do not have any side effects from the other meds. But that is just my experience.

    We each are so different in the way meds. and supplements, even food affect us.

    Unfortunately, right now the medical profession does not know what causes our DD. There are a lot of theories but no cures.

    I sometimes hate the thought that some of these meds. are band aids.

    But we still need these meds. Untreated pain can actually damage the brain. Untreated depression can get worse. I have an article on how pain affects the brain that I will try to find. Untreated sleep issues make us worse.

    So whatever direction you go, you have to weigh the risks against the gains. You have to come up with an individualized plan that works for you.

    Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast that we often have to look for the right doctor. But let me tell you, when you do, it is soooooo helpful.

    We all need to vent. It can be so therapuetic among people who understand what you are going through. Support is what this board is about.

    I wish the best for you.

  8. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Meds are a necessary evil for most of us. It is true there are side-effects. No question about it.

    But if you find the right doctor, one who understands as much as is possible to understand fibromyalgia; and who knows how to administer the powerful drugs we need to cut the vicious cycle of pain and no sleep, then you'll find some relief.

    As to narcotics, it is very rare for a person who is taking these drugs to become addicted. We do become dependent and need to withdraw from them carefully, but that can be done with little or now difficulty. I can say this as a person who has done it myself.

    It is important to learn to live healthfully, but for many of us, that is not all we need. When we are experiencing chronic pain and little sleep, there is no stigma - nor should any be imposed on us - for accepting meds from an experienced, skilled pain specialist.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2008]
  9. Leaknits

    Leaknits New Member

    Dear someone I've forgotten your name already and I apologize:

    I see you recommend something called Vitamin Diagnostics Methylation panel, call it a no-brainer, and mention "It's only $300."

    Wellll, I ran search for "Vitamin Diagnostics Methylation panel" and,if I can't find it and don't know what it is I don't think I'll pay a months' rent to discover the secret.

  10. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    Methylation panel.

    Vitamin Diagnostics is a laboratory in New Jersey.

    Rich Van Konynenburg has posted the address, tel no, somewhere. You just have to plough thru his posts to find it.

    It's not a secret (??!). There's been a ton of discussion about this topic on the board. Just use teh search function.

  11. dragon06

    dragon06 New Member

    They help me...they do cure me but with them I can get to a state where I can have some semblance of a life. Without them I would be bedridden.
  12. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Thanks to each of you for your input.

    I am to the point that I may try the med route again. If there is a pill that will give me some quality of life without bad side effects I am willing to try once again.

    Have been so disappointed in the past that meds didn't help but mainly the side effects.

    Use to feel so guilty about taking xanax, I can truly say this has been a good medicine for me.

    As far as pain I don't have that much except for the leg aches and sometimes my body aches . Then the sleep issue, have got to find something to help with sleep.

    Never thought of pain, lack of sleep effecting our brain.

    Thanks again for all your help,
  13. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    What a lovely picture on your profile. You've gotta love grandkids. I have four and my daughter is expecting our fifth grandSON!! No girls for our family.

    If it wasn't for my pain meds, I would be on disability right now. They are the only thing that is getting me through. That and I take Neurontin for the nerve pain in my arms and legs.

    Today, I have swollen glands in my neck. I didn't think that FM did that but who knows....maybe I have CFS now!

    All the best to you and your family.

  14. coolma

    coolma New Member

    FM 12 years now. 5 years ago, I had stomach problems from taking Tylenol 3s. My stomach "protectors" were very light and didn't work anymore (prescription). I went on in pain and did not take pain relievers to control the spasms or the pain. AFter 3 months I ended up in emergency in the most severe spasms ever. I wqas another 3 months in absolute agony until I got the spasms under control. I lost so much weight I don't know how I survived. All from not controlling the pain.

    If the spasms in FM get too deeply set into your body, without proper pain control, it is very very difficult to stop the pain. Better to control it first, than suffer unbearably later. I now have stronger stomach meds, and after my system settled down, I actually could go off the stronger meds.

    control the pain to stop it first and foremost.
  15. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    YES. I handled this DD on my own for many years but as I've gotten older and sicker I'm very thankful for the help of my pain doctor, the Guai protocol and this forum.
    Take care.
  16. frosty77

    frosty77 New Member

    I'm not a fan of meds or supplements - to me they are the same thing except that at least meds are regulated. Unfortunately, both meds and supplements can have horrific side effects. I do believe that meds can help with chemical imbalance issues - it's the long term effects that really worry me.

    But, I do take meds and some supplements (though I've tried most of the supplements recommended on this board over the past few years and found most useless. Plus the lack of studies and the fact that many contraindicate with meds and with other supplements does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling). Cymbalta for IBS which actually helps FM pain, no other pain meds as I have to work though I would dearly love some, and a multi vitamin.

    Everyone is different and you just have to do 'trial and error' for meds.
  17. pearls

    pearls New Member

    There would be nothing I'd rather do than to be able to live without the meds I need. However, that is not in the cards for me. None of us should not have to apologize for taking the drugs that have made life worth living again.

    People who come onto this message board telling sufferers of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome to more or less go it alone, without the intervention of medical care, in cluding medications, are doing a great disservice.

    Someday,maybe there will be natural cures for every ailment, and we'll have health providers everywhere who will help us find a way back from the brink.

    Today, however, that is just not the case. I can only be in charge of my health with the assistance of my medical team. If I ask for their help, I need to work with them to find the combination of medications best for me.

    Greatgran, get some good medical help. You've been suffering long enough. Do not feel guilty about the Xanax, either. If you get some measure of relief by taking it, perhaps you really need it.

  18. Leaknits

    Leaknits New Member

    Thank you for the rapid reply! Also please accept my apology for not getting back here till now; I keep forgetting to check my old posts to see if any replies have happened. Brainfade, maybe? lol, sort of.

    So the lab is on the other coast from where I sit. Rats. It's odd but it seems most every time I hear of someone who knows how to treat this d'd or there's a program for those of us who have it, it's too far away to get to.

    Oh well, maybe one day the wilds of northern CA will catch up.

    Thanks again, and I WILL go check out the search re methylation. This is the first time I ever heard the term and have been hanging around cfs/fibro sites for years.

  19. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    Anyone can send blood to the New Jersey lab.

    Rich Van K says he has seen the results of 45 such panels .. run by CFS patients or fibro patients.. and he says they all showed a block.

    A helpful naturopath may order it for you, if your doc won't.
  20. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I don't know where I'd be without my medications (Effexor, lorazepam and sometimes T3). Probably back in bed like I was for almost a year before I finally gave in and started taking them. I'm lucky I have a good doctor. I still have some painful days and sleepless nights, but I feel that I am living again.

    I hate to take them, but I've tried so many supplements and spent so much money trying to go the natural way and none of them really helped.

    Sue in Ontario