Fibromyalgia Medications Medications do not cure fibromyalgia. However, some medications may help improve fibromyalgia symptoms, especially muscle pain and frequent waking during the night. Not all people with fibromyalgia will need, want, or benefit from medications, but people with more severe pain, sleep problems, or depression that disturbs their daily life may find them helpful. Antidepressants and pain relievers are often used to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia. This does not mean that the condition is "all in your head." Antidepressants may help by improving sleep, mood, or by blocking pain signals. Many people with fibromyalgia appear to benefit from the use of these medications. Medication Choices Often, medications may be combined (such as fluoxetine and amitriptyline) for the most effective treatment of symptoms of pain and sleep disruptions. Certain types of antidepressants may be used to improve sleep, relieve pain, and in some cases treat depression: Tricyclic antidepressants may improve sleep and possibly provide pain relief. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also called SSRIs, such as fluoxetine (for example, Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft), may reduce depression or improve sleep. A muscle relaxant called cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) may also be used for pain and sleep problems. This drug is very similar to certain tricyclic antidepressants. Nonprescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol), or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin) usually are not very helpful in treating day-to-day symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, they may be useful in reducing severe pain caused by a flare-up of symptoms. You should check with your doctor if you need to continue taking these medications, as they may harm your stomach, kidneys, or in rare cases, your liver. Your doctor may want to monitor you if you take NSAIDs daily. Stronger pain relievers (narcotics) and sleep aids that are addictive are rarely used to treat fibromyalgia because they are often ineffective, and a person can become dependent on these medications over time. What to Think About In general, medications are not very useful for the long-term treatment of fibromyalgia. They may help break the cycle of pain and sleep problems when symptoms flare up, but they usually are part of a larger treatment plan that focuses on exercise and other types of treatment.