Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by COOKIEMONSTER, Jun 25, 2003.





    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.

  2. DebP

    DebP New Member

    Thank you Madwolf!!!!! I totally disagree that opiods are ineffective on fibro pain!!! I am on them for about 6 or 7 months now, and Im feeling better than I have in five years!!! My pain is at least cut in half sometimes more because of the use of opiods. Now finding a doc that thinks like you is the hard part, fortunately I have found one and Im doing very well as opposed to before. Thanks again for making sure that we all understand that the non opiod way is not always the way to go!!

    God Bless You!!
    Deb :) ;)
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Cookie, it is helpful to give us the source of the info you provide here.

    The use of antidepressants, especially SSRI's, remains one of my areas of disagreement when people are not depressed. I know that in low doses, they can be helpful, but too often, I believe they are used in lieu of opiods which could offer real pain relief. If the tricyclics truly help with sleep, then they may be indicated, but we have had a lot more negative reports from the use of these than positive reports here. I believe SSRI's should be used only for depression and agree with Dr. Cheney that they just cause more damage in our brains from misfiring neurons.

    I would still be bedridden without the use of meds.

    Love, Mikie
  4. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    I never used opoids for years, and dealt with this pain, meanwhile, I could not work or function properly. Now that I take opoids for pain relief, I have actually found relief for my pain... I know everyone is different.. but nothing else did help the pain cycle break.. I find that now I use opoids my need for ER visits have diminished.... Just a note to let you all know... Iggy
  5. fibber12

    fibber12 New Member

    what kind you are on? ive had vioxx, celebrex. bextra. now ultrcets, or vicoden i have tried also. my rheumy told my doc to ask about neorten or someting like that. havent seen him yet. thans in advance.....mary
  6. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    For relief of Fibromyalgia pain....But, I suppose they don't know what they are talking about huh? I have been using opoids since november, and it is the first time in years that I have gotten a break from my pain. So, I have to say, that I also disagree with you on the opinion that medications are not very useful for long term treatment. Until "they" figure out more about this syndrome...medications help us feel better!
  7. bakron

    bakron New Member

    I have been taking Ultracet (37.5 mg tramadol, or Ultram and 325 mg of acetaminophen), a "synthetic opoid." It has helped my pain quite a bit without causing me to be too drowsy to work. Ultracet does not increase the risk of stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, impair kidney function or interact with many blood pressure medications. I can even take my Celexa and Neurontin with it. I'm impressed.