7 Common Medications Used to Treat Fibromyalgia

For people with fibromyalgia, pain medication is an important element of managing the disease. As well as dealing with the debilitating pain, medications can also help sufferers with fatigue, muscle spasms, and depression.

Before taking any new pain medication, it’s important to speak to your health care provider to ensure it’s safe for you and won’t interfere with any other medications you may be taking.

MORE: Could massage help relieve fibromyalgia pain?

Here are seven of the most common medications used for treating fibromyalgia according to practicalpainmanagement.com:

1. Antidepressants
In addition to treating depression, antidepressants can also be used to help block pain signals to the brain. There are two antidepressant drugs which have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia: duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella). Patients can also be prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac or Paxil or tricyclic anti-depressants such as Pamelor and Elavil.

2. Anti-epileptics
Anti-epileptic drugs slow down nerve signals from the muscles to the brain and help with muscle spasms and pain. Lyrica is the FDA-approved drug for fibromyalgia, but doctors can also prescribe Neurotontin.

3. Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines help to improve sleep by slowing down the central nervous system and relaxing muscles. They are typically prescribed to help patients with anxiety and tension — usually caused by stress. Valium is the most well-known type of benzodiazepine.

MORE: Discover four facts about fibromyalgia you might find interesting

4. Muscle relaxants
These can also be used to help fibromyalgia patients get better sleep by relaxing tense muscles. Flexeril and Cycloflex and commonly prescribed muscle relaxants.

5. Non-narcotic analgesics
Analgesics are painkillers which block the path of pain signals to the brain. Non-narcotic analgesics such as tramadol (Ultram) are not as strong or potentially addictive as narcotic analgesics.

6. Narcotic analgesics
Narcotic analgesics or opioids are used when all other medications have failed to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. They can potentially be addictive and are usually only prescribed for a short period. Oyxcodone (OxyContin) is a common opioid analgesic.

7. Over-the-Counter Painkillers
Usually, over-the-counter painkillers aren’t particularly effective in treating fibromyalgia-related pain, but they can help when used in combination with other medications. You will need to consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.

MORE: Seven things people with fibromyalgia want non-sufferers to know

Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

4 comments

  1. I have fibromyalgia and am using cymbalta and just started medicainla marijuana and have found it to help greatly with sleep and pain and struggle with headaches. I am going to go off my cymbalta and see what he difference is in my pain, sleep, and mood. I have recently travelled to warmer climents for vacation and noticed within 2 days from being in the sunshine and warm climents I have many changes to my health. Very little pain, less stiffness and after 2 days no headaches. I am not able to travel with my marijuana do to cross border restrictions. My question is are there any studies done with clients that live in warmer climents oppose to changeable weather patterns? My plan is to go away for 3 months this winter as I struggle immensely with this disease especially in changeable colder damp climents. Any information from others that struggle with this disease and how weather affects them? Thanks

    • Sharon says:

      I think if enough fibro suffers got together and bought an island in a warmer climate we would all get along just fine. We could all help each other but I know when I am away for any amount of time I feel so good. I wish I had money to do it every winter being disabled with this and not being able to work sucks.

    • flavia says:

      Hi. Warmer climates help for sure. I always feel much better in the summer. However, as to going off Cymbalta, i advise you to be very very careful and not do it without a doctor’s help. Last year i decided to cut my Seroxat to half and after 10 days i was in hospital taking morphine with the worst pain ever! I now know that this medication is for life and will never try reducing it again, despite the constipation and extra weight it brought upon me. Good luck!

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