Prescription Pain Relief Options for Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Types of Medications Used to Manage Fibromyalgia
By March 9, 2012 756 1 2
If you’re one of the nearly 5 million Americans living with fibromyalgia, you’re probably all too familiar with the accompanying pain, exhaustion and emotional strain that can wreak havoc on your everyday life. But while researchers haven’t pinpointed a specific cause or cure for the condition, its symptoms are treatable.
Medical experts have found that a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and medication can successfully ease fibromyalgia symptoms. Your doctor can help you decide the best treatment options for you.
Types of Medications Used to Manage Fybromyalgia
Many types of medicines, ranging from over-the-counter pain relievers to prescription drugs, are available to help you manage the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia, while improving your mood and sleep patterns. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right ones for you:
Analgesics. Over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and naproxen (Aleve) can help reduce the muscle pain and stiffness caused by fibromyalgia. Your doctor may also prescribe a pain reliever, Tramadol, which can be taken with acetaminophen or on its own.
Anti-depressants. In addition to treating depression, anti-depressants seem to reduce fatigue and relieve muscle pain, while promoting deep, restful sleep. Cymbalta and Savella are two FDA-approved antidepressants that have been successful at easing fibromyalgia symptoms. Studies have also shown that adding fluoxetine (also known as Prozac) can diminish pain, anxiety, and depression.
Anti-seizure medicines. Drugs such as Neurontin and Lyrica, which are made to treat epilepsy, have been helpful in relieving the nerve pain and anxiety of fibromyalgia. Lyrica was the first drug approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia.
Local anesthetics. Local injections of analgesics or cortisone medication into the tender, trigger points can sometimes provide temporary pain relief to the soft tissues.
Muscle relaxants. Occasionally doctors may prescribe relaxants to ease muscle pain associated with fibro symptoms.
Narcotic pain relievers are usually avoided when treating fibromyalgia symptoms, due to unfavorable side effects, including dependency, when used long term.
Will My Fibromyalgia Get Better?
Although considered a chronic condition, fibromyalgia does not damage the joints, organs or muscles.
If you can successfully manage your fibro symptoms, it’s possible to enjoy a happy, healthy, and pain-free life. Work closely with your doctor and healthcare team to make healthy lifestyle changes and explore treatment options to develop a plan especially for you.
Other Related Resources:
“Fibromyalgia: Creating a Treatment Plan.” MedicineNet.com.
“Fibromyalgia.” Mayo Clinic.
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