Fibromyalgia is an umbrella term for a collection of symptoms that can leave you feeling miserable. The term, which literally means “pain in the muscles and joints,” is used to describe widespread muscle pain, chronic fatigue, and cognitive issues like difficulty concentrating and confusion. Fibromyalgia also carries with it a stigma that may be difficult to shake:
Because fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disorder that causes widespread muscle pain, many of the pain medications doctors prescribe for it are also used to help people cope with other autoimmune disorders like arthritis.
The mainstay of treatment is medication to help control FM symptoms. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are generally recommended for mild-to-moderate pain. However, prescription medications, such as antidepressants, opioids, and anticonvulsants are more effective than over-the-counter drugs for severe FM pain. When looking for over-the-counter drugs, you can always buy them at healthylineoutlet.com.
In terms of effectiveness and safety, there isn’t much difference between the different classes of drugs used to treat fibromyalgia. All of them are equally effective at relieving its symptoms. However, there are some differences in the way they work in the body and in their side effects. Because most people who take these medications do so long-term, it’s important to consider their potential long-term effects as well as their immediate benefits.
First, some basics. Medications used to treat fibromyalgia fall into three categories: analgesics (painkillers), antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications. These three categories overlap somewhat. Some antidepressants also act as analgesics, while some anti-seizure medications also help alleviate depression. There are also analgesics that don’t treat depression or seizures at all.
There are several different types of pain medications for people living with fibromyalgia.
Tylenol is one of the most popular over-the-counter painkillers available. It also helps to relieve other types of pain, such as arthritis and menstrual cramps. Hydroxyzine works by blocking a chemical in your body called histamine. Histamine can cause symptoms like itching, facial swelling, and a runny nose. Some doctors may prescribe it to treat anxiety disorders and some types of nausea and vomiting, both from causes other than motion sickness.”
The most widely prescribed antidepressant for FM is duloxetine (Cymbalta). It’s thought to work by targeting the areas of the brain involved in processing pain signals sent from the body to the brain. Duloxetine was shown in a study published in 2006 in The New England Journal of Medicine to reduce pain by over 50% within 2 weeks. Other studies have found similar results with duloxetine versus placebo. That is to say, it significantly reduced FM pain without causing side effects that can be harmful as an addiction.
Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin)
Simple analgesics are the most common form of painkiller. They are non-narcotic and can be used on a long-term basis. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is one example.
When you’re looking for a medication that can help relieve pain, you may be considering over-the-counter drugs, like ibuprofen (sold under the brand names Advil or Motrin). They work by blocking an enzyme that produces prostaglandins, which are chemicals that create pain, fever, and inflammation. As with other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), they are particularly effective in reducing pain and stiffness in joints.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder of the nervous system that causes widespread muscle pain. There is no cure for it, but medications can help to relieve symptoms. One of the most popular groups of medications prescribed for treating fibromyalgia is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs can work wonders on their own, but they also have side effects. They can cause stomach irritation, heartburn, and ulcers. If you have fibromyalgia and experience these symptoms from taking ibuprofen, you might want to consider other options.
Other analgesics include tramadol (Ultram), which is an opiate that is similar to drugs like morphine and codeine. This drug has a higher risk of addiction and overdose but may be a better option for you if you cannot tolerate the simple analgesics or have not found them effective enough in managing your fibromyalgia pain. Tramadol is available only through prescription.
This drug is an opioid antagonist that helps lessen the effects of other opioids. It works by blocking receptors in the brain and spinal cord that would normally respond to painkillers and endorphins: natural opioids produced by the brain itself. In studies, it has been found to help treat certain types of cancer, brain injuries, and fibromyalgia. There is a low risk for addiction since it blocks receptors rather than stimulates them as other opioid medications do. In studies, it has also caused fewer side effects such as nausea and fatigue than opioids do.
An antidepressant is known to alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia by reducing pain and improving mood. Duloxetine has also been linked to lower levels of depression and anxiety.
Like duloxetine, gabapentin is an anti-seizure medication that has been shown to help reduce pain and improve mood in some people with fibromyalgia.
This anti-convulsant drug is used to treat epilepsy and migraines, but it has also been found to be effective in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia in some patients.