Unfortunately, fibromyalgia currently has no cure. Thankfully there are a few medications that can help control and relieve symptoms. There are three FDA-approved fibromyalgia medications as well as several over-the-counter medications that can help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms.
Because depression and fatigue are usually rolled into the fibromyalgia package, you may recognize the three approved FDA medications. Lyrica (Pregabalin), Cymbalta (Duloxetine), and Savella (Milnacipran) are FDA approved to prescribe to fibromyalgia patients to treat fibromyalgia symptoms. Savcella (Milnacipran) is actually very similar to another drug already used to treat depression, but it is FDA-approved to treat fibromyalgia exclusively. Lyrica (Pregabalin) was developed to treat chronic pain caused by damage to the nervous system. Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is another anti-depression that doubles as a fibromyalgia medication. However, these aren’t the only drugs that do what they do, so a person with fibromyalgia shouldn’t feel restricted to these three. Not every medication works the same for everyone, so it’s important to play with your treatment and find something that fits best with your lifestyle and symptoms.
Analgesics are also a help when it comes to managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Short and sweet, analgesics are painkillers, and fibromyalgia is all about widespread body pain. There are even analgesics that come in a topical form.
For some people with fibromyalgia, narcotic medications are also prescribed to help cope with sever muscle pain, but there is no hard evidence that this is an effective treatment for everyone. Doctors are hesitant to prescribe narcotics for long-term use, which is understandable.
Nonsteroidal Ani-Inflammatory Drungs (NSAIDs) are another route in combating fibromyalgia pain; this is the familiar category of medications that includes aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. They target – as the name suggests – inflammation. Now, inflammation is not a symptom of fibromyalgia, but NSAIDs also relieve general pain. Because of the ease of access to NSAIDs, they’re a nice tool in easing muscle pain and the headaches that often show up as a symptom of fibromyalgia. NSAIDs can irritate the stomach, though, and may be linked to kidney issues, so they are not a good long-term solution.
It’s important to find a doctor who can work with you who specializes in fibromyalgia treatment. The best tool in your arsenal when it comes to treating fibromyalgia is your own readiness to learn. You are in charge of your health and well-being, so for the best outcome it is important to take charge and build the best medical support team that you can. Learning about a diversity of options – from prescription medications to over-the-counter medications to physical and body movement therapies to nondrug and alternative medicine therapies – will be a huge asset to you when facing down your fibromyalgia symptoms.
There are specialized pain and rheumatology clinics that have dedicated their time, energy, and finances to helping people with fibromyalgia and similar diseases.
Alternative therapies like massage, Pilates, chiropractic treatments, herbal remedies, and acupuncture have helped relieve some fibromyalgia sufferers.
Many people with fibromyalgia find that some types of food can make their fibromyalgia symptoms flare up. There isn’t any definite research on this, but many fibromyalgia sufferers are advised to watch how certain foods make them feel and tailor their diets accordingly. Consult with your doctor first before changing your diet.