Fibromyalgia treatments

There are a few approved medications for fibromyalgia and many more off-label.  Used to be FMS was just not treated.  Sort of the ‘suck it up, buttercup’ approach, which I for one did not appreciate.  For some reason when you are in loads of pain whenever you do anything you tend not to do anything which then increases the pain… and those of us with fibromyalgia just have to muddle through it and find our own treatment plan.  Now there are three meds that can be beneficial for fibromyalgia.

fibromyalgia treatments

1) Lyrica– (pregabalin) This is in the class of anticonvulsant type medications. It affects the pain chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system and thus why it is used for fibromyalgia as well as nerve pain. I was on this for years and everyone has different experiences with results and side effects. For me, it did help with pain. Side effects were fatigue issues and weight gain.

2) Cymbalta– (duloxetine) This is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant (SSNRI). Therefore, you have to watch out for side effects of worsening depression and suicidal thoughts. I’m an example of that since I got very suicidal on it and attempted suicide. It has been used to treat Major Depressive Disorder and generalized anxiety but also a lot of pain conditions including fibromyalgia and nerve pain. It is known for severe withdrawal effects so one has to be quite careful when going off of this medication. It can call what is frequently called ‘brain zaps’.

3) Savella (milnacipran) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. As far as I have heard it is generally only used for Fibromyalgia. But also due to the type, it also can increase depression and suidial thoughts and actions,

Other non-medical things to help fibromyalgia:

Good sleep

which is a big problem since insomnia is a big fibromyalgia symptom for some of us and also poor quality sleep.  Personally, I am on a sleeping pill cause my doctor said I was in a constant state of sleep deprivation which was constantly triggering migraines.  I get far less mind-blowing morning migraines these days. And this improves my fibromyalgia as a result. People do suggest melatonin as well (start with a low 3mg dose first, less is more, before trying the higher dose).

Mild to moderate exercise-

not running a marathon or weight lifting mind you… more like a little bit of yoga when you can and try to slowly increase the amount you can.  Maybe it won’t help with pain… but you’ll be more limber and that’s something. Walking short distances and working your way up. That sort of thing. Always start slowly. Find your baseline which may be 5 minutes for you and then week by week just add a small amount. Alternate between exercise and a day of rest. Do not overdo it. Do not exercise on flare days.

Magnesium-

There are in fact many vitamins and herbs beneficial to both or either condition but one big one that is in common is magnesium.  I find taking it regularly prevents those pesky muscle spasms and cramps… that by the way, you can get in any muscles, not just the legs… I had one in my back that literally tossed me off the bed.  Not nice.  Plus I was getting those nocturnal jerks where just when you are almost asleep some muscle group like the arm, neck or legs violently spasms you awake.  I very rarely get those now, which is nice because nothing is more annoying than almost freakin falling asleep after hours of trying only to jerk awake again. But this is a supplement that is important for fibromyalgia. I take it with Calcium and Vitamin D. Vitamin D is recommended to me by my doctor at 5000 units.

Herbals anddietary supplements. While the studies are limited on natural dietary supplements and fibromyalgia, some patients have found relief with over-the-counter natural dietary supplements such as 5-HTP, melatonin, alpha hydroxy, L-carnitine, SAM-e, and probiotics. Many of these have drug interactions, so avoid these if you are on any prescription medications or on othersupplements. Some may not be safe for you if you have other medical problems. WebMD

Cannabis-

There has not been a lot of research for cannabis and fibromyalgia yet due to the fact it illegal (recently legalized in Canada). I did find this recent research on Cannabis and Fibromyalgia. There is something else to consider than just for pain, like for sleep. And to reduce stress and anxiety.

people with fibromyalgia often wonder if medical marijuana, which can be prescribed by physicians in some states, can help their chronic pain and fatigue. While medical marijuana doesn’t cure diseases like fibromyalgia, some pain experts say it may work against pain, help people sleep better, and improve mood. Other pain specialists see no role for medical marijuana in pain management and express concern that people don’t know what they’re getting when they buy it.” WebMD

Alternative treatments

These are varied as they are to the individual that tries them. Massage therapy, biofeedback, meditation, acupuncture, Tai Chi.  I have a preference for meditation simply for relaxation. Although, due to pain being worse than it has ever been I have been meaning to try Tai Chi.

See more about fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia and sleep issues

Magnesium for fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia the basics
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