fibromyalgia drug treatment
Fibromyalgia, a condition for which no cure exists, is characterized by pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling and areas of tenderness in the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the body. Other symptoms include restless extremities, headaches and gastrointestinal problems. Emotional distress and sleep disturbances often develop in response to these physical symptoms. Both conventional and alternative drug therapies may be utilized to relieve the many symptoms of fibromyalgia. Have a question? Get an answer from a doctor now!
Other People Are Reading
Treatment of Symptoms
Medications helps manage symptoms
According to Dr. Robert M. Bennett, professor of Medicine and chairman of the Division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and the leading fibromyalgia researcher in the United States, fibromyalgia is not always understood to a degree that allows for a definitive diagnosis. Even so, most patients do learn ways to control the symptoms that appear, even though the condition is poorly understood. Drug therapy is one of many ways with which this troubling syndrome can be managed.fibromyalgia drug treatment
SSRIs, SNRIs and Tricyclic Antidepressants
Tricyclic antidepressants and other drugs help with pain and sleep problems
Cymbalta and Savella are both antidepressants in a class of drugs known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Both drugs increase the amounts of the brain chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, helping to re-establish normal sleep patterns and improve mood.fibromyalgia drug treatment
Amitriptyline (Elavil), a tricyclic antidepressant, is often prescribed in low doses to relieve pain and to help with sleep.fibromyalgia drug treatment
Fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) sometimes given along with tricyclic antidepressants to restore healthy sleep and to improve moods in fibromyalgia patients.
SNRIs, SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants are usually given in small doses when sleep or pain control is the primary therapeutic objective; however, when a person is suffering from depression in addition to fibromyalgia symptoms, dosages are calculated accordingly.
Muscle Relaxants and Non-Narcotic Pain Relief fibromyalgia drug treatment
Lidocaine patch applied on tender point site
Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) is a muscle relaxant that may be given to fibromyalgia sufferers in order to ease muscle spasms in specific areas of the body. Cyclobenzaprine is similar in composition to the tricyclic drug, amitriptyline, resulting in some of the same therapeutic benefits for fibromyalgia patients.
Procaine and Lidocaine, anesthetics that are injected into areas referred to as "tender points," are capable of providing pain relief for several months' duration. Lidocaine is also available in a patch.
Tramadol (Ultram) is a non-narcotic drug used to ease the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia. Tramadol, however, should not be used in conjunction with tricyclic antidepressants. Tramadol may be used with acetaminophen (Tylenol) for relief of mild pain.
Acetaminophen is sometimes used alone or with other medications to treat mild pain.
Sleep Aids and Drugs to Calm Restless Extremities
Medications may be given to help regulate sleep
(Ambien) is a hypnotic drug given to promote sleep, but should be taken with caution to avoid dependency. Eszopiclone (Lunesta) and zaleplon (Sonata) are also prescribed for sleep problems.
L-dopa and Carbidopa (Sinemet), a medication usually prescribed for Parkinson's disease, may be given in very low doses to calm restless leg syndrome, a common complaint of fibromyalgia sufferers.
Pregabalin (Lyrica), an anti-seizure drug that works on the nerve signals in the body, is beneficial to fibromyalgia sufferers for reasons that are not yet clear; however, it appears that the drug reduces and calms sensitive nerve signals which, in turn, alleviate pain.
Gabapentin (Neurontin) is an anti-seizure medication which may alleviate pain and fatigue and improve the quality of sleep in those affected with fibromyalgia. Although it is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia, some doctors prescribe it off-label for the condition.