- What is Fibromyalgia?
- Dealing with Chronic Pain
- Chronic Pain Disorder
- Fibromyalgia Treatment
- Natural Treatments
There are numerous medications that can be useful in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. There are no medications available that are curative, but medications are available to address the prominent symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Lyrica (pregabalin) was originally used to prevent seizures. It has also been used to treat nerve pain, such as that which occurs in shingles and diabetic neuropathy. Lyrica has proven useful in fibromyalgia and has been approved for usage in fibromyalgia patients. Lyrica acts by altering chemicals in the brain that send nerve pain signals across the nervous system.
Topamax (topiramate) and Neurontin (gabapentin) are also drugs in this class that have been used in fibromyalgia with some success, although they have not been officially approved for such use.
NSAIDs (non-steroidal aniinflammatory drugs) can be very effective in treating the muscular pain of fibromyalgia. Examples of drugs in this class include Motrin, Advil, (Read more about over the counter NSAIDs here) Indocid and Celebrex. People who take these medications on a long-term basis should be monitored for possible adverse side effects, such as bleeding and liver and kidney damage. Used safely, NSAIDs can reduce both pain and inflammation in arthritis-related conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Ultram is a centrally-acting synthetic opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. It can be addictive under certain circumstances and patients should never take more than is prescribed, or for longer than the medication is prescribed. It can be a very effective painkiller and does not cause gastrointestinal problems like NSAIDs do. It does carry some side effects, such as sleepiness, constipation and increased sweating.
Flexeril is a muscle relaxant that works by blocking pain sensations to the brain. It can be very helpful in conditions such as fibromyalgia, reducing musculoskeletal pain and promoting rest. People who have heart or thyroid problems should not take this drug, and alcohol should never be used in conjunction with this medication. Flexeril can cause drowsiness, so any activities requiring alertness, such as driving, should be avoided while the medication is being used.
Clonazepam (Klonipin) is a drug used to treat a variety of conditions, including seizures, anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders. Clonazepam can be helpful in treating some sleep disorders, like bruxism (teeth grinding) and restless leg syndrome (RLS), although it has not been approved for this usage. Drowsiness is probably the most frequently reported side effect.
Savella belongs to the antidepressant group known as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for fibromyalgia. Although it is an antidepressant, Savella is used to decrease pain and improve overall functioning in fibromyalgia patients.
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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.
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