Pain

Fibromyalgia

About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia have "tender points" on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them.

People with fibromyalgia may also have other symptoms, such as

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Morning stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called "fibro fog")

No one knows what causes fibromyalgia. Anyone can get it, but it is most common in middle-aged women. People with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases are particularly likely to develop fibromyalgia. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but medicine can help you manage your symptoms. Getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well may also help.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
  • Muscle pain and fatigue
  • Tender points on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs that hurt more when you put pressure on them
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Morning stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Problems with thinking and memory, sometimes called "fibro fog"

Top Medications for Fibromyalgia according to our users

Button Group. All currently active

All Medications for Fibromyalgia

  • Antidepressant > Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)

    • Cymbalta
      (Duloxetine)
      Prescription only

      Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, and may help with chronic pain. More likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink or have high blood pressure.Will Cymbalta work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Extended release
  • Antidepressant > Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)

    • Elavil
      (Amitriptyline)
      Prescription only

      Elavil (Amitriptyline) is an older antidepressant that's sometimes used to treat pain and sleep problems, but it can have more side effects than similar medications.Will Elavil work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
  • Antidepressant > Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

    • Paxil
      (Paroxetine)
      Prescription only

      Paxil (Paroxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety but it causes more weight gain, sleepiness, and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.Will Paxil work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release tablet
      • Liquid
    • Prozac
      (Fluoxetine)
      Prescription only

      Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.Will Prozac work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Delayed release capsule
      • Liquid
  • Anticonvulsant > GABA analog

    • Lyrica
      (Pregabalin)
      Prescription only

      Lyrica (Pregabalin) works well as an add-on medicine for seizures and fibromyalgia, but it's especially effective for nerve-related pain after shingles. Not available as a generic, so it might be expensive.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Liquid
    • Neurontin
      (Gabapentin)
      Prescription only

      Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Oral solution

Muscle relaxer

Medication side effects for Fibromyalgia

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for anxiety.

  • Lyrica: 2%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have anxiety

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have anxiety

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Fibromyalgia

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • There are medications that are not 'typically' used to treat Fibromyalgia (referred to "off-label" use) that may prove beneficial. One such for Fibromyalgia is Xyrem, which is expected to receive FDA approval by year's end for Fibromyalgia.
  • There are various treatments for Fibromyalgia--become familiar with them by asking your physician; more often than not, the more you discuss the various treatments and how Fibromyalgia effects you, your regimen will have better success.
  • Make sure you understand how Fibeomyalgia effects the body, and you may find answers to a lot of questions about why you've been feeling the way you have.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Sleeping on a heating pad set set set on low; massage therapy if you can afford it, Epsom salts in a long hot bath.
  • Buy something special just for you for flare ups. A heated blanket, massage slippers, a lovely special pillow, new pajamas.
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Learning to deal with stress more effectively
  • Learn to say no when you feel too tired to go to a function; you know you will suffer if you do. Do what is best for you.
  • Physical therapy