Skip to content

Fibromyalgia Health Center

Select An Article

Fibromyalgia Medications

Font Size

There are many different medications used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain medicines, sleeping pills, and antidepressants.  Some fibromyalgia medicines help ease pain. Others boost mood and improve sleep. Working with your doctor will help you find the right fibromyalgia medication to add to your treatment regimen. That way, you can manage your symptoms effectively.

 

Recommended Related to Fibromyalgia

Lyrica for Fibromyalgia Treatment

 Fibromyalgia is a perplexing and often debilitating disorder, but treatment can help. Lyrica, a medicine used to treat patients with seizures, pain from shingles, and nerve pain from diabetes and spinal cord injuries, is offering new hope to those living with the pain of fibromyalgia. Here is what you need to know about the use of Lyrica to manage fibromyalgia, from the drug's benefits to its side effects.

Read the Lyrica for Fibromyalgia Treatment article > >

What is the initial treatment for fibromyalgia?

The first medication doctors will often try for people with fibromyalgia is an antidepressant, which helps relieve pain, fatigue, and sleep problems. In addition, antidepressants help depression, which is commonly seen in people with fibromyalgia. Older antidepressants, called tricyclics, have been used for many years to treat fibromyalgia. 

How do tricyclic antidepressants treat fibromyalgia symptoms?

The tricyclic antidepressants, including Elavil (amitriptyline) and Pamelor (nortriptyline), work by raising the levels of chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain. 

Tricyclic antidepressants increase levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. People with chronic pain often have decreased levels of these calming neurotransmitters. Tricyclics can relax painful muscles and heighten the effects of endorphins -- the body's natural painkillers. While these medications are often very effective, the side effects can sometimes make them difficult to take, as they may cause drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, dry eyes, and constipation.

Do other antidepressants relieve the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia?

There are several different types of antidepressants that have been shown to help relieve the pain, fatigue, and sleep problems in people with fibromyalgia.

The most well-studied antidepressants for fibromyalgia include Cymbalta (duloxetine), Savella (milnacipran), and Effexor (venlafaxine). Cymbalta and Savella are specifically FDA-approved to treat fibromyalgia. There is less medical research to show that Effexor helps fibromyalgia. Other antidepressants that have also been studied for fibromyalgia and may help include Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Celexa (citalopram).

Different antidepressants work differently in the body. In addition, what works for one person with fibromyalgia may not work for someone else. That's why people with fibromyalgia may have to try more than antidepressant to find the one that best relieves the pain, fatigue, and sleep difficulties associated with the condition. Your doctor may even want you to try a combination of more than one antidepressant at a time.

 

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

instructor training woman with dumbbells
Can it help your fibromyalgia flare-ups?
woman painting
It’s hard, but we’ve got tips.
 
woman at desk rubbing shoulder
Tips to modify your workspace is one step.
Woman rubbing her upper back
Get treatment options and coping skills.
 
Fatigue or Something More
Slideshow
Woman with stressed, fatigue
Article
 
woman in pain
Article
69x75_thumbnail_woman_applying_pressure_to_forehea
Article
 
woman eating apple
Article
Sex Advice for Single Women
Article
 
Your Symptoms
Article
Uncomfortable mature woman
Article