Medicines are part of the long-term treatment of fibromyalgia. They may help break the
cycle of pain and sleep problems when symptoms flare up. Not all people with fibromyalgia will need, want, or benefit from
medicines. People with more severe pain, sleep problems, or
depression that disturbs their daily life may find
Fibromyalgia symptoms in different people respond to
different medicines. Your doctor may try more than one medicine before finding
one that works best for you. You may also find that a medicine that has been
helping your symptoms seems to become less effective over time.
Talk with your doctor if you are not getting relief. He or
she may try a different medicine or make suggestions for helping find new ways to modify your activity, sleep, and stress.
When you have fibromyalgia, visits to the doctor can be confusing and frustrating as you search for answers and treatment for the many different fibromyalgia symptoms you may have. You may have many different symptoms and lots of questions. It can be hard to know how to address all your concerns in a short office visit -- or what your doctor needs to know to best treat your condition.
For help with these issues, we turned to Scott Zashin, FACP, FACR, clinical associate professor of medicine at...
Certain types of medicines may be used to
improve sleep, relieve pain and fatigue, and, in some cases, treat depression. These
improvements in symptoms may allow you to feel better and to be more active. Medicines used
for fibromyalgia include:
Atypical antidepressants. These are drugs that don't fit
well into the general categories of antidepressant medicines. Bupropion
(Wellbutrin) is an example of an atypical antidepressant that is used for
Nonprescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen
(for example, Tylenol) or
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS, such as
ibuprofen or aspirin) usually aren't very helpful in treating day-to-day
symptoms of fibromyalgia. But they may be useful in reducing severe pain caused
by a flare-up of symptoms. Check with your doctor if you need to
keep taking these medicines, because they may harm your stomach, kidneys,
or in rare cases, your liver. Your doctor may want to monitor you if you take
acetaminophen or NSAIDs daily.