Fibromyalgia can rapidly affect a person’s life personally and professionally. The symptoms do not only include widespread pain, but also lead to other problems, such as depression, inadequate sleep, fatigue and irritability. The reasons and causes of the condition vary from patient to patient, hence choosing the correct and effective treatment can be challenging.
Today, we list down some the general medication used to treat Fibromyalgia.
Tricyclic anti-depressants include Amitriptyline (Elavil), Nortriptyline (Pamelor), and Doxepin (Sinequan). Amitriptyline is considered to be the most effective and is known to enhance stage 3 and 4 sleep. The drug significantly improves the quality of sleep, morning stiffness helping patients to get rid away of the pain in a short span of time. The medicines, however, do cause side effects including morning sedation, dry mouth, confusion and urinary retention.
Muscle relaxants such as Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Orphenadrine Citrate (Norflex) have been found to be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia. With tricyclic chemical structure, Cyclobenzaprine can be used as a short-term muscle relaxant. The drug is also helpful in improving the quality of sleep and pain score, with reduction in tender points and muscle tightness. Cyclobenzaprine, however brings many side effects, hence it’s a must to seek a doctor’s advice before using them.
Most of fibromyalgia patients report about their lack of sleep. This is the very reason doctors may recommend the use of sedative medications to enhance the sleep among the patients.
Some of the sedative drugs include Temazepan (Restoril), Flurazepan (Dalmane) and Triazolam (Halcion). These are Benzodiazepine agents used to treat insomnia for a short-term period. These medicines however do cause side effects, such as excessive drowsiness, confusion, nausea, tachycardia and nightmares. In some cases, the long term use of these sedative drugs has reported to cause major symptoms such as glaucoma and (paradoxically) insomnia.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs:
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAID’s) are most commonly used for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to combat pain and stiffness.
Anti-seizure drugs such as Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise) and pregabalin (Lyrica) has been proven helpful in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms.
Please remember that each drug offers in the risks it poses and must be used with caution. These drugs have been on the market for more than 15 years. The medications differ substantially in price and the monthly cost for these drugs ranges could range anything in between $6 to more than $500.
Also, understand that medication is just one part of the treatment approach to fibromyalgia. According to pain management doctors what could actually help in treating the condition ways is a combination of medicine for pain and sleep with treatment of overlapping conditions such as migraines and irritable bowel syndrome, and combination of water therapy, massage and yoga.
Pain clinic Los Angeles suggests that getting involved in everyday physical activities including walking, jogging, biking, stretching and other exercises can also be helpful in treating the symptoms related to fibromyalgia.
Wishing you best recovery!