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Current Medications For Fibromyalgia Symptom Treatment ~ Navigating The Stormy Waters

Have you found yourself overwhelmed and confused by the many choices available for the symptomatic treatment of FMS?

The current medications for fibromyalgia symptom treatment reads as a motley list of the ‘good’, the ‘bad’ and the ‘ugly.

The side effects of some of these drugs can seem worse than the condition itself.

So let’s take a look at the pros & cons of a few of the more popular drugs/treatments available:

A look at the pros & cons re: the current drugs avail. for Fibromyalgia treatment... Click To Tweet

Used by permission of the hilarious Gemma Correll herself!

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Current Medications For Fibromyalgia Symptom Treatment 

  • Lyrica ~ (NOT and anti-depressant)  A drug that targets nerve signals, Lyrica is also used for patients with seizures, shingles,  and diabetic neuropathy. It is believed to calm over-sensitive nerve cells, thus helping to reduce the pain in Fibromyalgia patients. PROS: Ideally it should reduce pain & improve sleep. CONS: Dependant on dosage; sleepiness, dizziness, weight gain, blurred vision, dry mouth, hands & feet swelling, breathing trouble, hives, swelling of face/neck/gums/lip/tongue

  • Cymbalta ~ (anti-depressant) This drug works as a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Works to calm the over-active pain signals in Fibromyalgia patients down by increasing the levels of two main ‘mood’ chemicals; serotonin and norepinephrine. These are supposed to help improve mood, and reduce FMS pain. PROS: claim is that over 1/2 of patients using Cymbalta found a significant reduction in pain, with the added benefit of helping with existing depression co-morbidity. CONS: Potential for- Constipation, dry mouth, nausea, decreased sex drive, agitation, sweating, urinary problems, suicidal thoughts, life-threatening drop in salt levels in blood, liver problems, liver failure, several incompatible drug interactions

  • Tramadol or Ultram ~ (unsure classification as far as narcotic/non-narcotic/opiate/non-opiate is concerned {some sources say yes, some no}) Works on the opiate receptors in the brain, as well as causing an uptake effect of serotonin & norepinephrine. This powerful drug is often used when the normal ‘go to’s’ fail. PROS: pain reduction CONS: Potential side effects include; breathing difficulties, dizziness, confusion, seizures, red blistering of skin, constipation, headache, drowsiness, nausea/vomiting, cannot take if history of drug or alcohol addiction

  • Medical Marijuana ~ The research and proven health benefits in relation to chronic pain/cancer/seizure control (exmp-Parkinson’s/epilepsy/and a whole host of other medical/neurological conditions is indisputable. Unfortunately, misinformation/propaganda/powerful pharmaceutical lobbyists/ and a ‘stoner culture’ continues to create ‘set-backs’ in the otherwise beneficial & justifiable use of this natural medication. PROS: pain relief, improved sleep patterns, beneficial CBD compounds (discussed below), potential cancer cell inhibitor CONS: Federal Government still classifies Cannabis as a Class I narcotic, not legal in all states, should not be used if history of drug/alcohol abuse, sleepiness, dizziness, dry mouth, morale conviction against its use needs to be taken into consideration if this is a hinderance

  • CBD OilCBD stands for; Cannabidiol. This is the highly beneficial compound found in the marijuana plant that DOES NOT have a psychoactive effect, in other words it does not cause the ‘high’ that THC (found in marijuana) does. It is therefore LEGAL in all 50 states. CBD has been found to be effective in the reduction of chronic painPROS: cumulative pain relieving effect, cannabis health benefits without the psychoactive effect, potential cancer cell inhibitor, LEGAL-including states where MM is illegal CONS: dry mouth, rare allergic reaction

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  • Low Dose Naltrexone ~ Works by temporarily blocking opioid centers in the brain, which in turn causes a uptake, or compensation for the ‘shut down’ by creating more receptors and endorphins (‘feel good’ chemicals produced in the brain). This helps to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Studies are being shown that LDN may inhibit cancer cell growth. PROS: Reduces pain in many FMS patients, improves mood, reduces inflammation, relatively inexpensive, relatively low side effects compared with other drugs CONS: experiencing weird and vivid dreams for a time is possible, cannot be used in conjunction with ANY opioid based medication. {Resource for learning about and/or obtaining LDN found here}

Current Medications For Fibromyalgia Symptom Treatment ~ Navigating The Stormy Waters

Of course, this is far from an exhaustive list of medications available to treat FMS symptoms.

As a FYI,  in the list above I have used Low Dose Naltrexone and CBD oil, both with good results.

I am not advocating the use of one drug over the other. My goal is to simply look at a few of the more popular choices, and relate my own personal experience with what works best for me.

Always speak with a professional healthcare provider about which medication is right for you.

What have you found that works for you? Let us know in the comment section below!

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Sharon
    April 25 at 8:02 am

    Hi Kristine, may I ask a question ? Can one use Low Dose Naltroxin and CBD Oil concurrently ?

    • Reply
      kristine
      April 25 at 4:18 pm

      CHeck with your doctor, I always want to say that, because I DO NOT want to give medical advice, as I am not a healthcare professinal. That being said, as far as I know, there are no contraindications as far as cannabis and LDN are concerned. I have used both LDN and CBD oil for over a year and never had a problem. But PLEASE check with your doctor so you have a professional opinion under your belt. Good luck Sharon! 😉

  • Reply
    federica
    April 26 at 4:22 am

    Here in Italy fibromyalgia is unknown. I tried Lyrica and antidepressants, but the side effects were too heavy. Now I help with griffon, valerian and other herbal preparations. Is not the best, but at least I feel a little better!

    • Reply
      kristine
      April 26 at 3:46 pm

      Interesting Federica! Guess they havent got around to naming it yet. Glad the natural alternatives are helping!

      • Reply
        federica
        April 27 at 4:22 am

        In fact, doctors know little about it, it is only taken care of by rheumatologists or doctors of pain therapy, but if you talk to friends, no one has ever heard of it. The ministry of health does not want to recognize it as disabling disease.

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