what is the best medication for fibromyalgia. I have tried many and none work help
what is the best medication for fibromyalgia. I have tried many and none work help
Unfortunately, there is no single best medication for fibromyalgia. Every patient is different and it just takes trial and error to find out which treatment works best for you. As you probably know, the FDA has approved three different medications for FM – Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella. The most recent, Savella, was just approved in late January and will not even be available in pharmacies until March. There are a number of other medications that are often prescribed off-label to treat FM. You can read about them here: Medications Prescribed for Fibromyalgia
We've found that most FM patients seem to do best when treated with a combination of medication, mild exercise, and complementary therapies, such as massage, acupuncture, myofascial release therapy, yoga, etc.
I know how frustrating it can be trying to find something that helps, but don't give up. There are several more medications currently in clinical trials that will hopefully offer us even more treatment options.
The medication(s) that work for me may or may not work well for you. That is part of the frustration and confusion about this condiition. Diabetics have insulin to control their disease, there is no equivalent for fibromyalgia.
It has been a course of almost two years of trial and many errors to find the right combination of prevention/maintenance drug and an effective pain reliever for breakthrough days. Its not perfect, but it is much better. I function.
There is no one best medicine for fibromyalgia as each individual person's fibro is different and each person will respond to medications differently. Each individual is going to have to go thru trial and response on multiple medications and medication combinations until they find what helps them.
I am by no means cured of my fibro, but I am better managed than I was before my dx of fibro on a combination of medications that include: fentanyl patch along with percocet for break thru pain, zanaflex(tizanadine) as anti-spasmodic muscle relaxer, topamax as migraine preventive/anti-seizure along with axert for aborting migraines I do get, & prozac for ssri/anti-depressant. I also went thru several years of cognitive therapy with an exellent therapist who helped me learn many coping skills to deal with my bad pain including relaxation techniques, and self hypnosis. One of the best things I've learned to do is to pace myself.
I hope this answer helps you. Fibro is not fun and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I hope you get some relief soon.
in regard for the best medication for fibromyalgia, I know some medications that work well for some people don't phase the pain in others; I've always found it odd that for me, if need be, I can take enough pain medications to make some people in outer space and for me, its necessary to get the pain down and the meds won't cause any buzz or nausea for me. I have delt with fibromyalgia/chronic pain since the late 70's before being Dx with fibromyalgia in 1991. I've tried many non prescription medications, heat/cold packs, lidocaine patches ( lidoderm is the official name for them ), narcotics ( which unfortunately for me gives the most relief ), muscle relaxers ( soma works the best for me, but like with many other abused medications, this is one that is often sold on the street and my pain management doctor quit prescribing it in all but the most extreme cases and then its limited to 30 per month ). I have some combined pain issues, including fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, bone spurs along the spine, and what a former doctor called chronic pain syndrome. I was told I had lupus by one doctor and the other says no, so thats in question. Anyway, for me, the NSAIDS ( ibuprofen, etc ) just didn't do anything and over the counter medications like tyelenol and regular strength advils were a waste of time. When all of these failed, the doctor started prescribing narcotics and a muscle relaxer ( soma and parafon forte work best for me ). He would change the pain medications every year or so as they would loose they're effectiveness somewhat as a tolerance built up to them; but, the pain medications we tried that helped the most, were Lortab 10/650, oxycodone ( either percocet or oxycotin--time released oxycodone ), Demerol, tyelenol 4, and methadone. Overall, the best combined relief I got was when I was on methadone, with percocet for breakthrough pain and soma for the muscle relaxer. I also bought one of the heavy gel back packs you heat up in the microwave and that works wonders, as does a heavy duty heating pad for lower back pain. I've never tried the pain patches ( fenatyl for example ), but I've heard they work wonders if you aren't allergic to the adhesive ( that often irriatates my skin when I use the lidocaine patches ). Stretching exercises, hot baths and the new shiatsu massagers I've found helpful, especially when I use the heavy heated gel pack over the shiatsu massager. One single medication or therapy is usually not enough to give enough relief for fibromyalgia and despite what my former pain management doctor told me about narcotics making it worse; for me, they worked miracles for pain relief; just don't use them unless everything else fails. Hope this helps; God bless, Mark Savage/inspectorgadget1956
Well there isn't any medications, that are the best for all of us, who have fibromyalgia. There are a lot to try, if your doctor is willing to prescribe them. I know for me, I have a high pain daily, I would say a 6-7 most days, and of course the really bad days are a 10. I also know that you can start off taking a certain med that really helps wtih controlling your pain, but as time goes by, they become less and less effective. That is how it went for me. That doesn't happen to everyone, but a lot of people I have talked to and research I have done, shows it is true. What have you already tried taking? Do you want to take opoids (narcotics)? Do you want to take muscle relaxers? Anti-anxiety meds, well you get the drill! What is your pain on a daily basis? These are just some of the questions I would ask myself when considering taking meds for fibro. Most start off taking muscle relaxers, and there are some I don't recommend. One is flexeril. I think it is way too sedating, and you cannot take it if you have to have a life. That is just my opinion. Everyone I have ever talked to about that drug, says the same thing, it is so sedating. So is Deseryl. (trazadone) Same problem, but I do know a lot of people who do take that. They say it really helps them sleep well, which we all know we have to have, to even try to get our pain under control. As far as opoids, there is the very common ones; vicodin, norco, vicodin es, lortab, all of these are the same med, just different brand names, and they all come in different strengths. I started out on this, and it really did work for a long time, until my pain got so out of control and taking them 1-2 tabs daily every 4 hours was killing my stomach, I had to switch to something that wasn't so hard on my tummy. Anyway, there are the stronger ones like oxycontin, a long acting drug, I wouldn't suggest that as it is very addicting, I mean dependant. (or both) There is duragesic patches, morphine tablets, liquid, different doses, of all, so with that, there are just too many drugs to say one is the best for fibro. We all have different pain, different pain tolerances, etc... I would take a look at yourself, make some charts of all your symptoms, and what is available to you as far as drugs, and what you are willing to take. If you have to have pain meds, cuz say you have to work, or you have children, or have a low pain tolerance, do some research on your own and see what is out there.
My regimen is:
Soma (muscle relaxor) used for bedtime, or as needed.
Methadone (narcotic) This is the best pain med I have ever used. It is long acting, you can stay on a relatively small dose. I have not had to up my dose in over four years) I take 10 mg three times a day, and sometimes I only do 1-2. Just depends, but I am supposed to do three.
Prilosec (stomach med) I had to go on this from taking the other pain meds, vicodin, norco, it tore my stomach up!
Prozac (anti-depressant) I think they put everyone on one of these if they have chronic pain.
I take asthma inhalers, and allergy meds, but I do know that when I switched to the Methadone, I was able to get rid of several other meds I had been on for sleep, pain, and anxiety. I feel lucky I am only on a few right now, and my pain is under the best control it has ever been. ( I have had fibro/chronic fatigue for over seven years, or at least diagnosed with it, and was turned down for disability)
I hope this helped a little, I know I did kinda go off the subject, but I thought it was important to explain why I said the meds I did. Thanks for the question, Abby.
the only thing that will give me ant relief from this terrible pain is 4 ultram 50 mgs 4 times a day and 1/2 of.g percodan. this will finally kick in and last about 4 hours and sometimes longer. there are times i wish i could just end it all . does anyone else feel that way. and what medications are myou on. i have a wonderful family and have no reason too feel this way but i do. i have had anti depressants. but they have not helped me, istay in a fog most the time and have a hard time remembering. it is getting too the place now it is hard for me too walk. i just want too give up
I can't even find a Dr here to even believe me when I tell them how badly and how often I hurt. I told one Dr it hurts to even get out of bed in the morning on most days and he said maybe I should look into getting a new mattress. Then I went to a rhuematologist for the first time and he walked in the room, stood there looking at my paperwork and then said I'm not the Dr for you. I asked what I should do, or where I should go, and he asked if I've seen a therapist. Same story with every Dr I've seen. Getting them to listen and maybe even believe me I think is just making everything worse. My muscles now spasm and jump all the time, mostly in my legs. That's not painful but it's annoying. Then my fingers started getting stiffer and now I can't fully extend them or flatten my hand. Now in the last 3 weeks I've had severe vertigo to the point of nausea and vomiting. Went to the ER for that, dehydration mostly, and they gave me two ativan and told me to go to walgreens and get some antivert. It's OTC here. A few days ago I saw my GP for a follow up from the ER visit and told her the antivert isn't working, I'm still dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated, vomiting, feel like my heart is pounding and the whole side of my head throbs every single day. She said it sounds like typical anxiety and antivert will help with some of those symptoms but I have to take it on a regular basis, not just when I feel dizzy. She completely disregarded anything else I said. It's always the same..."it's all in your head" attitude.
Anyway, I know I'm just complaining here when this thread isn't about whining. But, can anyone here PLEASE tell me what I can do for this aching and pain etc while I'm searching for a Dr to believe me? Right now I'm eating ibuprofen like candy, some days hitting 2000mg total (not all in one dose). I'm going to see an acupuncurist this week and praying she believes me and can do something to help.
I should say I'm not even actually diagnosed with Fibro because so far every Dr I've seen totally dismisses even the mention of it. Four out of the 5 Dr's I've seen said it's just a blanket term for "we can't figure out why this lady is complaining...her tests come back fine and she looks healthy" and I swear the undertone is always "we got ourselves a hypochondriac here"
I'm already on anti-depressents (prestiq...same thing as effexor) and I also take lamictal.
I just really need someone to believe me and try to help.
Do any of you have any suggestions for over the counter relief?
What have you tried and what dietary changes have you made?
I have had it for three years and do best with norco and sativa edibles or methadone with edibles. I also take 1600 mg of Jarrow brand SAM-E and eat a gluten free diet which is CRUCIAL. I also consume raw milk from grass fed cows. NO sugar! NO wine!
I was diagnosed with fibro Jan 2010, but have suffered from chronic pain ever since I had my second son 3 years ago. My doctor began me on Savella. I have been taking it for 6 months with no relief. It makes me more fatigued than I was before taking the medication. He switched me to Prestiq and I will begin taking that in a few days when my Savella pills are done. I am also taking amitriptyline for migraines and vicoden occasionally for major pain (maybe once every few weeks). I don't like taking too many drugs due to the long term side effects so I try not to take the vicoden if possible. The amitriptyline is crucial for me. I have suffered from chronic headaches and migraines for the last year. One day I woke up with a headache and it never really went away. When I began taking the amitriptyline a few months ago, I started to feel less foggy and was able to concentrate better at school (I am a math teacher).
I believe diet changes are crucial with fibromyalgia. I cut out sodas, caffeine, fast food, fried foods, processed foods, high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar. I also increased my magnesium intake through green leafy veggies and some fish. I also take a magnesium supplement called Natural Calm, which seems to be helping. I also supplement with Vitamin D. I eat only organic and all natural foods. It can be pricey, but is well worth it. I love to bake, so I still eat baked goods but only use natural and organic ingredients. I have yet to try to cut out gluten. Some people say it works wonders, I just don't know if I have the will power. I love to bake too much :-)
I have also began going to a physical therapist to help decrease my pain. After a few sessions, I am already beginning to feel a little better. She is able to give me tips on how to better my posture, flexibility, and how to reduce my pain. I have not begun an exercise routine yet, but plan to once I have finished my physical therapy.
And in case you are wondering, I am 33 years old, 5'10" and weight 125 lbs (15 lbs less than the average minimum weight of someone my height). My case of fibromyalgia is not due to being overweight or having a unhealthy lifestyle. I played volleyball and ran track in college. I have always been active and exercised regularly. After I had my son 3 years ago, my pain and fatigue were so intense, I was not able to pick back up on my exercise regimen.
It is an ongoing battle as you know, and I hope you are able to find what works for you.
I've had FMS & R/A for about 16 years but was diagnosed 10 years ago. My Rheumatologist gave me Arava 20mg and the burning pain in my muscles went away & hasn't come back...that was 10 years ago. I've been through many, many pain meds; right now I'm taking Norco but it's starting to not be as effective as it once was and my stomach is suffering from the ibuprophen in it. The Fentanyl patch works well but I was allergic to the adhesive, Methadone was fine but I lost my teeth after 2 years. I guess it all depends on what you can stand. As for the other meds for FMS, Lyrica, Humira, etc....NOTHING worked for me. Only the Arava. I wish you luck as this is an awful condition to deal with and the depression, etc that comes with the 'syndrome' makes for an ugly disease. People think that just because you don't look ill, you must not BE ill. If they could only spend a day in our shoes...
I have been reading over these posts and have learned a lot. There is an underutilized med in the tricyclic class of anti depressants. It has an unlabled use for help with pain. It is called Doxepin (generic name) Sinequan (label). It has been the only med to help me. There is the down side, though. It has anticholinergic side effects. They are on the constipating side. Urinary hesitency is a major problem if the med is taken in higher doses. This med is still worth trying. Just take the smallest dose that works. This can be 25mg to 125mg. It is a very inexpensive med and is generic. Hope this helps. Come back and let me know if your Dr. will prescibe it and how it works for you
I'm a 51 year old woman suffering with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia pain since 2005 and most recently osteoarthritis pain. Each day I suffer with a heavy stiff ache in my neck, shoulders, knees and legs. I suffer with anxiety, and the anger and frustration of having to deal with this. Most days I feel as though I'm dragging a heavy ball and chain around with me. I remember the days when I use to run and dance; I was a ballet dancer most of childhood and teenage years. Now I wish I could feel good enough just to go for a short walk. I feel a burden to my husband and wish I could feel better. I have tried all the meds prescribed by rheumatologists. Many people aren’t aware of the severe side effects of the meds (that don’t work anyway) that our doctors are prescribing for us. If you investigate the pharmacology of your fibromyalgia prescription on the web, you may be surprised (or horrified) of the carcinogenic side effects of your medication and what it can do to you. However, there is hope. Marijuana does help. People who are sick just want to feel better. Marijuana works to reduce fibromyalgia pain, increases energy or makes you feel better so you can do more, reduces anxiety, alleviates nausea and simply makes you feel better. I don't understand the taboo of marijuana. It was given a bad rap in the 70's. It doesn't make you sloppy and out of control as alcohol can. I wouldn’t recommend driving or operating machinery etc. or doing things you shouldn’t do, just as if using any prescribed medication that includes those warnings. However, the effects of marijuana are much different than alcohol. I believe some states allow medical marijuana for MS, HIV, and cancer pain. Marijuana is a God given plant put upon this earth. It has benefits for many illnesses that would make thousands of peoples' quality of life so much better! And it’s not physically addictive as many pain narcotics are – and doctors prescribe those. I just don’t get it. I want to be able to use medical marijuana for my illness - I don't want to be afraid of getting in trouble and going to jail. I want a better a quality of life for myself and others who suffer. SO . . . I want to spread the word to those with deep muscle and joint pain, extreme fatigue and the hopelessness that comes with years of suffering – marijuana does work – but unfortunately it’s not available. God Bless.
To the person who said opiate don't work on Fibromyalgia pain -> you are wrong. I have FM and have had it for ~15 years. Mirapex worked well for me for the first 10 years then was extremely hard to get off of. I have tried everything, at least 30 meds, to deal with the FM pain and nothing has worked, due to allergy or awful side effects. Opiates do work though and have almost no side effects. I take them consistantly, same dose, same time, everyday, and have not had to increase dosage for 5 years. Also L-Tryptophan helps for sleep and magnesium+ Calcium will get rid of those random sever cramps.
Everything else I have tried has been either super addictive (way worse than opiates), produced extreme alergic reactions, or had side effects that were debilitating and awful.
I have had fibromyalgia for about 15 years. I have tried every so called fibromyalgia treatment and medication without significant help. I have been on the fentanyl patch for 7 years and it saved my life. I would have killed myself by now due to the pain if I hadn't been prescribed narcotics. I am so sick of reading and hearing about how narcotics are ineffective for fibromyalgia type pain (central pain) and have even read this from so called reputable doctors who treat these patients. They have appretnly never tried these meds for their patients or they wouldn't be so ill informed.
I have been on the same dose for all these years and although I had to quit my nursing job recently the pain is otherwise controlled. The activity of caring for patients is just too much for people with severe pain issues. I am hoping to go back after I focus on alternative treatments to help stabilize my condition.
Anyway, Everytime I see comments about narcotics not being effective for fibromyalgia I just get so angry that I have to respond. Good Luck!
I think it would be a lot better if people quit critizing those who have opinions. This is a help group not an accusing one. The question was which drug helps you.... not whether someone says you need to stay away from addictive drugs. Each of us is very different.
I tried neurontin and lyrica. Both did not work. I won't try Savella because I am sick of the side effects. I am taking lortab which doesn't touch the pain but helps me relax. The biggest problem is trying to rest. I took some clonopin (sp?) last night and got some rest.
I have tried several pain medication and nothing seems to work... I am be one the point of just going crazy with this pain.... I also suffer from CFS, Depression, Panic and Anxiety Attacks, DDD, Osterarthritis, I have have about 15 different surgeries, Just had my 3rd back surgery, where they fused F5-S1, put pins, screws and rods in....I have been in so much pain from all of this that i have been just about to go crazy......PLEASE HELP ME
I see that a lot of you want your narcotics. My suggestion is to try to fake back pain instead of sticking with a fake condition like "fibro". "Brain fog"? Lol. Or if you do have body aches try an antidepressant. Body aches are central to depression.... probably why elavil works for lots of you "diagnosed" with "fibro". But quit saying you "need" narcotics and leave them to the people who really need them. Jmo.
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