In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health. No one treatment works for all symptoms.
Medications can help reduce the pain of fibromyalgia and improve sleep. Common choices include:
- Pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) may be helpful. Your doctor might suggest a prescription pain reliever such as tramadol (Ultram, Conzip). Narcotics are not advised, because they can lead to dependence and may even worsen the pain over time.
- Antidepressants. Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) may help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Your doctor may prescribe amitriptyline at night to help promote sleep.
- Anti-seizure drugs. Medications designed to treat epilepsy are often useful in reducing certain types of pain. Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise) is sometimes helpful in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms, while pregabalin (Lyrica) was the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat fibromyalgia.
Talking with a counselor can help strengthen your belief in your abilities and teach you strategies for dealing with stressful situations.
Sept. 08, 2016
- Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- Clauw DJ, et al. The science of fibromyalgia. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2011;86:907.
- Arnold LM, et al. A framework for fibromyalgia management for primary care providers. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:488.
- Goldenberg DL. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of fibromyalgia in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Vincent A, et al. Prevalence of fibromyalgia: A population-based study in Olmsted County, Minnesota, utilizing the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Arthritis Care & Research. 2013;65:786.
- Goldenberg DL. Pathogenesis of fibromyalgia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- Goldenberg DL. Treatment of fibromyalgia in adults not responsive to initial therapies. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.
- Crofford LJ. Adverse effects of chronic opiod therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain. Nature Reviews Rheumatology. 2010;6:191.
- Fibromyalgia and complementary health approaches. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/pain/fibromyalgia.htm. Accessed Aug. 19, 2013.