Controversy Around Opioids

If you are struggling with fibromyalgia pain, you may be interested in trying a variety of fibromyalgia medications in order to achieve pain relief. Many fibromyalgia sufferers ask their health care providers about trying an opioid for their fibromyalgia symptoms.

The use of opioids in treating chronic pain however, is a subject of great debate. Many physicians are reluctant to prescribe opioid pain relievers to fibromyalgia patients for fear of triggering tolerance or addictive behaviors.

As a result, those with fibromyalgia syndrome are sometimes left without appropriate pain relief. If you are interested in trying opioids for fibromyalgia relief, you will want to learn more about the controversy surrounding opioid use.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drug used to relieve symptoms of severe pain. More commonly known as narcotics, opioids are named after opium, a product found inside of the opium poppy plant. Natural opium has been used for hundreds of years to treat symptoms of severe pain and illness. Some opioids are made from this natural opium, while others are made synthetically from different chemicals.

Most of us associate opioids with the treatment of acute pain, like when you get your wisdom teeth pulled at your dentist's office. However, opioids can also be used on a regular basis to treat chronic pain. Some types of opioids used to treat fibromyalgia include:

  • oxycodone
  • morphine
  • fentanyl

What is the Controversy?

There is much debate about both the usefulness and safety of opioids as a medication for fibromyalgia sufferers. Many health care professionals and researchers feel that there is little evidence that opioids actually provide significant pain relief for fibromyalgia patients.

Others are concerned about the potential for tolerance and addiction associated with long-term opioid use. Yet, many fibromyalgia patients find that opioids are highly-effective pain relievers, and work to relieve persistent symptoms of widespread pain and muscle stiffness.

Due to the controversy, many fibromyalgia sufferers find it difficult to get a prescription for opioid painkillers.

Do Opioids Help to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain?

The effectiveness of opioids in fibromyalgia pain relief is one of the key components to the controversy surrounding opioid use. Though patients claim that opioids provide them with significant symptom relief, some health care providers disagree.

However, research shows that opioids are indeed helpful for relieving fibromyalgia pain. A recent study performed on long-acting opioids, including oxycodone, showed that fibromyalgia sufferers gained great relief from long-term use of opioids including:

  • fewer sleep disturbances
  • less anxiety and depression
  • increased mobility and enjoyment of life



Table of Contents
1. Opioids Controversy
2. Addicted?
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bob duke
I have be on percocet 10/325 for 15 years for chronic pain. When I was told that I have fibromyalgia I was put on lyrica. But my pain level has gotten worse. My Dr at the pain center won't give me anything else for pain.
I liken it to someone diagnosed with dyslexia. Imagine taking away all the tools you give that person to deal with dyslexia after years of having them. That is what it is like for someone whom has FM and has the one thing that helps them live a some what normal life. Just because that one thing is a narcotic. I can honestly say that I have never been addicted to nor abused my oxycodone. I have had it stolen. I have lost half full bottles. I have had people I don't know or like show up at my home and ask to buy it. I have never sold one single pill to anyone. I have moved twice just to get away from these people. Thanks to my ex-wife they keep finding me.......NEVER AGAIN
I just wanted to thank Randal for his comment, I have severe fibro, I can't even get out of bed most days but with oxycodone my level 10 pain drops to a 2 or a 3 . I can take care of my family , play with my son, run my business and be productive in my life. Now my Doctor want to take me off them because "recent studies say opiods don't work for fibro" I am beside myself , essentially he wants to take my life away! It makes me feel better to know there are people out there who understand! Thank you!
Norco is what my doctors and I found works for my pain. After 10 years of being misdiagnosed with simple depression we've discovered i have bipolar 2. The antidepressants aggravated my bipolar symptoms, so narcotics are my only choices. I've tried just about every antidepressant and "fybromyalgia" medication on the market to only end up with worsening suicidal thoughts and then finally acting on them. I do Not condone suicide in anyway shape or form, but if I had not made that horrible decission I would have never ended up in the hospital for over a week where it was finally discovered I suffer from both, bipolar amd fibromyalgia. By the grace of God I'm alive, my marriage is stronger than ever, I'm alive and enjoy life with tolerable pain and I look forward to my tomorrow's. I agree that not all fibro patients need narcotics, but there are many cases that becoming addicted isn't something I really concern mysel with due to taking the amount prescribed or even less than prescribed on a daily basis. Don't judge people for what works for them. Every patient is different and until there is a cure take what works. If you have a doctor that doesn't believe in treating your pain then that doctor has no compassion. FIRE THAT DOCTOR! Call every fibro specialist in the country until u find one that is familiar with someone in your area. There are pain clinics that are cash only that require you to come in every 28 days, they do a pill count and drug test to make sure you are over taking and abusing other drugs. I wish the best for all of you and pray one day there will be a cure.
Opiates may be effective for fibromyalgia in some patients but I do not think a doctor prescribing 250 oxycodone and 300 morphines a month to a 110 pound person is reasonable. It makes me angry to see drug addicts use this excuse to get their drugs. Opiates are highly addictive and the over use is negligent. I have seen it first hand (not myself) and I have seen the abuse and the withdrawal when the person runs out before they get their new script. The person always tells me it is the fibromyalgia pain that is making her sick.