If you have fibromyalgia syndrome, then you have probably tried countless treatments in order to help reduce your many symptoms. There are a wide variety of medications available to treat the widespread pain, fatigue, and depression caused by fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately, a lot of this medication causes numerous side effects and requires persistent fine-tuning in order to be beneficial. Luckily, a number of new fibromyalgia medications are now available to help manage your fibromyalgia symptoms.
Developing New Fibromyalgia Medications
It is also very difficult to develop medications specifically for fibromyalgia. This is because no one is entirely sure what the actual cause of the syndrome is. Fibromyalgia also causes so many different symptoms that it is impossible to develop a medication to relieve them all.
There are some medications being produced specifically for fibromyalgia, though these are still in the works. Most new medications currently being used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms were originally developed to treat other illnesses.
Conventional Medications for Fibromyalgia
Medication is often used to treat the various symptoms of fibromyalgia. Although there are no medications designed specifically for fibromyalgia, medications indicated for other illnesses can be used to help treat fibromyalgia symptoms, including
- fatigue and sleep disorders
- concurrent illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease
Drawbacks to Conventional Medications
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to conventional medications used for fibromyalgia syndrome. Many anti-inflammatories and pain relief medications cause severe side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding. Sleep medications are often habit-forming and can cause addiction and withdrawal effects.
Pain medications often don’t work fast enough or long enough. Some antidepressants can only be taken for short periods of time because of unpleasant side effects, like dry mouth and dizziness.
Because of how common these side effects are, many people consult lawyers regarding legal disputes about medications. As a result, there has been a great demand for new fibromyalgia medication.
If you are having trouble tolerating some of your current fibromyalgia prescription medications, you may be interested in trying some of the new medications now available for some fibromyalgia symptoms.
New medications are always arriving on the market, so speak with your health care provider on a regular basis about any new possibilities for treating your fibromyalgia discomforts.
Duloxetine, sold under the brand name Cymbalta, has been available for sufferers since 2004. It is typically used as an antidepressant, though in women with fibromyalgia, it has been shown to be an effective pain relief medication.
Duloxetine works by affecting levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. These are neurotransmitters which affect mood and pain sensations. In a recent study involving fibromyalgia sufferers, women using duloxetine reported significant improvement in their muscle pain and stiffness.
Thirty percent of duloxetine users report a 50% reduction in their fibromyalgia pain. Duloxetine has also been shown to improve daily functioning.
Duloxetine is available by prescription for women suffering from fibromyalgia. Common side effects include nausea and dry mouth. Unfortunately, duloxetine does not appear to be effective in men with fibromyalgia.
Pregabalin is sold under the brand name Lyrica. It is now available in the European Union and for certain conditions in the United States and Canada. Lyrica is a nerve pain medication commonly used in diabetics. It has recently shown to be useful in reducing pain caused by fibromyalgia.
Pregabalin works by calming over-excited nerve cells. Nerve cells are responsible for receiving pain messages from the outside world. People suffering from fibromyalgia often have overactive nerve cells.
In a recent study involving fibromyalgia patients, pregabalin was shown to vastly reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia pain. It also worked to improve sleep and reduce fatigue symptoms. In fact, almost 50% of users claim a 30% reduction in overall symptoms. Side effects include dizziness and sleepiness.
Pramipexole has recently been shown to reduce pain considerably in fibromyalgia patients. Sold under the brand name Mirapex, pramipexole is usually used to treat Parkinson’s patients. It is now available for use by a minority of fibromyalgia patients.
Pramipexole is a dopamine receptor agonist. This means that the drug works to stimulate the production of dopamine, a chemical transmitter in your brain. Dopamine works to reduce your body’s response to pain.
In recent studies, 8 out 10 fibromyalgia patients reported a 30% improvement in pain. 4 in 10 fibromyalgia sufferers reported a 50% reduction in pain. Nausea and constipation are the most common side effects of pramipexole.
Cox-II inhibitors are a type of anti-inflammatory, used to minimize swelling, joint and muscle pain. Celebrex and Vioxx are types of Cox-II inhibitors (though Vioxx is no longer available on the market). Cox-II inhibitors can help to reduce the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia.
Cox-II inhibitors work by blocking Cox-II enzymes. These enzymes control the production of prostaglandins, which cause pain and inflammation. Unlike other anti-inflammatories, like NSAIDs, Cox-II inhibitors do not affect Cox-I enzymes, which are necessary to maintain the lining of your stomach and kidneys.
Cox-II inhibitors therefore decrease pain without causing gastrointestinal bleeding. Side effects include swelling and increased blood pressure.
Ultracet has been approved for use in the United States. It works to reduce symptoms of pain and fatigue and helps to increase your ability to function. Ultracet is actually a combination of two medications: the opioid, tramadol, and the over-the-counter analgesic, acetaminophen.
Ultracet works to decrease pain and improve function by acting on specific pain pathways in the brain. It also decreases the size of pain signals being delivered to the brain, reducing the amount of pain that you experience.
In recent studies, Ultracet has proven to be highly effective for fibromyalgia sufferers. In one three-month trial, fibromyalgia sufferers were given up to eight Ultracet capsules a day.
After three months, the fibromyalgia patients experienced a 22% increase in function and mobility, and a significant decrease in symptoms of pain and muscle stiffness. The most commonly reported side effects included nausea and constipation.
Pindolol, sold under the brand name Visken, has been tested for use in fibromyalgia patients. Pindolol belongs to a category of drugs known as beta adrenergic receptors, or BAR-blockers.
It works to calm the sympathetic nervous system by blocking the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Fibromyalgia patients often have excessive amounts of norepinephrine in their system.
This prevents receptors in the brain from being activated without a large increase in activity from the sympathetic nervous system. This can cause a number of physical symptoms, including pain and stress.
A recent study evaluated the effectiveness of Pindolol on fibromyalgia patients. This study concluded that daily doses of Pindolol help to substantially improve symptoms of muscle pain, muscle stiffness, and sleep disorders.
The most common side effect reported by Pindolol users was excessive perspiration.