Healthy Living

Nerve Pain Medications for Fibromyalgia

Nerve Pain Medications for Fibromyalgia

Key Takeaways

  • Researchers believe that fibromyalgia intensifies the sensation of pain by disturbing the pain signal activities in your brain.
  • Since there is no known cure for fibromyalgia presently, reducing the patient’s symptoms is a significant aspect of the journey to living a quality life.
  • In addition to medications, other coping strategies are also recommended. 

Living a quality life is tough if you are dealing with chronic pain that is caused by fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by predominant pain in the bones, muscles, and soft tissue. It is also associated with sleep issues, mood swings, and overwhelming fatigue. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia intensifies the sensation of pain by disturbing the pain signal activities in your brain. This makes patients with fibromyalgia very sensitive to certain things that generally should not be painful. Since there is no known cure for fibromyalgia presently, reducing the patient’s symptoms is a significant aspect of the journey to living a quality life.

The goal of medication is to alleviate symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. As a patient, keep in mind that your doctor prescribed certain medications because it will benefit you and improve your general health. These are certain drugs and medications prescribed specifically for your condition. There are side effects accompanied with every medication; thus, it is your responsibility to be mindful if allergic reactions or other complications occur as you take the prescribed medications. Finding what suits you with lesser side effects could be discussed with your doctor. You may have to try several medications to find what’s best for you.

There are different types of medications that are beneficial in improving a fibromyalgia patient’s condition. These medications often help ease the pain and discomfort caused by fibromyalgia.  One type of medication that can be used for fibromyalgia symptoms is nerve pain medication. Common brands of drugs and their side effects are indicated below.

Nerve Pain Medications 

Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise) is an anti-seizure drug used to treat epilepsy. However, it also lessens the pain of fibromyalgia. 

Common Side Effects: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Tremors

This medication has also caused sexual dysfunctions in some patients. Reviews stated that it appears to be as effective as Pregabalin and costs less.

Duloxetine (Cymbalta) is an antidepressant which, as the name suggests, treats depression. It is believed to be of benefit in relaxing pain signals by acting as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Serotonin and norepinephrine, which are naturally found in the brain, will alleviate the pain sensation. With this activity, it increases serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain and nervous system; thus, helping relieve pain due to fibromyalgia. 

Common Side Effects:

You may feel nauseated or dizzy at the start or as soon as your dosage increases. This could be reduced by getting up slowly from the lying position.

Amitriptyline (Elavil) is an antidepressant that helps relieve tension and anxiety. It increases your energy, which can help the overwhelming fatigue suffered by patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It also works by affecting the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. 

Common Side Effects:

Most patients who have been taking this drug stated that it did increase their energy and relieved the sleep deficiency symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Pregabalin (Lyricais a U.S. FDA-approved drug for fibromyalgia. This drug is not an anti-depressant but a pain reliever. It targets nerve signals resulting in alleviating the pain instantly. This can benefit patients with fibromyalgia since it quickly relieves the pain. 

Common Side Effects: 

Often, these side effects occur when the dose of this medication is increased. Reviews display some positive feedback for this drug’s ability to relieve pain. This medication also relieved anxiety for many patients living with fibromyalgia.

Milnacipran (Savellais a medication that is used to treat the widespread pain caused by fibromyalgia. It works as SNRIs, where serotonin and norepinephrine will not re-enter the cells. The increased levels of these substances would decrease the sensation of pain. 

Common Side Effects:

  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite

Ensure that you stop taking the medication gradually as it could pose some withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop the medication.

Venlafaxine (Effexor, Effexor XR) is another antidepressant with the same effect as most antidepressants indicated above.

Coping Strategies

There are some coping strategies, which when accompanied with medication, could help you in managing fibromyalgia. These coping strategies are listed below:

Join a support group: Joining a support group is an effective way to share your personal experiences with others suffering from fibromyalgia. Sharing your experiences with others can help not only you cope with the conditions, but the others in the group as well. A family member could go along with you for additional support. This would allow you and your family to vent each other’s concerns in how to deal with fibromyalgia. Joining a support group is a great source of relief as a coping mechanism. This will help you feel that you are not alone in dealing with the disease. This could also make your family understand what you are going through after hearing the same issues from other members of the group.

Stress factor: Stress would take a toll on your general health. Managing your stress at home and at work will help you better cope with the condition. Moreover, it could potentially lessen the discomfort caused by the symptoms.

Exercise: Regular exercise is one of the best treatments for fibromyalgia. A low-intensity exercise such as walking can increase your control over the disease. Yoga and stretching are also good to incorporate into your exercise program for better results. These light exercises help in relieving stress and fatigue from your muscles; hence, pain and discomfort are minimized.

Time for yourself: Fibromyalgia can take an overwhelming part of your well-being. It makes life complicated. Spending time for yourself will bring balance to your life and your environment. You can even take up hobbies if you’d like. Keeping yourself occupied with the things that interest you will take your mind away from cons of the condition. Furthermore, this also brings a sense of normalcy to your life despite having to bear with the disease.

Talk about your situation: As mentioned, fibromyalgia makes your life complicated. Talking about your condition to your loved ones and trusted friends will ease the burden that you are carrying.

Keep your bedroom a sleep haven: One of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is the inability to have a deep sleep. This could be due to pain attacking at night which causes you to awake. Keeping your bedroom conducive to sleep would help you achieve adequate rest.

Jot down daily activities: To manage pain triggers, writing down daily activities can be a great help. This will help you find ways of eliminating certain actions, factors, and environmental stimulus that could worsen your condition.  

Final Thoughts

Living a quality life is your main objective as a patient with fibromyalgia. Since you cannot undo the fact that you have the condition, the best thing you can do is focus on how you can live a better your life despite the condition. Accepting your condition will make you realize the importance of incorporating these strategies to your medication regimen. It can be hard, but with a loving family, friends, and the right support group, living a quality life is possible for a patient with fibromyalgia.