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Medications for Fibromyalgia
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Medications for Fibromyalgia

Prescribed Medications for Fibromyalgia: By Mark Pellegrino, M.D.

This article provides a description of seven different categories of drugs used in the treatment of Fibromyalgia, and their possible benefits and side effects.

"Muscle Relaxants: Muscle relaxants can decrease pain in people with fibromyalgia. Medicines in this family include Flexeril, Soma, Skelaxin, and Robaxin. The most common side effect is drowsiness, although Soma and Skelaxin cause less of it. I have found that muscle relaxants do not really decrease muscle spasms or truly “relax” muscles, because the painful area still has palpable spasms. Rather, the medicine appears to help by a central neurologic mechanism that reduces muscle pain. If drowsiness is a side effect, this medicine should only be taken in the evening so it doesn’t interfere with driving or concentration. Flexeril is a popular medicine for evening. Although it is a muscle relaxant, it is very similar to amitriptyline in structure and effect, hence the benefits reported."

"Anti-Anxiety Medicines: Anxiety is a common problem in fibromyalgia and contributes to pain, muscle tension, and irritability. It can make depression and insomnia worse. Various medicines including antidepressants and muscle relaxants treat anxiety. Benzodiazepines such as Klonopin, Ativan, and Xanax, are commonly used medicines. These medicines also cause sedation and thus can improve sleep. Possible side effects include depression and decreased memory. Sometimes it is hard to determine whether symptoms are due to fibromyalgia or are side effects of medication."

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A New Drug for Fibromyalgia: Pregabalin is Shown to Improve Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients

Here you will find information about a new drug produced by Pfizer Inc. called Pregabalin, including statistics about its success with relieving pain associated with Fibromyalgia.

"The double-blind, placebo-controlled monotherapy study involved 529 patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Patients were randomized to receive placebo or pregabalin (150 mg, 300 mg or 450 mg per day) for eight weeks. The study evaluated the efficacy and safety of pregabalin for the treatment of pain and associated symptoms such as sleep and fatigue. Patients were required to characterize and record their pain on a daily basis in detailed diaries."

"Pregabalin-treated patients (450 mg/day) showed statistically significant improvements in pain compared to those who received placebo. Further, 29 percent of pregabalin-treated patients reported at least a 50 percent reduction in pain, compared with a reduction of 13 percent for patients who received placebo, a difference that was statistically significant. In addition, pregabalin significantly improved sleep quality and fatigue."

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Study Reports: ULTRACET Effective for Treating Fibromyalgia Pain

This article discusses a study published in the American Journal of Medicine which showed that a drug called Ultracet can be effective in reducing Fibromyalgia pain.

"The study published in the American Journal of Medicine was lead by researcher Robert M. Bennett, M.D., a pain specialist at the Oregon Health and Science University. He compared ULTRACET (37.5 mg tramadol hydrochloride/325 mg acetaminophen tablets) to placebo in 315 fibromyalgia patients. Patients who used ULTRACET experienced significantly better pain relief, as indicated by statistical analysis, than those who received placebo."

"Although Ultracet has received some exposure in the medical industry, not all physicians know about it. "A lot of patients actually have to educate their doctor," notes Bennett, "but they might want to do it diplomatically," he adds."

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Fibromyalgia Drug Milnacipran Successful in Phase II Study

Articles outlines results of a study in which Milnacipran was used to reduce Fibromyalgia pain.

"Milnacipran-treated patients randomized to the twice-daily dosing group (BID) showed statistically significant improvement in pain, compared to those who received placebo. Further, 37 percent reported at least a 50 percent reduction in the intensity of their pain, compared to just 14 percent of placebo patients, a statistically significant difference (p=0.0395, intent to treat analysis)."

"A total of 125 patients enrolled in the trial and were randomized to receive either placebo or milnacipran either once or twice a day for four weeks of dose escalation, followed by eight weeks of constant dose. The study evaluated the efficacy and safety of milnacipran for the treatment of pain and associated symptoms such as fatigue, depressed mood and ability to sleep."

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